The Southland Times
August 17, 1999

Talent Agencies Seek Horses for Movie Roles

LIGHTS... camera... action... whinny.

The hunt is on for equine extras as the Southern Lakes area and Central Otago and Fiordland hot up as movie sets.

Auckland-based talent agency Model Pool is advertising for horses and riders to fill roles in movie productions planned for the South Island.

Wellington-based agency Three Foot Six is also after horses and riders for major Hollywood production Lord of the Rings .

Lord of the Rings publicist Sian Clement said they were after up to 250 horse and rider combinations to work on locations around Gore, Queenstown, Alexandra, Dunedin and Christchurch.

It was unlikely work would be available until late next year but likely combinations should register an interest with Three Foot Six as soon as possible, she said.

Auditions for Lord of the Rings prospects would be held in Southland later this year, Miss Clement said.

A Model Pool spokesman said it hoped to find a pool of about 2000 horse and rider combinations for "quite a few different projects."

Model Pool would forward likely candidates to the respective production companies which would do their auditions and make final selections, he said.

"They have the final say on what people are used depending on what scenes are being shot and what is required."

Model Pool has been advertising throughout the South Island with a keen response to date. A trifle too keen, perhaps.

"Everyone is a horse rider. I am a horse rider. I got on a horse once; that is the last time I will ever get on one," he said.

Needless to say, the calibre of rider the agency wants is somewhat more experienced.

The financial rewards of horsing around on screen varied from production to production, he warned, ranging from nothing to about $150 a day.