The mares and stallions are safe and re-united by the end, and all is well. This was, after all a 1960's Disney movie. For being set in a war, there was little destruction shown, even during the one battle sequence. There are evil Nazis, of course, but they are walk-on, walk-off characters. This film was enjoyable, but not exactly exciting. I kept expecting some big built-up Hollywood style dramatic climax, but that didn't happen, because the film was trying to accurately tell the story. The highlight of this film, instead, is the last ten minutes where we were treated to the spectacle of the refurbished post-war School in full gala, with the horses performing to a cheering crowd. The performance was a sight to behold, and demonstrates why the Colonel was right in risking so much to save the horses and the School. Among the spectators were several people who helped with the evacuation, claiming to their grandchildren that they 'saved the horses'.
The Spanish Riding School was of no military value, it held no strategic location, and I suspect the Colonel did not get rich as the director of the School. What he did, though, was to save a cultural institution of his country, a thing of beauty, something that no amount of money or modern technology could replace. I wish that more people were interested in saving old beautiful things.
A Lipizzaner stallion: (image courtesy of Conversano Isabella through Wikipedia)