EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — A horse that appeared in the “Lord of the Rings” movie trilogy will make an appearance next weekend in western Wisconsin.
Blanco — better known as Shadowfax from the movies — will appear with current trainer Cynthia Royal next Friday through Sunday during a clinic at Merrimount Morgans Stable between Holcombe and Cornell.
Blanco, a trick horse, is known for his ability to work without restraint and to respond to vocal and visual cues. Blanco is an Australian Andalusian gelding and was bred in Australia. He was imported to the U.S. from New Zealand, according to the Equine Extravaganza Web site.
In the movie series based on the books by J.R.R. Tolkien, Shadowfax is the fastest horse in Middle Earth, and a descendant of the Mearas race of equines. The wizard Gandalf tamed Shadowfax, who later came to possess the renowned horse as a gift from King Theoden, according to a “Lord of the Rings” fan site.
The clinic teaches people how to communicate with and train a horse. The Royals, who are based in San Diego, have been offering clinics across the U.S. and Canada.
Sandra Ricker, owner of the stables, couldn’t project the number of participants but said interest has been high.
“I’ve heard of quite a few people who have indicated that they want to bring their children or they themselves have seen the movie and want to get up close and see the horse,” Ricker said.
Besides appearing in the “Lord of the Rings” movies, Blanco also has been featured in the “Hercules” TV series and numerous commercials.
He will star in the upcoming Las Vegas show, “IMAGINE — Discover the Fantasy,” a live theatrical production showcasing creatures of myth and legend produced by Royal.