Wednesday, 20 October 2021

Horsewoman lands part in Downton Abbey

AMANDA STEWART was thrilled to find herself featured in the trailer for the new series of Downton Abbey on ITV.

AMANDA STEWART was thrilled to find herself featured in the trailer for the new series of Downton Abbey on ITV.

She is an experienced horsewoman who competed and hunted until she gave up riding three years ago.

Then in January she received a phone call asking if she still hunted side-saddle.

?I explained that I had but not for a long time,? says Amanda, from Woodcote. ?The caller explained that they were looking to film a hunting scene to be featured in the forthcoming Downton Abbey series to be filmed at Highclere Castle in March.

?I thought about this for approximately one second before agreeing to the filming.

?However, I had no horse, having given up competing, hunting and riding in general.

?A few years before, I had bought a little chestnut horse called Milo from Lisa Hughes, who runs Hambleden horse trials, and had hunted on this horse side-saddle with the Vine and Craven Hunt. In fact this little horse had proved so good that on occasions I was offered the position of ?whipper-in?, so word had spread about my ability to stride across country sideways, albeit with a handy hip flask!

?After the call, I still had the problem of finding a suitable horse but as I am chairman of the Berks and Bucks Draghounds Supporters Club, it wasn?t too difficult to find a suitable mount.

?Rose was soon offered to me by a fellow committee member. She is a 17.2hh (huge) grey Irish mare who loves nothing more than galloping her way across fields following a smelly rag (that?s what draghounds do!) ? in other words she was perfect!

?Two months later and two stone lighter (me, not the horse) filming commenced. Rose arrived immaculately clean ? no mean feat as anyone with a grey horse will know and I was duly despatched to wardrobe. This all started at 6.30am. I met the crew and the rest of my fellow film ?hunters?.

?Lisa Drew, from Peppard, had kindly offered her chauffeur and grooming services and eventually the backwards, forwards and repeat performances of filming commenced.

?I cannot tell anyone the plot as that?s still top secret but I do know that we had a lot of fun and I?ve made terrific friends with many.

?I was totally surprised to find myself featuring in the current trailer for the forthcoming series. I can be seen on a white horse side-saddle up the driveway. It?s my millisecond of fame.

?Would I do it again? Absolutely!?

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