Sony Pictures Classics
Breeders Brian and Jan Vokes in the movie 'Dark Horse'

'Dark Horse' is a slight but winning tale of unlikely success

( PG ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Dark' tells the story of Welsh inhabitants of a former mining village who decide to pool their resources and breed a racehorse.

Louise Osmond’s “Dark Horse” is a slight but winning documentary about a most unlikely event, and I hope Hollywood doesn’t get wind of it. In early 2000, a group of rowdy Welsh inhabitants of a former mining village, led by Jan Vokes, a local bartender, decided to pool their resources and breed a racehorse.

The notion that these working-class folk would dare invade the elitist sport of horse racing is funny enough, but when the horse, Dream Alliance, actually starts winning some big races, the fairy tale becomes almost too good to be true. But of course, it is true. As I said, keep Hollywood away from this. Grade: B+ (Rated PG for some mild thematic elements and language.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to 'Dark Horse' is a slight but winning tale of unlikely success
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today