Otago Daily Times
November 17, 1999Riders Seek Place
in Middle Earth
Horses and riders of many shapes and sizes turned out to the
Taieri A and P showgrounds on Saturday, hoping to impress the talent spotters involved
with filming Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings.
About 120 mounts and their riders were put through their
paces and videotaped for possible selection as extras in the movie, which is to be filmed
Horse co-ordinator Steve Old said about 250 horses and riders
were being sought from around the South Island. Some of the scenes required more than 200
"In the book [on which the movie is based], there is a
tribe of people called the Riders of Rohan. They eat, sleep and live on their horses, so
we're looking for people to be able to do that," he said.
As well as looking for riding and horse obedience skills, he
was picking out potential leaders who could be put in charge of a group of horse riders.
Mr Old will be riding in the film.
The film-makers were seeking similar-looking horses, taller
than 15.2hh, and riders with Nordic looks, long hair and possibly beards. But most of the
riders on Saturday were female.
"We'll use make-up," he said.
Horses would not be exempt from make-up either, horse make-up
artist Mark Kinaston-Smith said.
That meant a bit of dye here and there to match horses for
different scenes, and it ruled out the use of multi-coloured horses and greys, he said.
Successful extras could end up being used for just a day, or
up to several weeks, depending on the filming location, weather and scene.
Several secret locations will be used for the feature film.