This dark psychological drama stars young British actor, Layke Anderson, who plays talented dressage rider, Freddie Forester and James Wilby, who stars as his father. Our very own Olympic gold-medallist Carl Hester also makes a cameo appearance. Says Carl: “After the success at London 2012, I think it’s fantastic that a film has been made about our sport. It deserves the recognition.”
The Equestrian tells the story of Freddie and his black stallion, Gaius, who look set to take the dressage world by storm. However, when pride and vanity get in the way, things take a turn for the worse, and what was once a close partnership based on trust looks irreparable. The film follows horse and rider’s emotional journey together as they work hard to get back on track. The team behind The Equestrian includes twice Oscar-nominated cinematographer, Tony Pierce Roberts and twice BAFTA-nominated editor Jon Gregory, as well as dressage composer Tom Hunt, who has worked with top riders such as Michael Eilberg, Charlotte Dujardin and Carl Hester. Award-winning director Sybil Mair came up with the idea for the film after watching her instructor training for a dressage competition.
Believing that dressage is the ideal sport to portray the intimate relationship between horse and rider, she says: “I was going to adapt a short story about horse racing, but then I noticed something much more interesting and subtle was going on in a horse and rider dressage combination.”
Equine star of the show is Gaius, who is played by Sandro’s Dancer, a stunning 16.2hh Swedish Warmblood. Owned by Rachel Struel and trained and competed by Stephanie Eardley, Sandro’s Dancer stands at Home Farm Stud, Hartpury in Gloucestershire, where most of the film was shot. A son of the famous stallion Sandro Hit, he has competed and placed in international young horse championships, regional and national championships, at advanced medium level since starting his dressage career in 2010.
The Equestrian will premiere on Horse & Country TV on Wednesday November 14th at 9pm, and for all keen equestrians, it’s one show not to be missed.
For more information on times of all Horse & Country TV programmes visit www.horseandcountry.tv Horse & Country TV – Sky Channel 280.