In the latest edition of the ‘London International Horse Show Riding Academy’, members of Ebony Horse Club spent a day at the home of The Devil’s Horsemen – one of the Show’s exciting displays for 2022.
Now in its third year, the Riding Academy is an enterprise developed by the London International Horse Show with a long-term mission to inform young people of the range of career options open to them within the equestrian sector and provide them with practical experience to shape their talents.
Yesterday’s event was a particular highlight for the Riding Academy, when 10 teenagers from the Show’s 2022 charity, Ebony Horse Club, paid a once-in-a-lifetime visit to the yard of The Devil’s Horsemen – the world’s leading supplier of stunt horses and riders, equipment and carriages to the film industry – hosted by brother and sister team, Dan and Camilla Naprous.
The participants, aged 14 – 19, began the day with a tour of the yard, workshops and carriage stores, receiving an overview of the huge number of equestrian related roles available in the film industry as well as meeting some of the horses on the yard who have starred in productions such as Wonder Woman and Game of Thrones. This was followed by an electrifying trick-riding demonstration from The Devil’s Horsemen’s team led by Camilla Naprous as they practiced for their upcoming display at the London International Horse Show.
The participants then had the opportunity to learn basic stunts on both a barrel horse and a real horse, under the expert eyes of the Naprous siblings and their stunt-riding team. They mastered how to vault on correctly, familiarising themselves with the stunt saddles, and trying some basic moves performed at the halt. Afterwards, top-ranked British carriage driver Dan treated them to an introduction to Carriage Driving and a drive in his carriage as he prepared his team for the FEI Driving World Cup™ at the London International Horse Show this year.
Throughout the day participants had the opportunity to talk to Dan and Camilla and discuss pathways into careers in the equestrian and film sphere – whether as riders, grooms, stunt-riders, farriers, equipment and harness-makers or prop-makers, as well as finding out more about one of the FEI World Cup™ qualifiers to be held in their home city of London this December.
Horsemaster Camilla Naprous (pictured on the right below) said: “It’s been great to be involved in today’s event. We have shown the children some trick riding and carriage driving, as well as offering them a different insight into the equestrian industry. It is brilliant to have worked with the London International Horse Show Riding Academy to give the members of Ebony Horse Club the chance to see what we do here at The Devil’s Horsemen. The children have been so enthusiastic, and I hope that we have inspired them to think about a career in our industry.”
Theo, a member of Ebony Horse Club said: “I have loved being part of the London International Horse Show Riding Academy again this year. It has been amazing to spend time with Dan and Camilla at The Devil’s Horsemen’s yard and see all of their horses and equipment. My favourite part of the day was the trick riding, and I think that I now really want to try and get some more experience within this area of the equestrian industry. I am really excited to see The Devil’s Horsemen perform at the Show this Christmas!”
The Devil’s Horsemen will be showcasing their sensational tricks and stunts at ExCeL London in December as one of the acts performing at The London International Horse Show. The display, which will include 10 horses and nine stunt riders, will be fast-paced and include demonstrations of displays performed in the many Hollywood films they have been involved with.
Show Director, Simon Brooks-Ward said: “The London International Horse Show Riding Academy continues to be an important part of our community outreach programme. One of the Show’s objectives is to increase opportunities and access to the sport, and it is great to be able to work with The Ebony Horse Club, our official charity this year, along with The Devil’s Horsemen to continue to widen accessibility within the sector and showcase different opportunities outside of the traditional spheres of equestrianism.”