Equitainment Newsletter - 15 January 2012
15 Jan 2012
In This Newsletter
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I do apologise for everyone that was trying to contact me in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but had no luck. I moved both house and office in November, and freely admit I didn't do a great job of being organised. After living in the same place for 34 years, I'm just not used to moving and didn't realise there were so many things to organise.
I know I've been slack but I haven't sent a printed catalogue out since Christmas 2009. As everything is listed on the website I thought that you didn't really want them, but I've received so many requests to start mailing them again, I just couldn't say no.
I've just finished updating the Australia Day one, and it will go to the printers next week. Please make sure I have your current mailing address together with those of all your friends, to make sure no one misses out. Although this one is a specific Australiana feature, I will be following up with a general one for Easter, a racing one for the Spring Carnival, and then a nice big fat one, for Christmas 2012 so there is plenty to look forward to.
There are also some changes on their way this year, which I'll tell you about as soon as I'm a little closer to having them ready.
I have received heaps of phone calls and emails from people asking me if I had seen War Horse yet and what I thought of it. Just like all we horse fans, I was really concerned at how much I was going to cry and how graphic the war scenes would be. Now after finally seeing it, I can happily report all is well. Go and see it, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.
As you all know, it's based on the children's book written by British author Michael Morpurgo (one of my favourites) but I was worried about how gruesome it would become after Steven Speilburg worked his magic on it. I still don't think I've fully recovered from the Normandy landing scenes in Saving Private Ryan yet, and I'm not sure I ever will!
There are moments or course, where every horse lover is going to want to crawl under the seat rather than watch. The first military confrontation is icky, and the horrific barbed wire scene is when every horse owners’ worst nightmare comes true, but all in all it's pretty safe.
The cinematography is spectacular and the story beautiful, but of course the real stars of the film are the horses. There are so few big budget horse movies made, and some of the recent ones have been a little disappointing. This however, wasn’t the case in WAR HORSE.
Yes, it is cheesy, but isn’t that exactly what we want in a good animal movie? It reminded me of some of the classic animal movies produced in Hollywood’s “Golden Years” like National Velvet, the original Lassie movies, My Friend Flicka and so on. They were all cheese from beginning to end, and didn’t we love them! The dramatic backdrop scenes are also so reminiscent of some of Hollywood’s great triumphs such as GONE WITH THE WIND. The formula worked a treat back then, so why not today? They were simple special effects that really packed a punch in Golden Years and still do now.
Yes, definitely do go and see it on the big screen … don’t wait for the DVD. It’s a rare horsy treat and one you won’t want to miss seeing in all its cinemagraphic glory.
There was a terrific new adult book published just before Christmas, which you may not have heard about yet. Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears, is a rare Aussie treat, and one I'm sure you will enjoy.
I read this whole book in not much more than one sitting, and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. It's listed by the publisher as a love story which put me off a bit, as I'm not a big fan of traditional romance fiction, but this one is different. Set in northern NSW just prior to WW2, it beautifully portrays what living, loving and family life was like in the post-depression years for those scratching a living off the land.
The harsh times which brought about even harsher decisions might be difficult to understand now, but the desire to win, to succeed where others have failed, the love of a brilliantly talented horse and the comradery of the Australian Agricultural Show circuit will certainly hit a chord with all horse people who read this book.
If you're looking for something a little different and uniquely Australian, then certainly give this book a go. The end is a little frustrating (I'm a sucker for a fairy tale) but it certainly leaves an impression. Enjoy!
After reading the book I started to think about the old high-jump classes and looked up the world record on the internet. According to the Guiness Book of Records the official FEI records at 2.47 m (8 ft 1.25 in) by Huaso (ex-Faithful), ridden by Captain Alberto Larraguibel Morales (Chile) at Viña del Mar, Santiago, Chile on 5 February 1949 which is also one of the longest standing world records. So two world records in one great leap!
If you want to have a look at some photo's, I've put a You Tube tribute, up on my website.