Wellington, Worldwide. Theroadto Equus
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.