Wild Horses – Return to China

Can the world’s only truly wild horse survive returning to their ancestral home?

Produced by NHNZ

Ten-year-old stallion Wind Chaser leads the herd of 9 mares, 11 colts and 6 foals on their first journey into this new and unfamiliar world. With him is the mare Black Pearl, who is carries his foal. Her fate, and that of the foal, depends on if Wind Chaser can keep leadership of the herd through the first brutal months of independence as younger stallions begin to challenge the older horse.

The herd is released, but they are reluctant to travel far from their enclosure and always return at the end of the day. When winter arrives the temperature drops to minus 38 degrees and snow covers the sparse pasture – survival is their ultimate test.

Gradually the horses begin to move further away. They must compete with the workhorses of the nomadic Kazakh people for food and territory. But conditions are tough and the team of dedicated scientists and researchers who enabled the herd to be re-established in this environment can’t bear to watch as the horses lose condition and show signs of starvation. They lead the hungry horses back into the enclosure and feed them up.

Wind Chaser looks weak and exhausted. Unable to lead such a large herd, he is forced to retire and the team of overseers introduce two younger stallions who launch into a fierce competition to win over followers. Eight-year-old stallion Flame gains the dominant position and becomes the herd’s new leader. But trouble looms for Black Pearl as she is carrying Wind Chaser’s foal. When she gives birth in summer will the stallion Flame kill the foal in order to maintain his dominance in the herd?

Summer should be a time of plenty but nothing comes easy in this harsh landscape. The extreme heat and limited drinking water becomes the final test for the herd. Flame leads his dwindling herd on a desperate search for water.

Set in the stunningly beautiful and stark landscape of west China, the film reveals the secret life of these wild horses, how they adjust to the harsh wilderness and reclaim the long lost territories of their ancestors. The main members of the herd became in integral characters in the story as the life and death struggles of Wind Chaser, Flame and, most poignantly, Black Pearl are both heartbreaking and uplifting in this extraordinary drama of nature.

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