DREAM Alliance, the Gwent horse which won the 2009 Welsh Grand National and whose story inspired a Hollywood film, has died at the age of 22.

Born and raised on an allotment in Cefn Fforest, Blackwood, the horse was owned by a group of friends in a £10-a-week syndicate led by barmaid Jan Vokes.

The story of Dream Alliance, who from his humble beginnings, went on to win the most prestigious race in the Welsh calendar at Chepstow, was made into a 2015 documentary called Dark Horse, which in turn led to the production of the 2020 film Dream Horse, which starred Damian Lewis and Toni Collette.

After retiring from racing in 2012, the syndicate gave Dream Alliance to Claire Sandercock, who had looked after him during his career at trainer Philip Hobbs’ stable. Since then he has been looked-after in Somerset.

Announcing Dream Alliance’s death on Facebook, Ms Sandercock said: “Many will know and remember Dreamer from his racing days and I know I will never forget the thrill of riding him on the gallops everyday.

"I was so so proud of him when he won the Welsh National and I remember telling him afterwards that I didn’t care if he ever won another race again as long as he came home safe and sound to me.

"After he retired from racing the syndicate gifted Dreamer to me and I have owned him for nearly 11 years. Alongside my mum Debbie we have felt privileged to care, ride and love this very special horse.”

She said: “Dreamer has always been a gentle and kind horse but since his retirement from racing his personality has changed so much.

"He gained a cheeky sense of humour. He could always tell what you were thinking and if you wanted a quiet plod round the lanes then that is what he gave you, but if you wanted a gallop then he would step it up and be more than up for it.

“We will always remember Dreamer not for his achievements on the racecourse but for the gentle and kind horse who looked after and learnt how to school/jump outside of racing together with my mum who had never schooled a horse before; for the horse that taught my sister-in-law how to ride; for the horse that made a nine-year-old girl’s dream come true riding a race horse in a racing saddle; but most of all I will remember Dreamer for being my best friend and always coming over to listen to all my worries. He was always there for me.”