There’s a new horse movie in town, and it’s set to shoot in Atlanta. The Sunday Horse will center around the story of Debi Connor, who turned a rough start into a champion show jumping career.
A casting call was put out this week for equestrian extras in the Atlanta area who have horse experience and their own English gear. Men and women of all ages are encouraged to apply.
According to deadline.com the film is “based on the true story of Debi Connor, an equestrian rider from the wrong side of the tracks who overcomes the odds, and a near-fatal accident, to win the U.S. championship on a horse saved from slaughter.” Nikki Reed, who played the vampire Rosalie in the Twilight franchise, is cast as the lead — the natural brunette is going blonde for the role, apparently. The director is Vic Armstrong, who won an Oscar for Technical Achievement in 2001 and has directed action sequences for several blockbusters including Terminator 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man.
Here’s the deal: I’m just hoping this movie portrays riding accurately. More often than not, I feel like horseback riding and competition is portrayed without enough attention to detail. Listen up, movie directors: the main audience you are appealing to here is the equine world. We will make remarks if your actors and actresses are holding the reins upside down, or if you stick a Western saddle on a jumping horse. Thankfully, Vic began his career as a stunt rider (he even doubled for Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones), so that seems like a promising sign.
It’s the little details that make a horse movie so wonderful for me to enjoy. I want to feel like I am watching an actual competition, not a watered down Hollywood version that refuses to look at simple accuracy.
So, all the more reason for Horse Nation to descend upon the set of this new movie and show Hollywood what horses are all about. Plus, getting the opportunity to work with those impeccably trained movie horses? I would jump at the chance to be able to see behind the scenes of something like that.
Who exactly was Debi Connor, you may ask? I did a little digging. Here’s a video of Debi Competing at HITS in 2009 aboard Hiberia Rouge:
And again in 2012:
Debi now runs an equine sales business, Debi Connor Sales, focusing on importing show jump horses from Europe for consignment in the U.S. Debbie operates out of Kabana Ranch in Reddick, Florida.
Do you have a favorite horse movie? Who am I kidding — of course you do! My personal favorite is The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit and I have to say that this one is one of the more accurate that I’ve seen. What is your favorite horse movie, and what are your big Hollywood pet peeves?
Keep up with all the latest updates on The Sunday Horse’s production via its Facebook page here.