Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The 80s - A Great Era for Australians on Horseback

According to my Kiwi Diary, it was on November 4 1930 that Phar Lap won the Melbourne Cup. (Yes, that's more Australian than Kiwi news, but Phar Lap was foaled in NZ so stick with me.) Reading it, I was immediately taken back to the early 80s, when my penchant for new wave music was matched only by my devotion to movies featuring Australians on horseback.

If you were a straight girl during the first half of that fashion challenged decade, you know what I'm talking about. First there was the 1981 film Gallipoli, featuring sweaty, tanned men with fleeet eeksents running around the Turkish coast, getting tragically picked off by fez-wearing riflemen. Only a smattering of horses in that one, but for a girl just emerging from the horse-love phase into the boy-love phase, it was a smattering that eased the transition.

A year later came "The Man From Snowy River," which had to be Kirk Douglas' most over-acted movie ever. No matter - the real action was Tom Burlinson, riding stallions vertically up and down cliffs and pining for Sigrid Thorton, who had the collagen-plumped lip look before that had even been invented. Aussies and stallions and romance - is it any wonder that Split Enz, with their Australian/Kiwi provenance, took a hold of me during those years?

By the time the movie Phar Lap came out in 1983, also starring Burlinson, the story had moved mostly to the horse, but its "David vs. Goliath" theme had eternal appeal.

I came out of that decade, and high school, fairly certain that I would marry an Australian man (or at the very least a Brit,) end up in Sydney, and have my own horse.

Close. I married a Chinese guy who once drove me in a campervan to a horse stud farm in New Zealand. So, almost.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...