NOW ON STAGE! 1912: At the village auction, Albert’s father, Ted Narracott (a poor farmer who has had one too many beers that morning), decides to take on his brother and long-standing enemy, local bully Arthur Narracott. They set to bidding over a young hunter colt. After having driven the price up to astronomical proportions, Arthur gives up the bidding and lets Ted buy the horse.
Over the next two years Albert and Joey, as the horse is named, grow to love and to develop a profound understanding of each other.
1914: War with Germany is declared. The local yeomanry set about recruiting and Ted, unknown to Albert, decides to sell Joey to the army. Major, a local soldier, promises Albert that he will look after Joey when he goes to war: he gives him his solemn word that the horse will be safe. Albert reluctantly lets him go.
Major Nicholls is as good as his word, proving a loyal keeper and friend of Joey’s. He introduces him to Topthorn, a thoroughbred and the finest horse in the yeomanry. The two horses come to find peace and security together, for a while. After Major Nicholls is killed in action the horses are captured by the Germans. Meanwhile, back in Devon, the news of Major Nicholls’ death has reached Albert. Convinced that Joey will no longer be safe outside of his custody, Albert escapes from the farm and runs away to join the army and bring his beloved horse home safely.