Martin Clunes travels the world to unlock the secrets of man’s partnership with horses in Horsepower, a new documentary series for ITV1.
His fascinating journey takes him from remotest Mongolia to the deserts of Arabia; to see the enigmatic wild Mustangs in Nevada, and watch the thrills and spills of rodeo in Las Vegas.
He finds out what life in the saddle is like for cowboys out west and rides into battle on horseback in a suit of armour at Warwick Castle. He is given in a crash course in snow polo in Colorado and joins the pomp and ceremony as horses and carriages are prepared for the State opening of Parliament.
Martin is a special guest at the world’s most glamorous and lavish racing event in Dubai, and watches the colourful Palio horse race in Italy, which dates back to the 1200’s.
No animal has changed the course of human history as profoundly as the horse. For 6,000 years there was no faster way to travel. It helped us to win battles and build empires. It carried kings and emperors. It also pulled our carts, ploughed our fields and carried our heavy burdens. It’s been called the best slave we humans ever had – though that does not do justice to the rich and mutually rewarding relationship that’s possible.
Martin unravels the story of how man and horse first got together, what the horse has done for us through the ages, and what the horse still means to us today.
“I wanted to find out how this animal became so important to us. How did we manage to tame such a huge, fearful prey animal and make it both our servant and our friend,” says Martin.
Martin is passionate about horses, and keeps seven of them at home on his farm. He regularly rides his favourite horse, a huge Hanoverian called Chester. His production company, Buffalo Pictures, owns a thoroughbred, Buffalo Stampede, which will be racing at Fontwell on February 28th.