So you want to be a stunt rider

  • Expert advice on finding out how to become an equine stuntman on the silver screen

    While many people dream of becoming a movie or TV star, a small minority of people literally put their lives on the line to achieve their ambition and become stuntmen.

    Stuntmen are a vital piece of the movie jigsaw and this physically demanding job can be one way horses and the movies can be brought together.

    However, before you can perform horse stunt work in films or on television, you will need to qualify and register as a stuntman.

    Not for the fainthearted, or for “have a go heroes”, the stunt business is difficult to get into and would-be stuntmen need to be clear headed and determined to achieve their ambition.

    All stuntmen must qualify in a total of six disciplines, including a martial art, fencing, high diving, skiing, scuba diving and gymnastics. But as there is insufficient work for specialisation in just one field, it is important to be able to perform a range of stunts.

    The three leading horse stunt specialists in the UK are Tony Smart (www.tonysmart.com), Gerard Naprous (www.devilshorsemen.com) and Steve Dent (see Equity).

    For further details on what is involved send a large SAE to Tim Gale, secretary of the Joint Industry Stunt Committee, c/o Equity, Guild House, Upper St Martins Lane, London WC2H 9EG (tel: 020 7670 0245).

    Don’t miss Horse & Hound’s special feature on becoming a jousting knight in this week’s magazine (3 October), or click here to subscribe and enjoy Horse & Hound delivered to your door every week.

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