BIG SPENDER (The Movie) w/BONUS FOOTAGE
The retirement program in the film is based on an actual program run by TRF at the organization's facility at the Wallkill Correctional Institute in Wallkill, New York, where inmates work with retired Thoroughbreds in an effort to provide a cathartic experience for the prisoners and at the same time a home for unwanted racehorses who paid their dues over long, arduous campaigns - who've run their hearts out on aging, damaged legs for so many years.
The film's director, Paul Schneider, said he was inspired to make this film after reading a newspaper story about the TRF, and how its programs had positively influenced prisoners, while finding homes for retired racehorses. "I came across a story on the TRF that appeared in the New York Times and the headline was something like...'Cast Away Horses, Cast Away Men.' I was immediately drawn to that...it said to me, that this was a story - it jumped off of the page", Schneider said.
The horse in the movie, BIG SPENDER, is loosely based on BANKER'S JET, the multiple stakes-winning Florida-bred gelding by TRI JET who won 28 races in 106 starts in eight seasons of racing. He was privately retired, then later found at a farm in upstate New York in emaciated condition. He was sent to Wallkill and nursed back to health by the inmates there. "It was an unusual setting", Schneider said after visiting Wallkill. "You had this juxtaposition of the prison and this bucolic, pastoral farm. There were these hardened men who had this softness and affection for these horses. I was left alone on the farm talking to self-admitted murderers and sociopaths and never felt any trepidation. They were merely men - black, white and Hispanic - with a common love and appreciation for horses, some with the hope of one day getting out of prison and working with them on a full-time basis. The pride these men took in their horses was something truly miraculous to see."
An inspirational film that any animal lover (especially those who follow horse racing) would enjoy.
AS AN ADDED BONUS...an episode from horse racing channel HRTV's "Inside Information" is added after the main feature on Wallkill Correctional Facility in New York where unwanted horses and prisoners find mutual rehabilitation in a prison pasture setting. The Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation was formed in 1982 with the simple mission to save ex-racehorses from possible neglect, abuse and slaughter. Shortly thereafter the Foundation found an unlikely saviour to provide shelter and care for horse veterans after the racetrack: prisons....where inmates are taught equine care and management - a great partnership!
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|