This film was written, directed and produced by Gordon Sparling. Sparling was responsible for the “Canadian Cameo” series, a collection of theatrical shorts produced by Associated Screen News and featuring a range of Canadian content. This film showcases various types of horses and their careers. The narrator is Dobin, a toy horse, who describes his relatives: as how horse, a polo pony, a race track horse, a fox hunt horse, a rodeo horse, a sulky racer, and the horses who used to pull fire wagons prior to 1935. The film includes footage of the King’s Plate in Toronto and fire horses racing to a fire in Montréal. Sparling used the “Canadian Cameo” series to explore cinematically creative ways to present light-hearted information typical of short films made at this time. The “Canadian Cameo” series were a major source of Canadian content for Canadian moviegoers. Some of the best films in the series were also distributed in the United States. —Virtual Silver Screen
Gordon Sparling learned his craft at the Ontario Government Motion Picture Bureau from 1924 to 1927 and in the United States. He returned to Canada in 1931 to set up the film production company Associated Screen News (ASN), whose laboratories were located in Montreal. ASN then launched “Canadian Cameo”, a series of short films with a documentary flavour shot in 35mm for commercial release. The series was so successful that in 1935 ASN had to build new shooting and sound studios. In addition to producing the series, Sparling often took on the role of director. His best films blend documentary, mise en scène and experimentation and took up a wide variety of topics. His masterpiece remains Rhapsody in Two Languages (1934), a poetic and original vision of bilingual Montreal. The films House in Order/La maison en ordre (1936) and Ballet of the Mermaids (1938) also stand out.
During the war, Sparling made films in England and then returned to the ASN at the end of the war. He remained… read more