The award winning documentary film ‘Against The Odds' by Cloughjordan Documentary film-maker, Nicolas Ryan Purcell, was screened in Damer House Gallery on Thursday, 3rd. August.
The film portrays the fascinating life story of the Irish horse, ‘Gordon Lord Byron’ who was the horse nobody wanted. Bought as a foal for €2,000, he showed little early promise and the Cahalan family were ‘stuck with him’ when he had no bidders at his first sales.
He fractured his pelvis on his racing debut and would have put been down if it wasn’t for the determination of his trainer, Tom Hogan. When he returned to the track more than a year later he came last – but incredibly this plucky horse went on to win more than £1.7m in prize money, winning 15 times from 71 starts. Over the course of a year producer Nicholas Ryan Purcell and his team spoke to the people whose lives have been touched by the racehorse, including the Calahan family, co-owner Cyrus Poonawalla, the renowned trainer, Tom Hogan, and the jockey William Buick, who rode him in a number of races, who all agreed that Gordon Lord Byron had changed their lives. After the screening Nic gave a short talk explaining how the making of this film was a life-changing project for him too. Documenting the wonderful life of this great horse had rescued him from what had been up to that point, a career which entailed mundane round of documenting day–to-day events, birthdays and weddings.
This documentary has created a great stir within the racing community and has deservedly, has opened up new opportunities for this talented young film-maker, Nicolas Ryan Purcell.
Screening daily at 12 noon and 3pm. timing: 1hr. 15 mins. (Gallery closed Mon and Tues.) runs until 11th August.