We could not be making this film a reality without the support from our community of horse lovers, equine therapists, friends and family. We are so grateful to have you with us on our journey to production!
A very special THANK YOU to Rolf Gustafsson
Rolf Gustafsson is a horseman. He has a long history of working with horses, especially thoroughbreds that he bred, trained, and raced at Santa Anita Park. With a passion and love for the horses that he has owned over the years, Rolf has an intuitive sense of what each horse needs to live its best life.
Rolf took in Eddie, the inspiration for EDDIE'S TURN, to retire at his ranch when Eddie's racing years were over. Rolf is a good friend of the writer/director of EDDIE'S TURN, Annika Hylmö, and the inspiration for the character "Sam" in the film.
"Sam" is the lead character "Terry's" uncle who takes her in when she burns out at her job and needs to get a break. Just like Rolf, "Sam" has a heart of gold and wants the best for horses and people alike.
Thank you, Rolf, for being a good friend and human being, and an inspiration for good horsemanship!
And a Special Thank You to Our Non-Profit Partners
We are so grateful to our nonprofit partners who are going to benefit from the completed film through community screenings and as a potential fundraising resource for their work in addition to EDDIE'S TURN's festival run.
For that reason, it is our pleasure to continue to highlight Horses and Healing. This time, we would like to share Ride Above Disability, one of many equine therapy organizations that we have visited as part of our research to write the script and to build community around the themes that you will find in the story of EDDIE'S TURN.
Please read the story of Ride Above Disability (RAD) and their love letter to Off the Track Thoroughbreds as told by Assistant Director Katie Cram.
Horses and Healing: Ride Above Disability
"When we opened RAD, I don't think Allie, Wayne or I knew exactly what to expect it to grow into. We had plans, we had ideas but none of us knew how to run a business. We mainly wanted the freedom to do things our way. Putting riders and horses first. We even would keep ourselves in check by reminding each other "It's about the riders and the horses". I like to believe we've achieved that goal.
This brings me to King (racing name: Private Joke), RAD's second OTTB and the first one to come straight from his racing career to therapy life. King retired from the track as a war horse. He ran in 83 races, earning over $200k, and was still competitive, earning his keep at his barn, and in race training when Ride Above purchased him, lame in his trot video and all. We found out he'd been racing on an old broken coffin bone that was causing a reoccurring abscess. Within only a few months, despite my predictions that he'd need 6 months to adjust; King was in his first lesson. I credit this to his vast life experience at the track. This big guy was instantly a big hit with both riders and volunteers.
King has connected with multiple riders with various disabilities or mental health struggles. Just last week we had a young rider on him for the second time. This is a horse that isn't small, he's a big guy and Noah probably weighs about 80 lbs if that. This big horse took such good care of Noah as he practiced for our program's annual Turkey Trot competition. I feel so fortunate to be a part of this horse's journey into a second career and so proud that he packed Noah around like he was born to it. I've seen King give moments of piece to riders who struggle with anxiety and fear. To the point that I was an outsider in the moments he's shared with some of our riders. I just stepped back, and let them have that moment.
I know both Allie and I have been considering how 2024 will be RAD's 10th year. It's crazy to have that realization. Then, watching King and Noah...I never thought off-the-track thoroughbreds would be a part of our therapy program when we opened. But I'm so fortunate to have the freedom to put them together. This horse (and Bai, racing name: Sought Bai, and Jesse, racing name: Another Gem, RAD's other off-the-track thoroughbreds) are so much more than their stereotypes. I know some people thought we were crazy for bringing Bai in, but he served faithfully in his job for years.
This breed is capable of so much, I'm proud to be a part of a program that helps them shine."
Katie Cram, Assistant Director