Thursday 23 April 2015

Poldark's Rising Star: Seamus the Horse

With long dark hair and a commanding presence onscreen, fourteen year-old Poldark star Seamus is finally getting some press.

His television debut in was in 2009 in Channel 4's drama 1066, and from there, the work kept coming. Seamus' film debut was in the 2011 film, Wuthering Heights, and you may also have seen him in another BBC Cornish epic, Jamaica Inn.

Did we forget to mention? Seamus is a horse!

Seamus hails from Atkinson Action Horses, a family business in East Yorkshire which supplied almost 20 horses for the eight-part series. Mark Atkinson, the proprieter of owner Atkinson Action Horses serve as horse master in charge of the equestrian action on Poldark while his son Ben Atkinson was the Aidan Turner's riding double.

Mark told The Hull Daily Mail a bit about his son's work on Poldark: "My son Ben does the tricky stuff. The reason he is Poldark's double is because Aidan is a very precious commodity and they wanted Aidan to take as few risks as possible."

"He also did a few bits and pieces as an extra. He's trained in stunt fighting and was whipped across the face by Ross Poldark in one scene."

What kinds of work did Seamus have to do? "He must have run hundreds of times along that cliff for the first series," Mark said. "He is great. Horses are born to gallop, they enjoy doing it and he thoroughly enjoyed Poldark."

Sometimes, in addition to carrying Ross Poldark (whether in the form of Aidan Turner or Ben Atkinson), Seamus also carried Demelza. Mark Explained, "Seamus has a lot of scenes where he's carrying both Aidan and Eleanor. He's very strong and sturdy and very dependable."

Seamus is now taking a much needed break before beginning work on Poldark series 2, and his costar Aidan Turner couldn't say enough nice things about working with him. "You can't do bad acting on a horse, you look too cool," he said. "There's an energy when you deliver dialogue on a horse. It's empowering, especially for Ross. He thrives on these kinds of situations, so anytime I could get on the horse I would do it.

"Seamus is quite skittish, but he's a real actor's horse as you can rehearse something once and he knows where he's at, the direction he's going in, when he has to stop and reset.

"He was so sharp and was always moving and on the go. He and Ross are well suited."

For more about Seamus and his trainers, watch the video below and read the full piece at The Hull Daily Mail.

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