Man’s special bond with horses is celebrated in a huge-scale show heading to Fontwell Racecourse in its own travelling, nearly 2,000-seater arena.
The Spirit of the Horse brings the show Renaissance to West Sussex from Thursday to Sunday, August 16-19.
As spokesman Binky Beaumont says: “The Spirit of the Horse celebrates the unique bond between man and horse in a truly-magical experience. Man’s relationship with the horse at work and play is a central theme of the show and is explored through the poetry and prose, music and dance, humour and narrative. Spirit of the Horse brings excitement, glamour, passion and comedy that touches the soul. An international cast of riders, dancers and physical theatre artists from all over the world have created a world-class show that appeals to all generations, going beyond the narrow boundaries of specialist interest.”
It is all a massive undertaking: “It is the first time that the show has been back in the UK for ten years. We are quite limited in where we can do a show like this it is so huge. Also we have to book the acts three or four years in advance.
“The show travels in nearly 40 articulated lorries. It is the biggest touring show in Europe. We can only do so many weeks just because of the cost of doing the show. It is huge. There are about a hundred people on the show. The arena seats just under 2,000 people. Full stabling has to be put up, and I think there is something like 450 miles of electric cabling.”
As for the show itself, the horses are choreographed with state-of-the-art lighting and sound in an entertainment appealing to all ages – and not just those who enthuse about horses.
“It is all about man’s most trusted and oldest ally, the horse. The stars of the show are magnificent Arabians, Friesians and Lusitanos, thundering Cossack Horses, spirited Shetlands contrasting the giant grace of the gentle shire, and the poetic motion of the stunning Andalusians – the classic horse of Spain. The legends, myths, spellbinding allure and breath-taking majesty of the most potent symbols of loyalty, courage and freedom make this an unforgettable event. We have got more than 20 horses from six different countries with a cast of human dancers and people who know the equine world. It is absolutely unforgettable. It’s a full production, and we take it to places that know the horse community. We are going to racecourses and stately homes. They are places that have been specifically selected for their racing aspect. It is very much a full-on equestrian production. The show is choreographed to special music, and the stars are the horses, all mixed together with state-of-the-art lighting and sound. And it really isn’t just for people who know they already love horses. People who consider themselves not really particularly interested in horses still have a completely-unforgettable time. The show is firmly established as one of the country’s most popular touring shows, having been seen by more than one and a half million people.”