Pulling chariots of fire–or a girl on fire–was all in a day’s work for the Friesians of Catching Fire, which opens in theaters this week.
Top: The Paagman family, via the Columbia Valley Pioneer
The majestic black horses who carry the movie’s stars around the Parade of Tributes scene in blinged-out chariots belong to Paagman family of the House of Friesians–not a bad place to call home if you’re a Friesian, or any other equine for that matter. The farm is nestled in the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia, Canada and run by Gerard and Caio Paagman, natives of the Netherlands.
Two years ago, Gerard got a phone call from a production company that set his children squealing. “When the phone rang, we asked the kids what the Hunger Games are? They started jumping and screaming,” he told the Columbia Valley Pioneer.
Last September, they packed up the Friesian-mobile and headed to the Atlanta Speedway, where the scene would be filmed. The Paagman kids, Jambo-Ree, 8, Ster, 12, and Balance (great name for a horse-family kid), 14, got to be extras in the film.
The Paagmans have developed their own training system for their horses. “Our program is based on mutual respect,” Gerard told the paper. “We deal with our horses as if they were small children. We never punish with pain or suffering because our horses are our partners, not pieces of equipment.” Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the way the Hunger Games grownups treat their children, sending their offspring out to battle to the death.
You can visit the House of Friesians and learn to drive during the Paagman’s CanDrive Camps. They most likely will not set your dress on fire.
Check out the Paagmans and their horses as they bust, full-speed, around a hilly maze during a combined driving competition and gallop Greco-Roman style with chariots:
Two other equine-related Hunger Games items we can’t resist bringing you:
Would your horse take a sugar from this dude?
And, a My Little Ponies version of the Hunger Games trailer:
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