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Black Beauty

The timeless tale of a girl's love for her stunning horse, Black Beauty was written back in 1877 by English author Anna Sewell. This heart-warming story has stood the test of time and today, 140 years later, it's still loved by families everywhere.

The story is an autobiography related by the horse, starting from when he was a happy and carefree colt on a farm. He is then sold to Squire Gordon of Birtwick Park as a carriage horse to serve the family. On a wet and stormy night, Black Beauty is pulling the carriage home when a flooded bridge collapses - luckily, nobody falls to their doom!

However, when Beauty gets back to the stable, Joe Green (the inexperienced stable lad) doesn't dry the horse or give him a warm rug and he makes the mistake of giving him icy cold water to drink. This leads to Beauty falling very ill and Joe is distraught but over the next few days, the squire and Joe treat the horse and he recovers well. Beauty is later sold to a London cab driver to pull the carriage and he leads a hard life until he's sold on… again and again.

Eventually, Black Beauty has a happy retirement with Joe, who sees him at a horse auction. He doesn't recognise him at first because he's in such poor shape, but when Beauty whinnies to his old friend, Joe recognises him, and they are finally reunited.

Black Beauty meets with cruelty and hardship, with each chapter describing a period in his life that teaches a moral lesson. In a beautifully narrated story that includes extensive descriptions of equine behaviour, the plot relates to having sympathy and understanding for horses and treating them with kindness and respect.

The novel was made into a long-running children's television series, The Adventures of Black Beauty, which aired on ITV in the UK from 1972 to 1974. There have also been several films based on the story. Perhaps the most well-known was the 1994 version, described as a "harrowing and beautiful" adaptation of the book, when Scottish actor Alan Cumming OBE voiced Beauty. It stayed true to the original novel and was distributed by Warner Bros Family Entertainment, grossing $4.63 million at the UK box office.

The latest film version of Black Beauty was released in 2015 and the plot has been transported to modern-day America. It revolves around Kym (played by Sarah Ann Schultz), who is 15-year-old girl who volunteers at an animal rescue centre one summer. There, she meets Black Beauty, an abandoned, injured horse.

Despite the reservations of her rather strict father (played by Luke Perry) she persuades her grandpa (played by Bruce Davison) to help her adopt and rehabilitate the beautiful horse. They spend all summer bringing him back to full physical and mental health.

One thing that the book, the TV series and all the films have in common is that they promote responsible horse ownership - in particular, they highlight a valuable message when Black Beauty falls seriously ill after he isn't looked after properly. These are sentiments echoed by the Coruba team.

With that in mind, our top-quality animal rubber matting products are recommended for stables. They are hygienic and add an extra layer of insulation and comfort, making them especially useful in winter as the cold weather sets in. Please contact us for further information.

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