Ride a Wild Pony (film)

Ride a Wild Pony (film) In Australia, a wild 13-year old boy, Scott Pirie, who is poor, and a haughty, crippled teenage girl named Josie Ellison who is rich, find themselves at odds over the ownership of a beloved pony. The boy calls the Welsh pony Taff and uses him to get to school, while Josie loves the pony as well for its wild spirit and names it Bo. Since she is a victim of polio, Bo allows her to get around in a pony cart. The children’s fight for the animal leads to the courtroom where it is decided that it is up to the pony to decide who its owner should be. The pony hesitantly picks Scotty, but also comforts Josie. The Ellisons bring feed for Taff to the Pirie ranch, and Josie invites the boy and horse to visit her often in the future. They become friends, and the bond in the relationship is the pony. The first Disney feature filmed in Australia. Initial release in Los Angeles on December 25, 1975; general release on March 26, 1976. Directed by Don Chaffey. 91 min. Stars Michael Craig (James), John Meillon (Charles Quayle), Robert Bettles (Scott), Eva Griffith (Josie), Graham Rouse (Bluey), Peter Gwynne (Sgt. Collins), John Meillon Jr. (Kit Quayle), Alfred Bell (Angus Pirie), Melissa Jaffer (Mrs. Pirie). The film was based on the novel A Sporting Proposition by James Aldridge, and shot on location in Australia in Victoria and New South Wales. The ideal location for the derelict Pirie farm was found in the Horton Valley, but the nearest towns were 60 miles away, so the cast and crew were divided between Barraba and Bingara. For the Ellison ranch, the crew used the historic Belltrees, an expansive 20,000-acre country estate, which was available only after His Royal Highness Prince Charles ended his vacationing there. The small Victorian town of Chiltern was also used as the town of Barambogie, after considerable restoration of the storefronts and pouring tons of earth over the paved roads. An old K class steam locomotive and coach cars were brought out of mothballs, spruced up, and transported from Melbourne, more than 200 miles away. Most of Chiltern’s population signed on as extras. Released on video in 1987.