Unique horse-human relationship explored in short movie “Desert Flight”

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A scene from Desert Flight.
A scene from Desert Flight.

An award-winning equine short film examining the joy horses bring is streaming free on demand.

Desert Flight, which received awards for Best of Festival and Best Sports Documentary at the Equus Film Festival in September, follows the stories of several top jumping athletes and reveals how they got their start in horses and why they love equestrian sport. Riders appearing in the film include Olympic team gold medalist Will Simpson, Richard Spooner, Rich Fellers, Ashlee Bond, Mandy Porter, and Buddy Brown.

Desert Flight is streaming to US Equestrian Members on the USEF Network, but anyone can register for a free fan membership, using the promo code “desertflight”.

» Watch Desert Flight

Over a nearly 40-minute running time, Desert Flight explores the unique relationship with the horse and why people dedicate so much to the equestrian life.

A scene from Desert Flight.
A scene from Desert Flight.

Filmmaker Samia Staehle’s goal was to capture the visceral way in which horses enrich our lives and heighten our senses. The film showcases the kind of people that horses always seem to attract: individuals of enormous character, possessed of infinite work ethic, and often a very sharp sense of humor.

Set in Thermal, California the dry beauty of the desert and the horse show’s hidden dusty trails are reminiscent of her one-time home in India, a land of adventure and freedom.

Desert Flight was shot with two-cameras over three-weeks by Tell Studios. Its crew from metropolitan Detroit with nearly zero experience with horses was set loose on the horse world with no script, but only the mandate to go and find out what drives these horse people to do what they do every day.

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