We spoke to Atkinson Action Horses, ahead of this Easter weekend’s stunt show and joust at the Royal Armouries, Leeds, to find out how they prepare for such events.
Atkinson Action Horses are a stunt team based in Eastrington, Yorkshire. They have spent the past 15 years training and providing horses and riders to TV, films and live events around Europe.
Founder Mark Atkinson tells us more;
“This all came about when I decided to change career from a life of dairy farming, to train my horses and provide them for re-enactment societies.
“Since then we have developed a core team of stunt/trick riders, combat performers, actors and writers to create our story-driven, high energy, action-packed stunt shows.
“For us, all our shows start with the story – without the story, the whole production will fall on its knees. This helps us to create a flow and distribute the action where it will have the best impact. Once we have story and action, it’s down to the music and effects, which are also carefully, placed to best compliment the show.
“The main thing we have learned over the years, is that preparation is paramount, making sure the horses, riders and ground crew are all working as one to make a production run smoothly. Wherever possible, the team will meet to train together. This can be anything from sword and ground combat skills to working on bigger and better stunts!
“Ben and I have spent years training our horses to be the best, going out morning, noon and night in all weather conditions working in a variety of styles and situations (smoke, lights, guns, weapons). This helps to find the best action for each horse and keeps them ready for whatever each show could throw at them.
“We are ready and raring to go for this year’s show season!”
Follow Atkinson Action Horses at:
Twitter – @TheActionHorses
Atkinson Action Horses will be at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds on Good Friday (29 March) with an action-packed stunt show and will also appear in the Jousting Tournament from Saturday 30 March to Easter Monday 1 April. For more information and to book tickets visit our website.