It’s all go for team EP

It’s officially the busiest week in the EP calendar – full speed ahead!!

 

The Grand National is now within reach, which means it’s all go at EP.  The team relocated to Aintree fresh from the Breeze Up sale in Doncaster, and are now setting up for the 2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival.  As well as the Grand National itself on Saturday, they’ll be filming a highlights feature for Ladies Day and another Goffs sale – all on behalf of ITV Racing.  The team also had the official release of an Olympic Channel film for speed boarding earlier this week, kicking things off nicely ahead of the weekend.


Start position.jpg

Olympic Channel: Kozakov Challenge

The EP JockeyCam team swapped horsepower for a different kind of need-for-speed at Kozakov Challenge - the preeminent downhill skateboarding event in the Czech Republic.  Downhill skateboarding is the fastest board sport in the world where competitors race down mountain roads at extreme speeds.  As part of the campaign to make downhill skateboarding an Olympic sport, EP used JockeyCam to capture the through-the-eyes adrenaline of the sport – from thrills and spills to behind the scenes.

A special thank you to Daniel Engel and Emily Pross who made the team feel so welcome.

Follow the link for interviews, short features and the full movie here.

 Visual Director Nathan Horrocks Emily Pross

Visual Director Nathan Horrocks Emily Pross


2018 Randox Health Grand National Festival: Ladies Day & The Grand National

The EP team will be shooting a highlights film for the glamorous side of Aintree festival on Ladies Day, which for the ladies of Liverpool is known as the Ascot of the north.  This is an opportunity for racegoers to dress up for the style stakes, whilst enjoying top class racing action on the iconic Aintree racecourse.  Organisers will be on the lookout for Aintree’s most impressive fashionista, who will be crowned Style Award winner at the end of the day.

Back again for racings biggest annual event, the EP team will be providing live stream JockeyCam footage during the Grand National for ITV Racing.  JockeyCam is a specially designed helmet camera, weighing just 74 grams. The state-of-the-art device will offer a first-hand perspective in the tactical decision-making process a jockey is faced with throughout the Grand National, allowing fans a foot-in-the-stirrup sensation over racings biggest fences.

The team will be using their latest technology, the IMTDragonfly by Vislink – an RF video transmitter recently seen at the Winter Olympics.  Weighing just 234 grams, this makes it ideal for the racing circuit.  The usual set-up also includes the tracking vehicle provided by ACS and the live feed by BRF. 

Aintree team photo.jpg

Goffs: Breeze Up Sale & The Aintree Sale

The Doncaster Breeze Up Sale is the place to find the next generation of racehorse stars, who in the short term will all be aiming towards Royal Ascot in June.  The 2-year-olds gallop a short distance and their performance is timed to assess their potential on track. 

EP regularly works with Goffs and on this occasion they were shooting a promotional review film and live stream footage for ITV Racing.  It was a pleasure for the team to work with renowned presenter Mike Cattermole from Channel 4.

Mike Interview.jpg

 The Aintree Sale is a boutique sale of horses after racing at Aintree's Randox Health Grand National Festival.  As with the Breeze Up Sale, the team will be shooting a promotional review film and providing live stream footage.

Well that’s a whistle stop tour of events this week – more updates next week when we’ll be looking back at the results of the Grand National.

 The remote set-up for the live stream ahead of the Aintree Sale

The remote set-up for the live stream ahead of the Aintree Sale

Charity single highlights mission behind Racing Welfare 

EP back cover band Uncovered for Racing Welfare charity single 

Lambourn-based cover band, Uncovered, recently released a charity single in aid of Racing Welfare. ‘Lean On Me’ – a magical cover of Bill Withers’ acclaimed song from the 70’s seemed to hit the right note with the message behind Racing Welfare – “Lean on me when you’re not strong, And I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on”. 

Equine Productions helped support the band by filming a music video and behind-the-scenes footage to accompany the single. The aim of the single and music video is to raise awareness of Racing Welfare who provide support to everyone working in the horse racing industry.

Uncovered have built up a solid reputation among crowds of all ages and are very popular in their local town of Lambourn. The band was founded by guitarist Shaun Johnson who has worked in racing for 20 years and manages transport for trainer Daniel Kubler. The 6-piece band also includes lead singer Gracie O’Reilly who is a work rider and travelling groom for Grand National winning trainer Oliver Sherwood.
 
“Hopefully we can not only raise some money for the charity but also, crucially, increase awareness of what they do and how they can help people who work in the racing industry when things are going wrong.”  Shaun Johnson

Shaun J Uncovered

Racing Welfare will receive all takings from the single which can be found across all major download and streaming sites.

Huge thank you to VMI Bristol who kindly provided all lighting equipment for the shoot and to the wonderful Sarah Farnsworth for all the brilliant photos.

Uncovered

Many Clouds remembered at Cheltenham Racecourse one year on

Award-winning documentary, Many Clouds, The People's Horse to be screened at Cheltenham Racecourse

Many Clouds, the 2015 Grand National winner who touched the hearts of so many, will be remembered at Cheltenham Racecourse this Saturday, 27 January as part of Festival Trials Day. The event marks the anniversary of his passing, after bravely defeating Thistlecrack in the Grade 2 Cotswold Chase.

Many Clouds, The People’s Horse, an award-winning film by Equine Productions, will be shown across all screens on the racecourse at 4.10pm. The film, which captures the journey of his acclaimed career, recently won Best International Director at the prestigious EQUUS Film Festival in New York.

Many Clouds was a huge part of the Equine Productions family. Not only did our Visual Director Nathan Horrocks ride him out each morning, he won the Grand National with Leighton Aspell wearing the JockeyCam on the weekend of its launch.

“We’re delighted that Cheltenham Racecourse and Jockey Club will be showing our award-winning film on Festival Trials Day. Many Clouds played a huge part in the Equine Productions journey and he holds a very special place in all of our hearts – he was a horse of a lifetime.” Nathan Norrocks

EP Visual Director Nathan Horrocks, will be taking part in a live Q&A, along with the star’s trainer Oliver Sherwood, in the Parade Ring at 12.05pm and 2.05pm. To submit your questions for the Q&A sessions please click here

“Many Clouds helped pave the way for Jockey Cam, acting as our initial test horse in training and debuting the camera at the Grand National in 2015 where he went on to win with Leighton Aspell – one of many very special moments associated with Many Clouds.” Nathan Horrocks

 

One snow globe, two ponies and a noseless snowman

Equine Productions join Emma Massingale to kick off the festive season with a series of Christmas wishes from Horseware

To share the magic of Christmas, Horseware is giving fans the chance to make their horsey wish come true with 25 days of #horsewarewishes. To kick off the festivities, EP realised the creative vision of Emma Massingale, whose Connemara ponies took on the new role of Christmas wish granters for Horseware. They made for a useful stepladder and showed off their talents as Christmas tree decorators, oh and they also make a mean noseless snowman.  

Take a look at the video here if you're yet to see the magic inside the snow globe:

We put Production Manager Rebecca Denman in the EP hot seat to give us the snowman's point-of-view inside the snow globe:

How was the idea of filming inside a snow globe formed?

The brilliantly bonkers idea was actually conjured up inside the totally amazing brain of Emma Massingale – I think she had always wanted to do it and what actually says Christmas better than four beautiful grey Connemaras inside a giant snow globe?! The great guys at Horseware loved the idea and felt it a brilliant festive follow up to the film we made with Emma's ponies in the Rambo factory a couple of years ago, which was a big hit!  

Emma Massingale’s ponies are the stars of the show, what are they like behind the scenes?

Exactly as they are on screen – beautiful, calm and very loved. They are all very chilled, lovely ponies and have an unbelievable rapport with Emma – it is amazing to watch and was a real privilege to be there and see her work with the ponies, their relationships are amazing. Emma’s place has a lovely relaxed feeling to it and she probably won’t mind me saying that animals definitely rule the roost and come first – Luigi the micro pig tried to get in my suitcase!

The reaction has been incredible, the film has gone down a storm, you must be delighted with its success?

Yes, over the moon! And with its release on the last day of November how better to kick of December and Christmas?! I think we knew we were on to something special – it was just up to us to capture these amazing animals in the unique setting and get the magic on screen. 

There was a lot at stake with two ponies, a snow globe and a ladder, what challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

That was all Emma, her brilliant ponies and all the hard work they had put into training inside the globe. From our point of view, we were obviously in a confined space and the cameras didn’t have much room so we had to be mindful of this whilst also ensuring we got what we needed without getting in the way of the ponies. We also had to keep an eye on the ever-changing sun and light and the shadows that were cast over the globe.

Sun, shadows and shooting quirks, all part of filming inside a snow globe:

image2.jpeg

What was your favourite moment?

Gosh too hard to pick! I love all the scenes inside the globe and I always smile at the moment the little boy wakes up on his “pony pillow”. I also love the wide shot from the outside of the globe – I think that showcases brilliantly just what we achieved. During the filming I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was all actually happening.

A highlight has to be the little helper putting his ladder up against one of the ponies to reach up to the top of the Christmas tree, how many takes did it take to achieve this?

The pony and the little boy were foot perfect, it was the tree itself that didn’t play ball! It insisted on leaning the wrong way at the key moment. To be honest we just kept rolling and let the scene play out – you are not really going to get too much bad content with a beautiful horse and gorgeous little boy inside a giant snow globe - we just kept recording!

And it was brilliant to see some of the superstar names of showjumping also feature in the film, how did those come about?

Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke and Cian O'Connor are all Horseware sponsored riders and Horseware had them filmed at their yards by a camera operator called Lucy Nuzum, who did a great job in bringing out their excitement and curiosity of their gifts!! It all worked really well and we were delighted with the end results. With more than a million views on Facebook and such lovely comments too, it's fabulous to see it going down so brilliantly!

Equine Productions win two awards at equine film festival in New York

Equine Productions celebrate success after winning two prestigious awards at leading equine film festival

EP @ EQUUS Speech.jpg

Equine Productions picked up two awards at the EQUUS Film Festival in New York.  Visual Director, Nathan Horrocks, was awarded Best International Director for “Many Clouds, The People’s Horse”, and “Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store”, won Best International Commercial.

A tribute to former Grand National winner, “Many Clouds, The People’s Horse” captures the journey of racing star, Many Clouds, during his acclaimed career - from the rise of his talent on the national hunt circuit, to his triumph at the 2015 Grand National.  The story of Many Clouds was closely followed by Equine Productions and the horse holds special memories for Visual Director Nathan Horrocks, the gelding’s former exercise rider and director of the film.

On winning Best International Director, Nathan said he was “completely overwhelmed”.  During the weekend, he received high praise from fellow award winning filmmakers from across the globe.  

“I entered the film into the festival to share the Many Clouds story with an American audience, to show how much he was loved, but I never expected to win.  This is my tribute to him to say thank you for what he has done for me, both personally and professionally, he literally changed my life."  Nathan Horrocks

The film was created using interviews and footage, originally commissioned by the Jockey Club in the lead up to the 2016 Grand National and the material was reused by kind permission of ITV Racing and Racing UK. 

This is the third year in a row Equine Productions has triumphed at EQUUS Film Festival.

“Thank you to the Equine Productions team who put up with my tears and emotion whilst piecing together the Many Clouds footage.  A special thank you to trainer of Many Clouds, Oliver Sherwood, and owner Trevor Hemmings, for bringing him into my life. The investment and hard work that goes into these top horses allows us to appreciate and love these incredible animals.”  Nathan Horrocks

Watch Many Clouds, The People’s Horse here.

Moving away from the racetrack, roaming free ponies and other animals were the stars of the show in the “Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store commercial.”  Here, Emma Massingale, utilised her unique training methods to create a “Night at the Museum” inspired commercial promoting the launch of a brand new Mole Valley Farmers store in Holsworthy.  Featuring ponies, a dog, a chicken and a duck in a shopping takeover, the commercial follows the animals around the store, secretly helping staff members behind the scenes, taking on tasks such as pushing trollies, moving feed sacks and posing as pretend horse mannequins.

“It’s absolutely brilliant to win another award in New York, working with Equine Productions is always great fun and we knew from the cast of horses, ponies, a duck, a chicken, a dog and two Shetlands, that it would be a challenging but entertaining shoot.   I love thinking of crazy ideas and then seeing the horses’ amazing ability to bring them to life.  You can teach horses and other animals pretty much anything but only when they make it their own does it look truly magical on screen!!”  Emma Massingale

“We at Mole Valley Farmers are delighted to be involved in such an exciting and creative production, and we’re thrilled that it has been recognised on a global stage.  The combination of Emma Massingale’s brilliant ability with animals, and Equine Productions’ film know-how, created something really special, and we couldn’t be happier with the reaction the film continues to receive.” Andy Skarzynski, Head of Marketing at Mole Valley Farmers

The popular commercial has just under one million views online, watch Mole Valley Farmers, Not Your Average Store below:

“Without Emma’s dedication and talent, this film would have been unachievable.  The reaction at EQUUS Film Festival was unbelievable and the commercial was incredibly well received.  The team at Mole Valley Farmers were brilliant at taking on such a brave creative and allowing us free rein – especially in their brand new store!!”  Dave James, Creative Director at Equine Productions 

“These awards are a great recognition for our team’s talent and dedication.  We’re proud of every film we produce and to have these accolades is really special for everybody.”  Sam Fleet, Managing Director at Equine Productions

The EQUUS Film Festival took place at the Helen Mills Theater in New York between 17 – 19 November 2017. 

The EP team return to British soil after a successful week at the Breeders’ Cup

JockeyCam Live receives an overwhelming response at the prestigious Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Del Mar

 The EP directors with Mike Jockey

The EP directors with Mike Jockey

Racing fans worldwide experienced a new level of spectating at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships through the online stream of live JockeyCam action.  JockeyCam – a specially designed helmet camera - is a state-of-the-art device, offering a first-hand perspective in the tactical decision-making process a jockey is faced with on race day, allowing fans a foot in the stirrup sensation. The shots were used on NBC Sports' coverage and streamed live on the Breeders’ Cup website and app.

The JockeyCam footage followed leading U.S jockey Mike Smith, who wore the 74g camera strap on his helmet in most of his Breeders’ Cup rides said: “I don't even realise I have it on".  Share the saddle with Smith on route to his win on Caledonia Road in the Juvenile Fillies here.

 Sam with Erin Myers from KTLA

Sam with Erin Myers from KTLA

With an out-of-sync body clock, JockeyCam excitement overload and a stash of American treats for the office, we caught up with EP Managing Director, Sam Fleet, who we’ve placed in the hot seat to face the EP quick-fire Q&A.

JockeyCam Live received unprecedented exposure during the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  It clearly went down a storm, you must be delighted with the response from audiences? 

There was a massive JockeyCam buzz throughout the event – from the public and the press.  We had great exposure as a result of some great interview spots set-up by the Breeders’ Cup team, including my first ever live news TV interview alongside Mike Smith with Erin Myers from KTLA, which was broadcast across LA and south California.  We had exciting coverage from Forbes and NBC, even my Uber driver on Saturday night had seen the JockeyCam action thanks to an interview Nathan did with the local San Diego NBC station.  Aston Martin sponsored the JockeyCam coverage, and they had a film crew on the Wednesday who followed us around, which was great fun – we enjoyed being the other side of the camera for once!!

How did the team set-up JockeyCam Live at Del Mar and what goes into the production behind JockeyCam Live during an event of this kind? 

We did a test trip in August for the Pacific Classic at Del Mar Racecourse, this proved useful in laying a foundation for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.  We set-up receive antennas around the racetrack, which picked up the jockey images and fibred them back to our RF (Radio Frequency) team at base, situated at the top of the grandstand.   Back in the UK we usually work with a tracking vehicle which the antennas are attached to, however the Racecourse at Del Mar has no road for tracking vehicles so this was a new challenge and we were very pleased with the results. 

We arrived in Del Mar on the Monday ahead of the weekend to give us plenty of time to set-up.  Due to our testing over the summer, we managed to have everything in position for pre-event testing on Wednesday - we felt very organised and ahead of the game!! 

On race day, visual director, Nathan and creative director Dave, based themselves in the jockey’s room to assist Mike Smith.  They worked closely with Mike’s valet, keeping everything running as smoothly as possible behind the scenes to ensure we did not disturb his routine.  I based myself in the production truck, monitoring the live pictures feed through.  This feed was split to NBC for use on TV and to the online stream available worldwide -  it was incredibly exciting to watch.

Screen Shot Del Mar.png

JockeyCam was designed especially for equestrian sports in mind.  What makes JockeyCam so unique and why is it different to other head cameras out there? 

Genuine POV from the perspective of the jockey, and incredibly light-weight.  The point-of-view lens is just above the eye-line, so it truly captures what the jockey is seeing to provide a heightened viewing experience for the audience. The camera weights just 74g so it’s hardly noticeable, a bit like wearing an extra pair of goggles.

Find out more about JockeyCam here.

What was your favourite moment during your week in Del Mar?

I have two favourite moments…

First, having everything up and running on Friday – it was a great thrill to see it in action in our first Breeders’ Cup race! 

Secondly, watching Mike Smith in real-time win the Juvenile Fillies on Caledonia Road is something I’ll never forget.  It was awesome to cheer them home in the truck, but the reaction from people at home who were watching the live stream was overwhelming. It was great to share these shots, as normally I have watched them just in the truck with one or two engineers, but to know they could be watched live from anywhere in the world was fantastic. I was receiving messages from friends and family back home, including my dad, who lives in a small town in Cornwall, who were watching the live-stream of Mike Smith’s win.  That was a very special moment. 

You must have big plans for JockeyCam Live, what next?

On one level we’re always looking to improve JockeyCam and what it can deliver – we are constantly looking for technical innovations, what more can the camera do while keeping it as light-weight as possible.  On a larger scale, the ambition is to have every rider wearing a live JockeyCam unit in a race, enabling viewers to ride with whoever they want to. It’d also be amazing to see JockeyCam featuring live on the big screen at racecourses.  We are confident we will achieve this one day and are aiming for JockeyCam to be a normal part of spectating, allowing audiences an insight to life on the back of a racehorse. 

Tell us more about Del Mar, what did you make of the town and racecourse? 

Del Mar is a beautiful town and the people there are so warm, friendly and helpful.  We are so grateful to the team at Del Mar racecourse for their support.  We were made to feel incredibly welcome at the racecourse, behind the scenes in the production TV compound, and down at the track for morning testing with Xavier Aizpuru, and that is something I’ll never forget. It’s a place I would love to take my family back to one day. 

I’d also like to say a special thank you to our team back in the UK, working away behind the scenes on all other aspects of the EP business – they did a great job at keeping the show on the road.  This really allowed us to focus on the task ahead at Del Mar, safe in the knowledge things were all good at home. This was so comforting, we really do have a great team.

Breeders’ Cup to mark U.S debut of JockeyCam live

Equine Productions JockeyCam Live to showcase leading U.S jockey’s perspective at prestigious international thoroughbred racing event in California

JockeyCam Live will feature at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Del Mar on 3rd and 4th November, offering racing fans a first-hand perspective in the decision-making process a jockey is faced with on race day. 

JockeyCam @ Breeders Cup.jpg

As part of the Breeders’ Cup newly enhanced digital platforms, aimed at providing audiences with a real-time insight to the event, Equine Productions were approached by the organisers of Breeders’ Cup and television network NBC to bring their specially designed JockeyCam to this prestigious international event in thoroughbred horseracing.  Leading U.S jockey, Mike Smith, who is riding some of this year’s top horses, will wear the helmet camera and transmitter for all of his races.  The live feed will be streamed on the Breeders’ Cup website and app, allowing for a seamless experience for fans on-site and at home, as well as playing a part in NBC’s live TV coverage.

Previously featured on Channel 4 and ITV, Equine Productions have designed JockeyCam specifically with equine sports in mind, weighing just 74g including the strap.  It delivers full HD pictures and live broadcast streaming via RF (radio frequency) technology:

“The press attention on JockeyCam has been immense since the team arrived on U.S soil.  We have TV interviews scheduled alongside setting-up all equipment before the weekend - there’s a real buzz!!  It's fantastic to be a part of this prestigious event and we are delighted to be working with the Breeders’ Cup and NBC - we now look forward to sharing this visual experience with its audiences.”  Sam Fleet, Managing Director at Equine Productions

Stay posted with the Breeders’ Cup action this weekend by downloading the app on ITunes Store or Google Play Store.  For regular updates from the EP team, like their Facebook page here.

About the Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 Grade I races with purses and awards totaling more than $28 million, will be held November 3-4 at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. The Breeders’ Cup culminates with the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, which was rated No. 1 in the world in the final 2016 Longines World’s Best Horse Race rankings. 

Equine Productions sponsor race at Newbury

Team EP prepare for a day at the races ahead of the highly anticipated Equine Productions Handicap at Newbury Racecourse

Newbury_racecourse_.jpg

Cameras and microphones will be replaced by smart attire and champagne tomorrow, Friday 27 October, when the EP team head to Newbury Racecourse for the Equine Productions Handicap as part of the October Afternoon Racing.  This EP sponsored the race is class number four at will start at 4pm.  Guest appearances include former Champion Jockey Jim Crowley, Jockey Coach Nick Bentley and World Hurdle winning trainer Warren Greatrex. 

There will be a few racing first-timers amongst the team, but with expert knowledge across the rest of the team, they will be in safe hands.  The team will be treated to one of the best views in the house from their hospitality box and with sun forecast, it’s set to be a beautiful day.  Time to prepare the outfits, pack the binoculars and read up on the racing tips.  Stay posted on our FB page for updates throughout the day.

Many Clouds, The People’s Horse receives double nomination at New York film festival

A heartfelt film by Equine Productions is up for two awards at the world’s leading equine film festival

“Many Clouds, The People’s Horse”, a short film by Equine Productions receives two nominations ahead of the EQUUS Film Festival in New York next month.  A tribute to former Grand National winner, Many Clouds, the film is selected for two categories - International Documentary and International Director.

A horse of a lifetime, Many Clouds touched the hearts of so many.  The film captures the journey of his acclaimed career - from the rise of his talent on the national hunt circuit, to his triumph at the 2015 Grand National which was documented on the Equine Productions’ JockeyCam, worn by Leighton Aspell. 

As stated in the opening scene, ‘This is his story’.  The story of Many Clouds was closely followed by Equine Productions and the horse holds special memories for Nathan Horrocks, the gelding’s former exercise rider and director of the film, who is delighted with the nominations at the EQUUS Film Festival:

"Many Clouds meant the world to me and thousands of others, I am so happy that an American audience will get to see how much he was loved but also the amazing athlete that he was. This is my tribute to him to say thank you for what he has done for me, both personally and professionally, he literally changed my life." Nathan Horrocks

The EQUUS Film Festival takes place at the Helen Mills Theater in New York on 17 – 18 November 2017. 

Watch the full documentary here:

 

 

Equine Productions attend international conference in France

Nathan Speaks at Assises de la filière équine

EP Visual Director, Nathan, was invited to the Assises de la filière équine – an international conference at the Congress Centre in Angers on new innovation within the equine sector.  The day was full of debates, round tables and interviews with experts and entrepreneurs from all areas who came together to share their ideas and knowledge of running a successful business in the equine industry.

Nath Angers 1.jpg

Nathan spoke about the success of EP, which was born out of a desire to serve the equine world with creative films and cinematic production, as seen with other extreme sports.  With a vision to portray the sport in a fresh light, engaging those familiar and unfamiliar with the equine world through the use of film, EP has helped place the equine world on a previously untapped creative platform.

During the speech, the audience were played the following short clip by EP - they were completely blown away and Nathan received numerous compliments afterwards.

Thank you to Fabien Cailler for the invite and to the organisers of Assises de la filière équine for making this event happen.