Mario Luraschi and his stunt horses, It looks spectacular but he always makes
sure his horses can't get insured or harmed. Most of them are Andalusian horses.
Tell's main horse was a beautiful Lipizzan gelding named Napolitano. In the
first 10 episodes, season 1 he rode a tall brown horse named Guitano and during
the third season a short part on a little Arabic horse. Horst rides a Frisian
Horse and all the other blackknights black Andalusian horses. Crossbow is a
treat for everyone that loves these stunning horses!
As a horse trainer, stuntman and stuntrider, riding
master, driver, trick rider, but also saddle-maker, stable manager, etc, Mario
Luraschi is a real equestrian master.
He accumulates observations, knowledge and experience and goes to the utmost of
his reflection concerning the horses.
His eagerness to learn and his persistence made him to be nominated ‘Chevalier
des Arts et des Lettres’ (Knight in the Arts and Literature) and receive, in
2016, the medal of honour of Knight in the French Order of the Légion d’Honneur,
out of the hands of Robert Hossein.
video about horsestunts
Mario Luraschi collaborated on films such
as Bandidas, Jeanne D'Arc, Lucky Luck, Black Beauty and James Bond. In addition,
his horses were shown at shows in Las Vegas (Excalibur) and Disneyland Paris
(Buffalo Bill Show). His work brought Luraschi into contact with stars like
Pénélope Cruz, Sylvester Stallone, Salma Hayek and Leonardo di Caprio.
The Iberian horse
The Iberian horse is a title
given to a number of horse breeds native to the Iberian peninsula. At present,
no fewer than 18 horse breeds are officially recognized
Iberian horses are thought
to be among the oldest types of domesticated horses. Modern Iberian broads tend
to be a Baroque horse type that resemble their most famous member, the
Andalusian horse, in conformation.
The Lusitano, Sorraia and
Garrano are of Portuguese origin, and the remaining are of Spanish. These
include the Asturcón, Burguete, Caballo de Monte del País Vasco, Pura Raza
Gallega, Pura Raza Española (Andalusian horse), Hispano-Árabe, Hispano-Bretón,
Jaca Navarra, Losino, Monchino and Pottoka, as well as the Cavall Mallorquí,
Mallorquín and Menorquín (subsets of the Balearic broad Outside the FAO
list, but in the Spanish catalog, a spinoff from the Sorraia, the Marismeño, has
also been identified living in the environs of the Doñana National Park
In 2005, a distinctive
primitive, feral wide was identified inside the same National Park, the Retuerta
horse (Caballo de las retuertas)
This picture is very old. when I was about 12 It
was on a little documentation series book at my school. I didn't know then It
was about Mario Luraschi. It was about stunts in movies.
Here you see mario making his own horse harnesses.
He has a own saddlery. it's amazing what harnesses and costumes he has.
Driving & Harnessing
He equips all sorts of carriages,
wagons and chariots with several horses and launches them at full speed,
simulates accidents or drives them through the fire. Driving is one of the great
specialities of Mario Luraschi and he created an incredible demonstration for an
audience of 298.000 spectators in 2006 in the Stade de France, Paris, for the
staging of ‘Ben Hur’, a show directed by Robert Hossein.
Being a detail fanatic, he can harness a Russian troika or an ancient Spanish
equipage. “Where ever I go in the world, I watch, I ask for explanations and I
learn.” A thirst for knowledge leads him to visit museums, to read historical
works of the old masters, to collect objects and to fabricate himself the
harnesses and saddles that he needs. He owns an extraordinary collection of
saddles, harnesses, bridles, bits and historical equestrian items.
High School & Classical Dressage
As a pupil of the Spanish horse trainer Paco Yanez,
Mario Luraschi was schooled in the equestrian tradition of working with Spanish
bulls. He learned also very much in the circus, especially thanks to working
with Alexis Gruss senior (father of Lucien) in the world famous Circus Jean
He schooled more than 300 horses into high school and classical work.
An absolute record!
And Trick Riding
He teaches one and
the same horse to jump into the flames, to pull a carriage in a
breathtaking gallop, to fall, to rear or … to play dead for a movie
Mario Luraschi started his career in the western theme park ‘La
vallée des peaux rouges’ in 1965, in the Oise region near Paris.
As sspecialists in the Cossack vaulting, he and his team of stuntmen
are the masters of the action scenes and equestrian tournaments.
He coordinates the
most incredible stunts to the last detail and in absolute safety for
his horses. For the movie ‘The riders of the storm’, he jumps with a
breathtaking gallop into a small and crowded boat. In the circus of
Amiens, he makes his horse disappear into a box. In 2001, he wins
the world stunt award for a stunt in ‘A Knight’s Tale’, an American
film of Brian Helgeland. He accomplished nearly 800 ‘rear-and-fall-overs’,
a very dangerous equestrian stunt, often seen in battle scenes.
As real actors, his horses
can play everything: attacking, sitting, laying down, playing asleep or
arrive at a full gallop as in the 45 episodes of ‘The Black Stallion’.
For a commercial for OPI (‘Instinct of colour’), one of his stallions
challenges four dancers, imitating the style of each of them. In ‘The riders
of the storm’ of Gerard Vergez, a horse attacks his trainer and in ‘Into the
West’ a horse appears in a magnificent way on the beach.
"Stunt riding is the ultimate
goal of dressage.
The rider involves himself
with Mario Luraschi by Charlotte Guyot Horselab 2016
There is something
universal about Mario Luraschi’s work. On the same day, a riding instructor
colleague, a policeman on horseback, my school riders, and people fully
disconnected from the world of horses, all told me: « Wow, Mario Luraschi,
that’s awesome!! ».
It is probably because we
all dream of feeling free on horseback, that we all recognize ourselves in
Mario’s work. We would like to be as free as he is, with regard to our horse’s
moves, our own movements, and all the situations that we could ride and live
through. The horse stunt performer can do it all!
Of course, we will not
all become professional stuntmen and women! But The Horse Lab allows you to get
a little closer to this perfect dream of freedom by sharing Mario’s advice and
vision of riding.
Improve your riding seat. This is the
The Horse Lab: Mario Luraschi, you were a
gymnast before you became a rider. Is this important?
Mario Luraschi: I grew up
at the time of Western movies, John Wayne, and the obsession with physical
appearance. This was part of my education: having a muscular and healthy body
was important. I was a talented young gymnast. A stuntman’s first quality is his
physical condition, maintained through gymnastics. All stunt performers train on
a daily basis. Every physical exercise, every sport, is beneficial to the
THL: When you are teaching beginner riders, like
actors, what is your favourite exercise to improve their seat and position?
ML: Riding without
stirrups! 80% of the riders I train are beginners.
They all start with six or seven hours of no-stirrups riding, one hour a day,
with the vaulting equipment, on the lunge.
THL: How did you get involved in stunt riding?
ML: Through my passion for Native American culture, including the culture of
horses. Gymnastics is not my passion!
THL: Your schedule is very busy, with
performances for the Hanover horse show, for movies, television, advertising,
the opening of your new arena and studio, collaborations with artists, you have
done everything, what keeps you working today?
ML: Every horse is different. No two horses are the same. There is always a new
connection to be made.
The last thing you want is for your horse to be bored. I
have met a dozen of extraordinary horses in my life.
Dressage and horse locomotion
THL: Are you more a horse trainer or a stunt
ML: I am first of all a horse trainer. The main gymnast is the horse. It’s like
in all equestrian disciplines. You need a very good horse to perform riding
stunts, as you would need one to perform show jumping.
Dressage helps the rider to reveal a horse’s talent.
You have to make horses
skillful and adaptable, learn to work with difficult horses, in a relaxed mood.
There is no room for violence.
THL: Why did you go into stunt riding?
ML: Stunt riding is the ultimate objective, it’s the ultimate goal of dressage
and training. The rider involves himself physically. Stunt performing is like
war: it is all about risking your own life and a matter of pride. When I started
performing, all of today’s security measures did not exist, there was no cable
to hold you back. You could not crop something out of an image either.
For pure human stunts you need to be a gymnast first. But for the most difficult
horse stunts, like when the horse rears up and falls or jumps in a boat, you
first need to be a rider.
THL: What does being a rider mean?
ML: You have to be
totally synchronised with your horse’s movements,
and perfectly know how a horse moves. The jump in a boat, one of the most
difficult stunts, is a flying change. When the horse rears up and falls, the
rider has to fully use the horse’s propulsion and go with it. When the horse is
about to touch the ground, the rider is projected further (not under the horse).
It is the horse’s propulsion that gives the rider the correct movement [Horse
Lab note: like in show jumping!].
Horse Lab tip: understanding the horse’s
The Horse Lab recommends the reading of Commandant Licart’s (riding master of
the Cadre noir in Saumur, 1935)
at Lavauzelle editions (in French, but with many illustrations). Then train
yourself to observe, feel, and move with your horse’s locomotion, until it
becomes intuitive to you.
THL: Teach us how to fall off a horse!
ML: To fall off a horse, do not resist. Let yourself go. If you try to cling
onto the horse, you are ignoring the reception on the ground. At the contrary,
think about the reception! Do not contract your muscles. If you are contracted,
you will hit the ground twice: one part of your body first, then a second.
That’s how you break bones. You have to fall in one piece, with a supple body.
about mental preparation?
THL: Do you use any mental preparation tips
before a stunt?
ML: Never! I have decided to do it, I do it. Do not ask yourself too many
questions. Prepare carefully before the stunt, use proper equipment [Horse Lab
note: Mario makes his own tack], train your technique, pay attention to all the
details. Then, action is
the name of the game!
THL: What is a good stunt horse?ML: A war
THL: When I came to your training arena, about
fifteen horses were warming up, I was immediately struck by the athletic
condition and energy of all your horses.
ML: A stunt horse has to be crafted. This means lots of dressage and gymnastics.
For instance, to lay a horse down, the horse must be able to bend from nose to
tail, like in the shoulder-in. But all horses are not stunt horses. To perform a
horse stunt, you need a horse that is perfectly trained and ready to go forward
with you. Not a horse that is afraid of a bucket of water!
THL: What should one do with a frightened and
ML: All horses are different, more or less “war”-like. But your job is to
educate them! Go outside in the forest, show them everything. Get them used to
all kinds of situations, to taking your jacket off in the saddle, to the whip
which is an extension to the rider’s arm. One day, I was awarded a dressage
prize in Germany, which was given after a competition. Suddenly a pole trailer
collapsed. The horse that won the competition went hysterical and it took her
rider five laps around the arena to calm him down. My horse did not move. You
have to take the time to
educate your horse, even a fearful horse, so that
you make him, not a stunt horse, but just a normal horse!
THL: What if someone wants to become a stunt
ML: Well, first, learn gymnastics, learn to ride. And then, join a serious team
that performs stunts outdoors, for the film industry!
THL: And about cinema, what if someone wants to
shoot a movie? You have just inaugurated a new training arena, in the
Ermenonville forest, in Oise, a 45-minute drive from Paris, France. This arena
is also a real photo and cinema studio, and a place to host events. We wish you
ML: Yes, well, I was looking for a way to go broke! (laughs)
Mario Luraschi, Cavalcade,
Cinema and horse shows
Ferme de la Chapelle, France
Below the impressive IMDB list.
I read he worked in 400 movies.
Stunts (90 credits)
Versailles (TV Series) (stunt coordinator - 20 episodes)
Carbone (equestrian stunt advisor)
Jappeloup (stunt coordinator: horse stunts)
(stunt coordinator: horse stunts)
Merlin (TV Series) (horse stunt coordinator - 1 episode)
Bandidas (horses stunts supervisor)
Fanfan (horses stunts supervisor)
Napoléon (TV Mini-Series) (stunt coordinator - 4 episodes)
Blanche (stunt advisor: horse stunts)
Brigade spéciale (TV Series) (stunt advisor - 1 episode, 2001)
(stunt coordinator - 1 episode, 1999)
misérables (TV Mini-Series) (horse stunt coordinator - 4
of Arc (TV Mini-Series) (stunt coordinator - 3 episodes)
Bernie (stunt double: horse stunts)
Giorgino (stunt coordinator: horse stunts)
Merlin (TV Series) (horse trainer - 1 episode)
Gwaine (2010) ... (horse trainer)
vie (TV Movie) (horse wrangler)
Lucky Luke (TV Series) (horse trainer - 2 episodes, 1992)
(special horse trainer - 2 episodes, 1992)
Lucky Luke (special horse trainer - uncredited)
Crossbow (TV Series) (stunt horse provider - 1 episode) 3
seasons each of 24 episodes
Napoléon (TV Mini-Series) (second unit director - 4 episodes)
1812-1821 (2002) ... (second unit director)
1807-1812 (2002) ... (second unit director)
1800-1807 (2002) ... (second unit director)
1795-1800 (2002) ... (second unit director)
of Arc (TV Mini-Series) (second unit director - 3 episodes)
Aphrodisia (TV Series) (1