Welling­ton, World­wide. Theroadto Equus

Devon Life - - Wildhorse Films -

in­stru­men­tal in her de­ci­sion to make a be­hind-the-scenes doc­u­men­tary about the re­gional rugby squad. Called

the film is a record of the young play­ers’ jour­ney to the largest academy fes­ti­val in English rugby at Welling­ton in Berk­shire.

Philippa ex­plains: “I was taken by hear­ing the psy­chol­o­gist ex­plain­ing to par­ents about her work with the squad. I thought, there are so many lay­ers to this, it’s not just about train­ing and play­ing, it would make a re­ally good film. So, I asked the Chiefs and they were re­ally cool with it.”

Months of film­ing fol­lowed: the psy­chol­o­gist, the nu­tri­tion­ist, the fit­ness coach, fol­low­ing the Un­der 16s on the bus, in the chang­ing rooms and on the field. Philippa also in­ter­viewed pre­vi­ous Academy play­ers like Jack Now­ell and Joe Sim­monds and Chiefs’ di­rec­tor of rugby Rob Bax­ter and Eng­land coach Ed­die Jones to tell the whole story.

“It was fas­ci­nat­ing to see their de­vel­op­ment as elite rugby play­ers. As a rugby mum, it’s been an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence be­ing in­volved in the world my son has be­come part of.”

Philippa’s daugh­ter, Biba, has also played an in­flu­en­tial role in her mum’s flour­ish­ing film­mak­ing ca­reer. A doc­u­men­tary about Biba’s Devon pony club proved to be the start of a thriv­ing re­la­tion­ship with Horse & Coun­try TV, giv­ing Philippa the in­spi­ra­tion to write a se­ries for the chan­nel called Amer­i­can Monty Roberts, known as the ‘man who lis­tens to horses’.

She adds: “I’ve been talk­ing to Monty Roberts for a cou­ple of years, try­ing to pin him down. He’s in his eight­ies and he’s so in de­mand.

I went to Cal­i­for­nia and spent a whole day with him, which was a to­tal joy. This man knows ev­ery­thing there is about horses and once you get him rolling on cam­era, he just doesn’t stop! It’s gold dust. Amaz­ing!”

“Ac­cord­ing to Monty Roberts’ tech­nique, the man teaches the horse while the horse learns to trust the man. This re­sults in non­vi­o­lent com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween the horse and his trainer. A horse en­joys learn­ing and this is the best pro­gramme I have ever seen to teach horses.

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