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Irish premiere of short film The Equestrian

Story by Tom Kelly

Monday, 25th February, 2013 1:30pm

Irish premiere of short film The Equestrian

Carl Hester MBE and Layke Anderson

Following Ireland's win of its first ever Olympic medal for Dressage at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, the Irish premiere of short film 'The Equestrian' will take place on Saturday 2nd March.

Award winning UK based director Sybil H Mair, has been invited to premiere the film at Kilshane House, County Tipperary in the heart of Irish horse country. The film's premiere will be preceded by Ireland's first musical workshop for dressage enthusiasts. The workshop will help riders learn how to choose the perfect music to suit their horses and maximize their marks when competing.

A moving drama that tells the story of the complex and intriguing relationship between dressage horse and rider, 'The Equestrian' stars James Wilby (Maurice, Gosford Park) and features a cameo appearance by Olympic Gold medalist Carl Hester MBE. The team behind the film are twice Oscar nominated cinematographer, Tony Pierce-Roberts, twice BAFTA nominated editor, Jon Gregory and award winning director Sybil H Mair.

Described as a "must see" for all horse enthusiasts, BBC Sports's Lizzie Greenwood-Hughes said "it's a film you must see more than once, with every viewing it just gets better and better''. The Irish premiere of the film will also see the screening of a 'behind the scenes' featurette, which includes contributions from 2012 Olympians and two-time gold medal Paralympian Natasha Baker MBE.

Director Sybil H Mair caught the "dressage bug" three years ago. She was inspired to write and direct The Equestrian after watching her instructor training for a dressage competition.

"I believe that dressage is the ideal sport to portray the intimate relationship between horse and rider. I was originally going to adapt a short story about horse racing, but then I noticed something much more interesting and subtle was going on in the horse and rider dressage combination. I'm delighted to have been invited to screen the film in Ireland, especially when the Irish dressage and eventing teams placed so well at the London Olympic Games. I sincerely hope the film will inspire more Irish riders to get involved in this beautiful and unique sport and who knows what could happen at Rio 2016 and beyond!" said the director.