April: A Big Month for Horses on Television!

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Call the cable guy. Order the pizza. Find a 12-year-old to program your vcr: April is horse month on national television in the USA!

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Maybe keep a box of tissues handy, too. Plan to be in front of a television at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 29 when NBC Sports will broadcast the documentary "Barbaro: A Nation's Horse." Click here to watch a trailer on the NBC web site. (Note: I am not sure how long the trailer will be on the NBCSports.com web site home page. You may have to hunt for it. You may need to click on the "top videos" tab.) This new documentary will also be sold as a dvd, shipping after the on-air premiere.

Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on cable will air a series of films starring some of Hollywood's most beloved animal actors every Monday night in April to commemorate the American Humane Association's 130th anniversary and the organization's role in protecting animals in filmed entertainment. American Humane is the authority behind the famous "No Animals Were Harmed" end-credit disclaimer on film and TV productions.

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The festival will be divided into five theme nights: PATSY Award winners (the Academy Awards of the animal world), animal heroes, rescued animals, animals trained by venerated trainer Frank Inn, and the human-animal bond.

The month of films honoring some of Hollywood's favorite animal actors is followed by American Humane's Be Kind to Animals Week, which begins Sunday, May 6. Established in 1915, Be Kind to Animals Week celebrates and promotes kindness to all animals and encourages adults and children to honor the companionship, friendship and love that animals bring to people's lives.

"National Velvet" and "Black Stallion" are two of the horse films featured. The series started April 2, with one of my favorites, "Francis the Talking Mule" (see photo).

For more information and to see the schedule of films, go to http://www.americanhumane.org/.

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