Janet Vokes was working behind the bar in her local working men’s club in the small Welsh mining community of Cefn Fforest when she fixed upon the idea of breeding a racehorse. She'd always loved animals, having dabbled in showing whippets and racing pigeons, and her husband Brian used to be a rag and bone man with a horse of his own. Why shouldn't a working-class horse take on the high flyers in the rarified world of racing?
She bought a mare for £350, paired her up with a pedigree stallion and helped to create a syndicate of 23 friends from the village – each paying £10 a week – to raise the resulting foal, Dream Alliance. He may have grown up on an allotment but Dream Alliance had star quality, beating all the odds to become a winner at a number of world-class racetracks. Then a terrible injury to his leg threatened not just his career but his life. Refusing to have him put down, the syndicate paid for experimental surgery and Dream Alliance went on to not only make a full recovery but win the Welsh Grand National.
Funny and charming, Dream Horse by Janet Vokes is the extraordinary story of a woman who defied the snobbery of the racing world to breed a champion, and a remarkable horse who brought a community together.