A sunny day, low 80s, a stern breeze and landscape that rivals serenity. This is the day we were provided with to shoot a video piece to accompany our magazine feature on Dixiana farms.
The talent, an incredibly wise and witty Ercel Ellis led the way. We were later joined by farm manager Terry Arnold. The two led Evan Hammonds, and we Blood-Horse crew, around the farm.
Ercel walked us through the history of his father's rise to the farm manager position and the history of Dixiana. He started naming off horses left and right, gave back-stories of these horses, how they came to the farm and most interestingly, the horses personalities. Ercel still knew the habits, routines and tendencies of his horses.
Ercel explained life growing up around horses and the farm. He also provided stories of horses which taught him lessons on what not to do, horses he learned to ride on, and the meanest horse he encountered at the farm. His stories were rich and full of life, as his smile and humor entered his memories.
As for me, I ran around filming him and Evan, then shooting b-roll of the AMAZING training track, reconstructed barns and immaculate scenery.
Issue 38 of The Blood-Horse for September 19, 2009 will hold the magazine feature.
Old Stallion Barn
Evan Hammonds and Ercel Ellis
Me shooting the memories
Farm Manager Terry Arnold