BY ALLISON TOMLINSON
Baroque horses are usually pretty easy to spot when they are featured on the big (or little) screen, generally depicted as knight’s mounts with thick, upright cresty necks and long flowing manes. Their beauty, elegance and spirit is normally a stand out feature as well. Occasionally though they do pop up unexpectedly and leave you guessing and most times it’s almost impossible to find out if your suspicions were true.
One instance of this is in the 1993 Australian movie, The Silver Brumby (The Silver Stallion for those outside of Australia) which stars Russell Crowe. One of the main horse characters is a dapple grey Brumby stallion called the Brolga. The movie is takes form with a mother telling her daughter a fable about the prince of the Brumbies, who must find its place among its kind, while one man makes it his mission to capture it and tame it. The movie is based on the children’s books and although an older movie, is still a great watch for horse lovers.
The Brolga was played by a registered Andalusian stallion named Blackford Santo Domingo. Although the part was played by 3 separate horses, the shots of Blackford Santa Domingo can be seen quiet easily once you know a Baroque horse has been used. Mango, as he was known in the paddock went on to sire some quality horses in Australia and also win Champion Entire Male at the Australian Andalusian Horse Association National show that year.
Due to the movie being about Australian Brumbies, you wouldn’t expect a Baroque horse to pop up and be a lead character so it is a refreshing surprise and Evanne Chesson who runs Australian Movie Livestock Pty Ltd has always had a soft spot for using her Baroque horses in the films she works with due to their easy and trainable nature.