Watch Albert and Ernie, two cheeky miniature horses, in their amazing Christmas ad.
On Christmas morning, Albert, the ringleader of the duo, wakes up Ernie and leads him into the house to find their presents. Under the tree is a beautifully-wrapped gift card, offering a 12-month subscription to TV channel Horse & Country TV, for a special discounted price.
Not wasting a moment, the pair snuggle up on the sofa and start watching. The advert concludes with the pair glued to H&C on a laptop in their stable.
The tiny chestnuts are owned and trained by Emma Massingale, a renowned equine trainer and the star of upcoming H&C TV documentary Emma Massingale: No Limits. She works with horses ‘at Liberty’ – loose, with no bridles or lead ropes to control them.
“When I was told about the idea for the advert I started to chuckle, as I could see the ponies were going to be able to do great job,” she says. “We only had a couple of weeks of training before filming the advert, but they both had a fairly good understanding of liberty work already so it was a case of adding a few new skills to their repertoire.”
Albert, a three-year-old part-Shetland and Ernie, a two-year-old miniature horse perfected the routine at home; the challenge was to deliver it on set with cameras and a film crew.
“I did wonder if it would seem the same to the ponies, but when we started filming it couldn’t have gone better. Albert and Ernie did everything I asked every time, without making any mistakes. I was extremely proud of them both and I hope everyone loves the resulting advert as much as I do,” Emma continues.
The team from Equine Productions, who have worked with Horse & Country on a number of adverts as well as the forthcoming No Limits documentary, created the Christmas ad. “I saw a photo of one of Emma’s horses lying under a Christmas tree, and that gave us the idea for the advert,” says Sam Fleet of Equine Productions. “We particularly wanted to work with Emma’s miniatures, since they’re so cute. When we told Emma about our plans and asked if the various scenes were possible, she kept telling us it would be no problem, which was great.”
The filming went without a hitch. However, plans to film the advert on a scene-by-scene basis had to be scrapped because the ponies knew the routine so well and once they started, they wanted to continue and complete the whole thing!
“We haven’t got John Lewis’ budgets but luckily we managed to secure the talent in our advert in return for a bale of hay and a few bags of carrots,” says H&C TV’s Managing Director Richard Burdett. “Our audience will know just how hard it is to train horses in this way so hats off to Emma and Equine Productions, as well as our two equine stars.”
DON’T FORGET OUR CHRISTMAS VIDEO COMPETITION! SEND FOOTAGE OF YOUR EQUINE JOKER TO DERBYHOUSEPOST@GMAIL.COM
The full-length advert can be seen here.
To find out more about the Everywhere offer, click here