Saddle the Wind


Rear Cover (text rear cover)   Original cover                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       New  Cover

Saddle the Wind. Dartmoor, England 1638. An isolated Church, on an ancient road. A sudden storm bursts out of the wintry sky. Eyewitnesses mention a saddled horse with two riders near the steeple, another tethered outside and both vanishing into the darkness.

With scorch marks burnt on their backs and rumored to be immortal, both horses roam the moor’s desolate regions. A scorched saddle is also found later in Buckfast’s Abbey loft. For 268 years its whereabouts is a mystery until traded in a gambler’s bet some 134 years ago. In 2000 it is given to a 15-year-old Dartmoor girl, Amanda.

With the saddle’s mysterious power and helped by the ghost of her wronged ancestor Buery Elliott, Amanda unwittingly solves a 400-year-old family mystery, resolving a terrible injustice and restoring balance to a divided community

Logline. A legend, a magic saddle, and a wrong to be righted.

Synopsis. 12-year old horse enthusiast Dartmoor girl Amanda is given an old scorched saddle for her birthday by Bill her grandfather, who bought it at a Buckfast Abbey open day sale, from Elizabeth Lyde. Because of its condition, Amanda doesn’t use it. A pity, it flies. Bill believes it’s special.

The reason for its magic dates back 362 years to October 21, 1639, when a sudden, violent, deafening, frightening storm batters Widdycombe’s isolated St. Pancras church. That night the saddle on the Vicar’s horse tethered on the grass is ripped off, finishing miles away in the Abbey loft after crashing through the roof. Then after being traded in a gambler’s debt, its whereabouts becomes a mystery.

Also, that night, near the steeple, another horse with two male riders is sucked into the darkness. One, is an unsavory character, the other, a gambler who drops his four ace cards. There are now four fields shaped like a: Diamond, Heart, Club, and Spade. What happens to both riders is unknown? However, both horses are rumored to be immortal, roaming the moors desolate regions. What happens to this saddle is another unsolved mystery? The unsavory character is said to be the Devil.

Three centuries ago Bill’s ancestors lost claim to their vast estate, proving it was stolen with false deeds by present owners the Roger’s, seems unsolvable. Now, tragically after years of poor returns, Bill will have to sell up to clear debts.

Then fate takes a hand when Amanda climbs on her saddle and is soon flying, discovering her thoughts guide it. On her horse Ebony, she flies just above the ground strays onto Roger’s estate where the ghost of alleged ancestor highwayman Buery appears on an identical horse with scorch marks. He leads her to the old Castle ruin, and a large rock, then silently vanishes into the trees. Buery is falsely accused of helping a highwayman rob the Roger’s coach. Passengers side with Roger’s. Buery is jailed for 10-years, his wife dies later. The Roger’s succeed.

One stormy night; a mare in foal appears at Bill’s farm, so he dries and stables her. Next morning this mare and her new foal have the identical scorches in the same place. Also this night another horse appears at the nearby Veterinary’s farm. Elizabeth Lyde is related to the church vicar that fateful night. Naturally, she stables the horse. The following morning Elizabeth is astonished to see the same scorch in the same place. The date, October 21, 2000. When Bill lays Amanda’s saddle over both horses, their marks line up with the saddle.

Now Amanda, the saddle, and bosom pal Holly are the only hope, as she continues to Saddle the Wind where two horses used to roam the moors.

The Roger’s lavish lifestyle bankrupts them. Amanda and Bill return to the Castle and the Rock. Buried are the official deeds to Elliott’s estate. Finally, Elliott’s return to their estate. Then Amanda’s best Pal Holly finds the other storm saddle in an old crumbling hayloft. It has a scorch mark. Both girls stare at it wondering. It also flies.

Enter this rugged place, where myths, legends, and folklore abound, with care.  For across the mists, there may come, the faint echoes of the hoof beats of a phantom horse and rider, fighting to right an ancient wrong.

The movie starts with a breathtaking action scene the night the storm struck this isolated church on an ancient Dartmoor road.

Here are some pic that I thought interesting depicting the story in photographs. I took these at Cockingtonan ancient thatched roof village near Torquay in South Devon. How fortunate as we strolled around the village and into gift shop dangling from the rafters was a very old tatty saddle.

No one knows how long the saddle has been in this small, 1100-year-old granite walled thatched roofed house in Devon.

Its whereabouts has been a complete mystery after it was traded in a gambler’s debt.

362 years later it was given to Amanda.



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