Why did they change the horse that played Shadowfax in the last scene of TTT?

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Postby MariaHobbit » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:45 am

<BR>Did anyone else notice that the horse that Gandalf was sitting on after the battle of Helm's Deep was a different horse than they had shown on all the other close-ups?<BR><BR>I read an article about the<a target=new href="http://www.horsecity.com/stories/010903/gen_lordofrings_HB.shtml">horses that were used on the film</a> . And it says "<i>Another Spanish horse, the 16 year old Andalusian stallion Domero was the primary horse to play the famous Shadowfax, though for the galloping scenes he was replaced by a more Thoroughbred-y sort called Blanco. Domero was trained to work "at liberty" responding to off camera cues from Reynolds in order to produce his performance as an otherworldly steed of great character and intelligence.</i><BR><BR>So, why did they goof and use the wrong horse for that last shot? For me that's as jarring as noticing Gimli's double.<BR><BR><BR><BR>
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Postby Eliythan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:56 am

I think in some other Two Towers/Horse related article they explain it. Try theonering.net. I am not sure the details, but I believe that the main horse to play Shadowfax was either injured or got sick and was taken out of the movie industry. It's still alive, I'm reasonable sure. But that last scene reeks of 'pick up shoot' and if that's true than the original horse to play Shadowfax would not have been able to be used, as it is out to stud or something.
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Postby Eli_Cash » Thu Jan 16, 2003 10:58 am

Unfortunately domero broke his leg in one of the tire ruts that many people have seen in the shadowfax intro. He was shot on site. Most of his scenes had already been completed before this sad turn of events, but a few had to be filmed with his stand in. Domero will be greatly missed. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-crying.gif"border=0>
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Postby Eliythan » Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:00 am

Arrgg...double post.<BR><BR>And Eli_Cash I don't remember hearing that he was shot, from what I heard only 1 horse died on set and it was of a heart condition. And yes, I am serious!
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Postby MariaHobbit » Thu Jan 16, 2003 12:30 pm

<BR>Dead? <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-crying.gif"border=0> Surely that would have been mentioned somewhere. I can't find anything on the internet about it. All I can find that mentions Domero besides the one I linked to earlier is a bit by Ian McKellen in The Grey Books.<BR><BR>Where did you hear this, Eli?<BR><BR>Eliythan, that article I mentioned says this: <i>" New Zealand press were abuzz during production because of reports that some horses experienced cruelty at the hands of filmmakers. True, three horses did die of natural causes during filming (one of colic), but visitors to the set reported that the horses appeared very well taken care of."</i><BR><BR>So, three horses died of natural causes, but getting shot because of a broken leg can't be considered natural causes!<BR><BR>
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Postby Eli_Cash » Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:50 pm

I didn't hear it. I made it up. Sorry, i'm a jerk.
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Postby MariaHobbit » Fri Jan 17, 2003 1:31 pm

<BR>Well, that was.... unkind.<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>*<BR>I'm still curious. Does anyone know for sure if that is a different horse in that last scene? The eyes and muzzle are much darker- but I suppose that could be orc blood. <img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif"border=0><BR><BR>
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Postby Eli_Cash » Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:26 pm

Sorry. I thought it was funny, but I guess its not to everybody.
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Postby Eli_Cash » Fri Jan 17, 2003 3:27 pm

Sorry. I thought it was funny, but I guess its not to everybody.
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Postby bessthebard » Fri Jan 17, 2003 8:08 pm

Here is an interesting article on the treatment of the horses of LOTR by the American Humane Association. They actually gave the movie a "Questionable" rating for its treatment of the horses used.<BR><BR><a target=new href="http://www.ahafilm.info/movies/moviereviews.phtml?fid=7471">http://www.ahafilm.info/movies/moviereviews.phtml?fid=7471</a><BR><BR><BR>Here is the pertinent part about the horse Demero.<BR><BR><BR><BR><i>Horse with Melanomas – Demero, the light grey Andalusian horse that plays Shadowfax, was purchased with a known diagnosis of melanoma. This is not uncommon in pale gray and white horses. The horse’s condition worsened toward the end of the shooting schedule. While the Production veterinarian was determining the appropriate treatment, a veterinarian from the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) examined the horse. MAF issued an “Instruction to Mitigate Suffering” and stated a recommended course of treatment. The Production veterinarian followed the recommendation. In May 2002, AHA arranged for an independent veterinarian to examine Demero. At that time, Production indicated that they had no intention of working Demero in the future due to the melanomas. The findings by the independent veterinarian were “generally consistent with the history and previous management of the case...The lack of pain or signs of irritation and general condition of Demero indicate that there is no welfare issue at present. Regular monitoring that Production has instituted is appropriate and should continue.” </i><BR><BR>Upon completion of filming, the production company arranged for Demero to be retired where he will continue to receive the prescribed, on-going care. The horse will not be used in any additional filming for the completion of subsequent sequels. <BR><BR><BR><BR>Interesting article as I would have thought that the New Zealand Humane Society standards would be even higher than the American Humane Association's. I had also been under the impression that a lot of the horses were owned by private individuals and "hired" for the movie. I remember seeing notices for people to bring their horses to audition for the movie. I didn't know the production company actually bought a lot of horses and then sold them or otherwise disposed of them afterward. Kind of tarnishes my romantic vision of the movie production a little bit.
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Postby Telemachos » Fri Jan 17, 2003 9:50 pm

There are any number of reasons the same horse wasn't used. Perhaps that shot was a pickup gotten in 2002 and the horse wasn't available. Perhaps the primary horse was used during shots where Ian McKellan wasn't riding (for any number of reasons, some of them being safety issues) and he rode a safe quiet old horse. I suspect it was largely a practical production issue.<BR><BR>note: the humane societies can occasionally be fooled by good prosthetics -- I remember hearing that Mel Gibson had his work cut out convincing them that no horses were harmed during BRAVEHEART.
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Postby Phryne » Fri Jan 17, 2003 9:58 pm

There was a comment in one of the books about the production Vet taking one look at the made-up horses being led out of the trailer one morning, and shouting "What the hell happened?" The make up guy was pretty chuffed about that.<BR><BR>Edit: meant to add - I haven't noticed the different horse myself, but they should have been able to make the horses indistinguishable by colour, at least. If they didn't, it may be a case of running out of time on a late shot?
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Postby MariaHobbit » Sat Jan 18, 2003 7:04 am

<BR>Thanks for the article, Bess.<img src="http://www.tolkienonline.com/mb/i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif"border=0> That was very interesting. I think the AHA was being a bit picky. Electric shock collars are used on lots of animals for training purposes. I know several bird dog owners that train their dogs with them. The dogs love their owners. You can tell by how they react to them.<BR><BR>I do wonder how melanoma in a horse is expressed. Maybe that's what turned his muzzle and eyes darker.<BR><BR>I was also glad to read that the hill they charged down wasn't really that steep. That always bothers me, when I see it.<BR><BR>
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Postby evenstar1 » Sat Jan 18, 2003 10:38 pm

very interesting article. thanks.
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Postby MariaHobbit » Mon Jan 20, 2003 10:15 am

Found some info on equine melanoma:<BR><BR>*****************************************<BR>Did You Know?-Melanoma<BR><BR> *Attention all owners of gray or white horses*: melanoma, a small tumor, is most frequently found in horses of those colors. It is guessed that by the time a white or gray horse is 15 years old, he will have had at least one Melanoma tumor. Yet sometimes they are small and not very identifiable. Other times, there are several of these hard, small tumors around the anus and tail base. Some cases are easily cured, while others become a constant problem. Either way, be sure to contact your veterinarian if any suspicous lump forms in this area on your horse.<BR> Other areas that are sometimes affected by melanoma tumors are the parotid gland, which is located below the ear behind the jaw, the udder, sheath, and sometimes on the legs. Yet cases of other areas being affected have been examed.<BR><BR> Symptoms: Another sign of Melanoma besides the above described, is continuous lameness in the hind legs, especially in a gray or white horse. Have your veterinarian check for Melanoma.<BR><BR>***********************************************<BR>So, I guess melanoma wouldn't make Demero's eyes and muzzle darker. Must have been a different horse. <BR><BR>
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Postby donadeel » Thu Sep 10, 2009 2:51 am

You see, when Gandalf was younger, he used to play hockey against all the other wizards. And he always wore his pointy hat. When he scored three goals in a game, they called it a pointy hat trick.

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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:10 am

Never noticed.

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Postby Gandalf'sMother » Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:13 am

Telemachos wrote:There are any number of reasons the same horse wasn't used. Perhaps that shot was a pickup gotten in 2002 and the horse wasn't available. Perhaps the primary horse was used during shots where Ian McKellan wasn't riding (for any number of reasons, some of them being safety issues) and he rode a safe quiet old horse. I suspect it was largely a practical production issue.<BR><BR>note: the humane societies can occasionally be fooled by good prosthetics -- I remember hearing that Mel Gibson had his work cut out convincing them that no horses were harmed during BRAVEHEART.


Yeesh. I hope there's not too much of such fooling going on.

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Postby portia » Sat Dec 19, 2009 10:23 pm

Some people are very sharp eyed. But then, I am not a horse person and would be unlikely to notoce a horse substitution, unless they brought in a Bay mare.

Interesting material on the verterinarians and melanomas.
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Postby Silmarien119 » Fri Jun 25, 2010 5:30 am

It could have been Domero's double, who was called Blanco. Or, it could just be the digital grading that caused the horse's muzzle to appear darker, or the lighting.

It seems that many of the major horses (the ones playing Shadowfax, Asfaloth, Brego, etc.) were bought by the crew/cast after shooting was complete, from the information given on the ROTK:EE documentary. So they weren't really just tossed aside, or treated badly.
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Postby heliona » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:23 pm

I recall hearing that some of that some of the stunt doubles who rode the horses bought them after filming was over.

Arwen's stunt double (I think she was called Jane) bought the horse that played Asfaloth, I definitely recall that.
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Postby Silmarien119 » Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:53 pm

Actually, Jane couldn't afford the horse that played Asfaloth, but Viggo bought him for her. I thought that was really sweet.

(All this stuff is in the ROTK:EE Appendix 5, "Home of the Horse-Lords" documentary...yeah, I have no life 8) )
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Postby Sassyfriend » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:26 pm

Thought it was really sweet too.
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