Darkly Dreaming Dexter took his starring role in a period drama spoof advert for the Sky Sports news team.
Fifteen-stone ex-Harlequins rugby player Mike Wedderburn rides 15hh “Dex” up to the entrance of a grand country house in the opening scene of the ad.
“I had five minutes to teach Mike to ride and look like he might fall off without actually falling!” explained Dex’s owner, Sarah Edmunds. “Thankfully, he was excellent and picked it up very quickly.
“Sky Sports had approached my friend as they wanted to use her 14.2hh Welshie, but Mike was too heavy,” said Sarah. “We knew Dex was up to the weight because my husband hunts him.”
Sarah said the filming at Fawley Court, Henley on 18 January passed in a blur of takes.
“I was so proud of the way he behaved — he kept to all his marks and even managed to shoot multiple takes with the footman, Jim White, without standing on his foot once,” Sarah added.
Sky Sports producer Dan Smith said: “Dexter was an utter professional, and, despite his extensive ‘rider’ demands — own trailer, hay and two staff! — we wouldn’t hesitate working with him again.”
To watch the advert, visit www.horseandhound.co.uk/dexter
This article was first published in Horse & Hound (4 February, ’10)