Andrew Nibley

What’s in a name? Sometimes, it’s the difference between a prince and a pauper. Sometimes, it’s the definition of courage. Sometimes, it’s both.

“His Name Is Midnight” is Producer/Director Kelly Colbert’s award-winning documentary that tracks a horse named Blackie’s journey from the Badlands of Montana to a state prison in Connecticut to the mountain woods of New Jersey.

 “There are those creatures on this planet, be they equine, canine or human, who have grit and tenacity,” says Kelly. “Blackie was a survivor and I wanted to make his spirit the centerpiece of this film.”

Kelly first found out about Blackie when a friend told her about a near-death horse that had been rescued by Connecticut animal control wardens and was being nursed back to health in a state prison, Kelly jumped in her car and drove 135 miles to see him.

It was love at first sight.

Blackie, a worn out, 25-year-old gelding, had problems breathing and walking. He was certainly in no shape to ever be ridden. In fact, when he was rescued, the animal control folks had to decide whether to put him down. It was a close call. Three other horses discovered on the same farm as Blackie were euthanized.

Despite his health issues, Kelly was smitten and lined up a trailer to bring the horse up to New Jersey from Connecticut so that he could live in a well-run, upscale stable near her home in the Ramapo Mountains.

She had resigned herself to feeding Blackie carrots and treats, and walking him around the grounds like a 1,200 -pound dog — anything to make the last years of his life the best they could be.

While all of this was going on, Kelly tried desperately to find Blackie’s papers, to get an idea of his past. Initially, they were nowhere to be found. But months later, she received an unexpected phone call that changed everything.

Blackie was not Blackie. He was a former Montana rodeo champion from a rare, royal Western breed, the Oswalds. His name was actually Midnight.

“His Name Is Midnight” is a heart-rending, 28-minute prince-to-pauper-to-prince-again story which was recently selected by Amazon to be part of its documentary collection. The movie is now available for streaming in the film section of It’s free to Amazon Prime customers and available for $1.99 to everyone else.

The documentary has been shown to acclaim at film festivals in Napa Valley, CA; Atlantic City, NJ; New Haven, CT; and Durango, CO. It was the people’s choice winner at the Prescott, AZ film festival.

Oh, by the way. Midnight, once a crippled mess barely able to stumble forward, is doing fine.

Kelly even rides him sometimes.


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