Horse racing has many stories to tell, and when they are told well they can make excellent motion pictures. Phar Lap, Seabiscuit and The Killing are but three examples. I have always believed that we tell the best stories in documentary format, however, because what we do each day, whether we bet, groom, shoe, train, drive or ride, is very interesting.
One such film, "Exhibition Drive", examines 9 days at Charlottetown for last years Gold Cup and Saucer. As you most know, the event is very unique - something we don't see in racing pretty much anywhere - and to have virtually an entire town and province stoked for one event (for the modest purse of $60,000) is fascinating. That it's in such an out of the way place, it even makes it more intriguing.
The filmmakers touched on a lot that I've seen from visiting: The horses and the people who care for them. The event, the parade, the two century history of racing on the Island. But it went beyond that. It captured the scenery, the race calls, the races themselves and the characters from all walks of life who play a part in the event; right down to the infamous folks who charge $3 to park in their front lawns, or the children climbing on rooftops for a glimpse of the race.
In addition, the narrative focused on the way of life and the horse in that part of the world - where people are happy for you when you win, and no one is worried about getting rich, or going broke from being with horses.
They'd say "How can one be considered broke if you are racing a horse?"
It was very well done. It's an event the world should see.
If you are a racing fan and love horses - thoroughbred or harness, it doesn't matter - it's worth the one hour running time.
Exhibition Drive from Jeremy Larter on Vimeo.
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