Valiant: Blind Horse Excels at Dressage and Stars in Film

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It’s Oscar season and the world is buzzing about films, directors, and actors. A new film is on the horizon, though, and you might be surprised where its trailer will be screening. Think about it: when was the last time you saw a movie trailer at a dressage show?

It’s about to happen…and happen big!

Saturday night, the audience at the World Dressage Masters in Wellington, Florida will be in for something out of the ordinary. Before the popular freestyle competition at 7:00 pm, the newly-released documentary movie trailer Valiant: Life Is A Horse will premiere.

Valiant is the true story of Jeanette Sassoon’s 26-year-old blind dressage horse.

Yes, you read that correctly: a blind dressage horse! Owned and bred by Sassoon–yes, again, she is the former wife of hair stylist Vidal Sassoon–the horse became blind after an adverse reaction to medication for a puncture wound in his foot. The technical name for the cause of his blindness is given as uveitis.

Sassoon’s efforts to help her horse learn through his blindness that he could trust her enough to excel in the sport of dressage is a stirring story that crosses cultures–and the country.

And it paid off: last year at Wellington, Valiant competed in the Prix St. George; he scored 65.78% and placed sixth out of 15 horses.

After the trailer showing, Valiant and Jeanette will perform a musical freestyle to the documentary’s title song “Follow Your Heart” accompanied live on piano by composer/musician Eric Bikales.

“Valiant gave his sight, so others could see. He opened up a new world for me…understanding there are reasons for everything and opportunities to grow from them. I think the most important gift he’s given me is trust and believing in myself …finding that unwavering friend that lives within each of us. Valiant is just another way of how the universe works when you have faith,” commented Jeanette about what she and others have learned from Valiant.

To learn more about Valiant – Life is a Horse and experience the launch of the campaign to raise awareness of the human relationship with horses at a deeper level, visit

To learn more about blind horses or to donate to the care of blind horses in need, please visit, a charitable farm in New Hampshire that is a special home to many blind horses and a helpful resource for owners of blind horses.

To learn more about how to help a blind horse, download Dr Ann Dwyer’s chapter, “Practical Management of Blind Horses“, from the veterinary textbook Equine Ophthalmology, by Brian Gilger, DVM, MS.

To learn more about Valiant and Jeanette, read Training Within the Dark World of Horse Blindness on

A press release about the trailer premiere inspired this article.




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