Saturday, February 18, 2012

Shane Simpson, Equestrian

Residing in England, Shane began his equestrian career as a jockey.  Employed by Oak Ridge Quarter Horses, England, Shane is also a movie stunt rider, jouster, horse trainer, and much more.  I caught up with Shane between events… 

What is Stampede Stunt Company and what do you do there?
Stampede Stunt Company is owned by some very close friends of mine. They do live shows at country fairs, castles and at big events like Your Horse Live. They provide one of the best jousting shows in the country with some trick riding for more entertainment; they also teach horseback archery, jousting and sword fighting among other things at their base in Wales. When I started my career with horses, I was a horse racing jockey! After I left racing to expand my knowledge, I learnt how to trick ride, joust, fall, sword fight, double for actors in films, fix problem horses, help with rider confidence and train western horses. Anything to do with horses i'll try my hand at!

So, you are a 'jouster'...what is it like to joust?
Jousting is an incredible adrenaline rush especially full plate jousts with full contact! 

Did you participate in 'official' training? Where?
The only official training I have had was a 9 week course at the British Racing School, other than that, everything I know comes from what I have learnt from all the different areas of horsemanship that I have been able to experience through watching, doing or studying.

Do you have a rigorous training schedule?
I try to go to the gym as often as I can but have been slacking recently due to moving to a new area, but I’ll be back into the routine of going five days a week soon enough.

Do you travel a lot? Where to?
I have traveled a lot, just not recently due to having my daughter, Maicie. I have been to Australia, New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Dubai and Japan!

Did you grow up with horses?
No, actually I am the only person in my family interested in horses and I started riding when I was 13 years of age.

What breed of horse(s) do you keep/ride?
I work with Lipizzaner, Andalusian, Friesian, Thoroughbred, Dutch Warmblood, Welsh cobs, Painted horse, Quarter horse, Arab, Polish Arab, Hanoverian and my favorite Lusitano! Lusitano is by far my favorite breed, the stallions look amazing and in general they are really eager to please!

In what films have you stunt-doubled?
I have ridden as an extra in Clash of the Titans 2 (the second in the series, which will be out later this year and I rode in a sea battle), Snow White and War Horse. I doubled for an actor called Colin Morgan who is on a TV show over here called Merlin, which is aired weekly on BBC1.

How do you fix problem horses? Are you a horse trainer as well?
Well that all depends on the problem, the horse and more often than not, the rider/owner. I suppose in a way I am a trainer, I have never really thought about it like that I just enjoy every aspect of horses!

Who is your favorite equestrian/trainer?
My favorite equestrian trainers would have to be Monty Roberts and Jean François Pignon. I have had the pleasure of working with Monty Roberts on a few occasions and learnt so, so much!

What can I do to be a better equestrian?
Everyone can improve even the best learn something new everyday about their horses but if i had to say anything, be patient and don't try and rush things - horses learn things at their own pace just like humans.

What is your dream job?
If I had the money, my dream is to open a equestrian facility with my future wife, who is also an amazing horsewoman, to take in troubled children, teens and young adults to help them through their problems by teaching them natural horsemanship and helping them to rebuild their trust through horses. 

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1 comment:

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