Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Established in 1945, R & S Dent has been providing horses, stunt horses and carriages for major motion pictures over 66 years. Movies such as Kingdom of Heaven, Cold Mountain, King Arthur and Gladiator have used their horses just to name a few.

In July, The Telegraph interviewed Sam Dent of
R & S Dent about their family business; their current project at that time, War Horse, which stars SWATH dwarfs Johnny Harris and Eddie Marsan; and future projects including SWATH.

R & S Dent is "the largest suppliers of horses to the entertainment industry."  John Rocks began supplying horses to the film industry in 1945.  Later, the business branched and began doing stunt work i.e. training actors to ride etc... where 18-year old Sam (Samantha) Dent, the great grandaughter of the founder John Rocks, is behind training as well as coordinating the horses for filming needs. 

(Sam Dent)
 After War Horse was completed, Sam was already preparing for a 150-horse calvary scene for SWATH which would be similar to the 150-horse scene used in Robin Hood.

"Robin Hood was one of our biggest challenges,” says Sam. “That involved 150 horses charging along a beach.” That means 150 horses transported to Wales in 20 horse lorries, shod, groomed, tacked up in era-appropriate saddlery, including chain mail, and ready for filming at 5am. Not to mention stunt riders sourced from as far away as Estonia and Hungary.

“I don’t have much of a social life,” Sam jokes. It comes as something of a shock to discover she is just 18.

Read more here for more details about handling directors, how actors such as Ewan McGregor grow fond of the horses only to return to visit and ride, training the horses for explosions etc...

Read more about R & S Dent at there site here.   

Note: It is possible that fewer horses were utilized for this scene. Between 80 to 100 horses were said to be used (unconfirmed). 

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