Charlotte Dujardin to appear in children’s TV show

  • Charlotte Dujardin is appearing in a new children’s show about a teenager whose life is transformed by a horse.

    The dressage rider appears as herself in the last episode of Free Rein, a series launched on Netflix on Thursday (22 June).

    Admitting she was “very nervous” about taking part, Charlotte said the series “was a lot of fun to do”.

    “I’m so grateful for these experiences so thank you to Lime Pictures, Netflix and the cast and crew for making me feel so welcome,” she added.

    Filmed on Anglesey and in Cheshire, the series follows the life of 15-year-old Zoe, who comes from Los Angeles with her sister and mother to spend the summer with her British granddad.

    Zoe, played by Jaylen Barran, finds new friends and learns to ride. She strikes up a unique friendship with a very difficult horse called Raven, a stallion owned by the yard queen, Mia.

    Her relationship with the very tricky stallion gives her the strength to deal with some of her own personal problems.

    As the series unfolds the horse encounters further difficulties but Zoe comes to his rescue.

    All the horses in the stables, including Raven, were supplied by Steve Dent, who runs a family business in Hertfordshire started by his grandfather in 1945.

    Dent’s credits include Gladiator, War Horse and Ben Hur and he is starting work on a film about the Battle of Waterloo.

    The hardest part of the filming, he said, was not Raven’s transition from wild to tame, but teaching another horse called Bob new tricks including how to ransack the tack room.

    “We’ve had to teach him so much stuff, he’s actually turned out all right now,” admitted Mr Dent.

    Bob is co-writer Vicki Lutus’ favourite horse in the show.

    A local rescue horse found abandoned in a field alongside dead horses, Bob — whose real name is Benji — has become a film star.

    “Benji is perfect, he’s black and white with very hairy hoofs,” said Vicki, who wrote the script with her best friend Anna McCleery.

    “He’s come into his own on set. The Dents have done wonders with him. Now he can perform simple dressage stuff, can do tricks and untie himself. He’s the biggest diva on set, without a doubt,” she said.

    Bob is judged at a dressage competition by none other than Charlotte. Viewers have to wait till the last episode to see how he does.

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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