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Cali & Wildfire: A Story of Love By William Neal


loved racehorse
Cali & Wildfire: A Story of Love By William Neal
Available at Amazon

REVIEW, Patrick Battuello,

I first met Bill Neal at the 2019 National Animal Rights Conference in Washington, D.C. Bill was there to screen his documentary Long Gone Wild, which gave us both an update on the continuing captivity of the SeaWorld orcas (and the efforts to create a sanctuary where they’d be able to live out their days in peace), and an overview of marine-mammal-park cruelty across the globe. The film was outstanding, the talent of the filmmaker clear.

During the week of the conference, Bill and I talked at length about a horseracing doc, and shortly thereafter we began working on a treatment. Four years later, our efforts are finally coming to fruition. I will have more on this in the weeks to come, but suffice to say this is a major work produced by a major company. Hopefully, our Blackfish.

Over the years, Bill and I have also become friends. He is a compassionate and thoughtful soul, as evidenced by his most recent project, the children’s book Cali & Wildfire: A Story of Love. I was honored to be asked for a quote for the book’s back cover:

Cali & Wildfire is a brilliant addition to the children’s-lit genre. Set against the backdrop of the cruel horseracing industry, Bill Neal has masterfully weaved a story that both affirms children’s innate feelings of kindness and compassion, and, more important, shows them how those feelings can be applied – how they, even at a young age, can help make the world a better place.”


William Neal is the author of six books, the writer-producer-director of the feature documentary "Long Gone Wild," about the ongoing plight of captive orcas; and an Executive Producer on the feature documentary "Dying To Race," about the many ills of thoroughbred horse racing—a film funded and distributed by Warner Bros. Neal is a former college and professional hockey coach, ESPN color analyst, and television writer-producer with credits on some 400 hours of primetime programming. He has won numerous awards for his work. An avid skier and hiker, he holds a PhD degree and lives in Park City, UT with his two rescue cats, Mia and Jake.

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