Docstoc

HOLLYWOOD A LISTER MOVES TO MILLBROOK to promote a horse

Document Sample
HOLLYWOOD  A LISTER  MOVES TO MILLBROOK to promote a horse Powered By Docstoc
					HOLLYWOOD ‘ A LISTER ‘ MOVES TO MILLBROOK to promote a horse rescue, rehabilitation
and rescue foundation

RJ, better known as the famous paint stallion ‘HIDALGO’ , who co-starred with VIGGO MORTENSEN
in the hit movie of the same name, has taken up temporary summer residence at WINDROCK FARM in
Millbrook, New York (90 miles north of New York City). This highly trick-trained American Paint Horse
recently moved across the country from his California home to Windrock Farm, owned and operated by Cari
Swanson in Millbrook, New York.

Cari writes about how she met RJ and Rex Peterson and the events leading up to RJ moving to her farm in
Millbrook, NY, 3000 miles away from his home ranch north of Los Angeles.

For years my good friend, Margaret Hilliard, has been trying to introduce me to an expert horseman whom
she works with on films. When a film script calls for the use of horses, Margaret, as Unit Production
Manager, looks for the best horse trainers and wranglers in the business. Consequently, Rex Peterson has
worked with her on such productions as “Runaway Bride” and “The Princess Diaries 2” as the trainer for the
horse scenes of each film, working closely with the Director and the principal actors. Rex’s expertise allows
the cast to feel confident and comfortable with the animals, and with their own performance.”

Consequently, Rex and another of his famous trick horses Hightower worked with her on Runaway Bride
and Princess Diaries II as the trainer and advisor to the horse scenes of each film. Rex has also worked on
Black Stallion, Electric Horseman, Horse Whisperer, Hidalgo and Flicka, to name a few. He is currently
developing a reality TV series about the horse stunts behind the scenes.

Working with horses over the years has introduced me to many interesting and unique equines who became
the genesis of a book called Horses With Charisma. Naturally I wanted a celebrity horse to boost visibility
of this project, which led eventually to a meeting with Rex after I requested an interview with his star trick
horse, RJ, from “Hidalgo”. Although the book is on hold waiting for funding, the project has introduced me
to many new friends including Rex and RJ.

Initially, like most people I was unaware of how many horses were required to play “Hidalgo”. It was only
through research that I discovered that the film required five similar horses to play one lead character horse.
Each morning of shooting, the horses would all go into hair and make-up emerging as the character. The
main trick horse was RJ owned by his trainer. TJ, shared a special bond with his co-star Viggo Mortenson
who bought him and took him home at the completion of filming. Oscar, went home with the writer, Doc
and DC each shared the endurance and galloping sequences landing in loving homes.

RJ was discovered in Texas as a difficult 2 year old stud colt. After seeing hundreds of horses, Rex chose
RJ because of his attentive and intelligent nature. Initially the owner was reluctant to show him because he
was young and unmanageable, requiring two handlers on either side to control him. It is hard to believe now
when you see him obey every movement Rex makes. RJ became the charismatic star who plays in all of the
dynamic character scenes of “Hidalgo”.

Until recently RJ suffered from the common Hollywood curse of being type cast as “the Hidalgo horse”.
Many may think it ridiculous that a 7 year old Equine Celebrity in Hollywood is a wash up due to
typecasting. Not to worry as RJ is reinventing himself by finding a new career here at Windrock Farm. He
is recognized by horse lovers all over the world.

Rex recently drove RJ across the country to my farm for the summer to help raise awareness of my project,
the Horse Rescue Rehabilitaition and Retirement Foundation. Over the years of working with horses I
have discovered a need to help many horses find a job they are happy performing and matching them with
new owners. This foundation provides a home for unwanted horses primarily but not exclusively from the
horse show world or thoroughbred racing. These horses are often misunderstood or have soundness issues
making it difficult for them to find a home. (For more information on how to contribute to the Horse Rescue
Rehabilitation and Retirement Foundation contact www.cariswanson.com)


It was obvious from the moment I met RJ that he was a superstar, demanding everyones attention and
respect. His eye never left Rex as he obeyed each whip, voice and body command with lightening speed
and precision. Transferring that connection is challenging at times. Sometimes I am not quite sure when
RJ takes advantage of my cues and bolts away from me. We have had several sessions where I have had
to make it perfectly clear that I am the boss. Fortunately he continues to come back to me with a twinkle
in his eye and a smile on his face. I think we may have designed a new trick. This horse has a sense of
humor. At first when I cue him to shake his head yes, he paws with the right, then the left, shakes his head
no and finally sticks his tongue out and yawns. He is telling me that I do not have a clue. After persistence
and backing him down the entire arena to regain his attention, he finally offers me the trick. There are
several basic rules when working with trick horses. If I remember these rules all is well. Believe me, there
is nothing more intimidating than a stallion rearing up over your head pawing at the sky. Whenever he is
frustrated or confused he stands up. Rex will be out later in the summer to teach some clinics and tune up
his favorite trick horse. In the meantime, I check in with Rex daily to discuss the progress or lack thereof of
work for feedback and advice.

RJ’s new career is taking off as he was recently signed by a new talent agency in NYC called Uglies to
represent him in print and commercials.

For more information on upcoming clinics and dates of RJ’s personal appearances, contact www.
cariswanson.com

				
DOCUMENT INFO