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Selwyn Times: January 17, 2017

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SELWYN TIMES Tuesday January 17 2017 19 News Film to honour WW1 soldiers, horses • By Bridget Rutherford IT WAS July, 1914 and World War 1 had broken out in Europe. New Zealand men were being called on to enlist and fight in the war with allied troops. Many thought it would be an adventure and a chance to see the world. Others believed the war would be over within six months. Among the hundreds of thousands were rural men from high country stations – some of them with their horses – who joined the mounted rifles regiments. They served at Gallipoli and went to Egypt with their horses to train, before serving in the successful Sinai and Palestine campaigns against the Turks from 1916-18 and across the Middle East. While the Gallipoli campaign is taught in school history classes and well known to many, the peril of the country’s mounted rifles brigades was not – until now. Hawarden man Terry King is spearheading a team making a film about the rural men and their horses who went to serve in World War 1. The Cold Footed Mounts will focus on four Canterbury men who went to serve in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment, and the bond they formed with their horses. Mr King said these stories had never been told before. “After a disastrous campaign [Gallipoli], they had to do it all again. There’s a lot of history there, it’s all been hidden.” Mr King, who was in the army’s Territorial Force for 10 years before working for the United Nations, said the idea came from his great grandfather, Henry Coppell, who served in the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Regiment. After reading through Mr Coppell’s diaries from when he served in the Middle East during the war, Mr King realised how little people knew of these men and their stories. PRODUCERS: Stunt double Dayna Grant and Terry King working on the film. ​ Many were respected soldiers, but they were starved and lost teeth because of the food they had to eat, he said. In spite of that, they all took extremely good care of their horses, he said. “A lot of the family did not know that. He [Mr Coppell] BIGGEST EVER january ROLLING: A preview for the film was shot near Amberley. SOLDIERS: Troops of the Anzac Mounted Division with prisoners of war on foot during World War 1. PHOTO: ALEXANDER TURNBULL LIBRARY never showed that diary until after his death.” After further research into the regiments, Mr King decided those mens’ stories needed to be told. The film’s core team would consist of Mr King, director Charlie Haskell, assistant director Darren Simmonds, Hollywood stunt double and producer Dayna Grant and lead script writer Tanya Wheeler. Ms Grant was Lucy Lawless’ stunt double in Xena: Warrior Princess. She had since been a stunt double for Hollywood stars such as Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow and Tilda Swinton, appearing on Mad Max: Fury Road, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Snow White and the Huntsman. Ms Wheeler was currently a script writer for the Power Rangers Dino Charge television series, while Mr Haskell directs it. Mr King said everyone who was involved in making the film had connections to the mounted rifles regiments. There would be four lead and six secondary actors, and the team was looking for young, fresh actors to star in it. Mr King said a lot of the shooting would take place in North Canterbury, with the trailer to be filmed this month and next at Waipara’s Weka Pass Railway. Other scenes would be filmed in the North Island, and a South Australian desert near Adelaide. The project comes after Mr King organised the 100 Years, 100 Horses Ride on Anzac Day in 2015. It saw 100 uniformed riders from New Zealand and Australia ride from North Canterbury’s The Peaks Hall into Waikari on the day. It was the first time New Zealand and Australian riders had ridden side by side in an Anzac Day parade. Mr King said it was a massive job to organise the ride, and he suffered two minor heart attacks following it. “I thought I had indigestion.” His wife Nikki had since been keeping a close eye on him, he said. Mr King also organised a similar ride on Anzac Day in Kaikoura last year with 60 horses, and hopes to have another from Burnham to Christchurch next year. Ten main horses, which belong to both Mr King and some friends, will be used for filming with much of it done in front of a green screen. They were currently being trained to become used to the equipment, sounds and filming. He said they hoped to have the 120min film completed to be screened on November 11, 2018, to mark the end of World War 1. The crew had set up a Givealittle page to help raise the funds to make the film. They hope to raise about $20,000 before using the film trailer to apply for major funding to complete the project. “We need to know our history,” Mr King said. •If you would like to donate, visit cause/coldfootedmounts Offers valid 17 - 31 January 2017 *Credit approval and conditions apply. Minimum purchase $1500. See instore for full terms and conditions. **Storewide discount offer excludes Everyday Low Price items and Ecocare. save $900 $ 1999 *Get get a free watson footstool Valued at $599 WATSON 3 seater + 2 seater + chair Available in 2 colour options. Includes cushions. a free Watson footstool when you purchase the Watson 3 seater + 2 seater + chair. Riccarton Megastore, 179 Blenheim Rd. Phone 341 3196 • OPEN 7 DAYS •