Anyone who has seen Totilas in action knows that horses can dance, but it’s rare that an equine graces the hallowed boards of the Royal Opera House.

But next month the Royal Ballet will welcome Peregrine the Shetland to the production of La Fille Mal Gard ©e (The Wayward Daughter).

Peregrine’s owner George Gold says stage fright is not a problem . “He’s very laid back, coming from a long line of ponies that have appeared on stage,” said Mr Gold.

James Wilkie, first artist corps de ballet, said Peregrine was “usually very well behaved on stage”.

“He does lend a bit of unpredictability, though – one of the dancers always has to be on ‘shovel duty‘ in case there are any accidents!”

La Fille Mal Gard ©e runs from 20 April until 16 May, visit: www.roh.org.uk.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (29 March 2012)