Animal Planet Plays the Ponies

Jun 11, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Animal Planet is getting into horses in a big way.
The network is adding three equestrian competitions and a documentary series about jockeys to its lineup as the sport prepares for the Olympics.
“With the addition of these thrilling world-class competitions to the Animal Planet roster, we are tapping into equestrian enthusiasts’ passion for horse sports,” said Victoria Lowell, senior VP of marketing for Animal Planet Media. “Expanding our commitment to horse programming enables us to celebrate the fantastic sport of show jumping and honor the immense skill and talent of both human and animal athletes, while reining in a new crop of horse fans as we ramp up the excitement for the upcoming original documentary series ‘Jockeys,’ debuting next year.”
First out of the gate is “Rolex Superstars of Show Jumping,” which premieres July 26 at 3 p.m. The special features U.S. champion Beezie Madden taking on other top horses and riders in Germany.
Following that is the “Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping,” premiering Aug 2. The competition is the last chance for athletes—two-legged and four-hoofed—to qualify for the U.S. Olympic equestrian team.
After the Olympics, top horses and riders will be featured in the “FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix,” which premieres Oct. 4.
This suite of horse programming is hosted by athlete and sports commentator Lewis Johnson; Andrew Catalon, sports anchor and contributor to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing; and top international show-jumping competitor and U.S. horse trainer Kim Prince.
Animal Planet also is bringing back “Animal Planet’s Sporthorse Cup” on Jan. 10. The show features seven top riders who compete in a three-round test of rider and horse.
“These programs provide an inside look at some of the world’s top riders and the training and skill that go into becoming a champion,” said Animal Planet executive producer Mick Kaczorowski. “I’m pleased to be a part of this project and hope, by exposing more people to the beauty and awe of this sport, that we inspire a new generation of equestrians.”
“Rolex Superstars of Show Jumping,” “Rolex Grand Prix of Show Jumping,” “FTI Hampton Classic Grand Prix” and “Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup” are produced by Carr-Hughes Productions for Animal Planet. Jim Carr and Bob Hughes are the executive producers for Carr-Hughes.


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