Horses learn their roles from trainer Matt Chew for HBO’s ‘Luck’

by | 01.22.2012 | 4:03pm
Matt Chew

Santa Anita Stable Notes, Jan. 22 – Actors aren't the only ones who have to learn their lines for LUCK. Horses do, too, in a manner of speaking.

That assignment is in the capable hands of Matt Chew, official trainer for the 50 LUCK horses participating in the HBO original series that was filmed largely at Santa Anita. The series premiere of LUCK airs on HBO next Sunday at 9 p.m.

“When horses are out in the wild, they're naturally herd animals, and they run as a herd and tend to bunch as a herd,” said Chew, who also operates a public stable.

“In racing, we tend to treat horses as individuals, because we need them to respond to the rider's request when it comes time to leave the pack. But in LUCK, we're trying to re-instill the herd instinct, allowing them to come back to that and encouraging it, because for filming, it looks a lot better when they're in a tight group.

“Because it's a natural tendency for horses to want to be a part of a herd, most adapt to it very well. We have a couple individuals that have been taught to be race horses; we're not going to get that out of their system. We'll just have to adapt to it. But of the 50 horses, I'd say 45 of them have adapted to it real well.”

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