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HIGHEST TRADITIONS
 
Highest Traditions-The BVD received the "Presidents Award for Outstanding Short Film of 2006" from William McDonald, President of the Military Writers Society of America

Producer/Editor       Writer/Director
Christine Lazzarini    Tony Lazzarini

Click here for the Arabian Silk Website

 

ARABIAN SILK-Horses of Endurance

 

When I was first asked to direct a film about endurance horse racing, I envisioned scenes from the film Hidalgo: poor creatures being ridden to the edge of destruction by their relentless riders.  I found this to be just the opposite once we met with Jerry Zeback, owner of Arabian Farms.  I was immediately corrected regarding the term Endurance Racing.  Endurance Riding is what the sport was about.  For those of you not in the know, Endurance Riding events consist of a group of folks who decide the most fun they can have is riding the same horse for 100 miles over mountain trails and trying to get in done in less than 24 hours.

My butt hurts just at the concept.   Not being much of a “horse person” my first exposure was our first interview with Jerry to build a background for the film and work out a story line. Jerry’s 168-acre ranch was the training center for his brood of approximately 20 beautiful Arabian Horses.  That’s when I discovered that each animal has its own personality.  Jerry explained to me that some like to be leaders, some loners others joiners and some just hate to be left behind. “Hey, if there’s a party, I want to come along”.   I also learned that horse and rider bonding is a significant requirement for a good endurance team. These folks LOVE their animals.  Mandatory rest periods and vet checks protect the horses from over extending themselves.  These thorough checks pull a horse from the event if it fails any one of the numerous tests.  The rider, on the other hand, has a chance to wash up, grab a little something to eat and clean up his bruises (yes, occasionally a rider falls off or becomes a little too intimate with the limbs of the numerous redwood and pine trees that line the mountain trails).

As the director I felt the best shots would be the ones of horses descending the rugged mountain terrain or crossing some of the slow moving shallow streams: water being splashed about and reflections of horse’s hoofs pounding the rocky river bed.  Getting those shots meant being able to stay ahead of the riders.  After each shot the trick was to gather up all our gear and hump it back to the truck and beat the riders to our next predetermined site.  After being successful in that endeavor, we would wait for an hour or so in the middle of the woods or bug infested surroundings while listening to mosquitoes calling the tower for landing instructions and being extremely sensitive to moving objects.

Getting some of the night shots with horses illuminated by only “glow sticks” at three o’clock in the morning is an experience I will never forget.

God, I love this work!

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Christine (Left) and Arlene (Rt) share a moment with Robert Redford at a private reception.

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Stella Stevens and Tony at the 2009 Reno Film Festival.

Bio and/or Film/Videography

Christine Lazzarini is the Producer/Editor of "Highest Traditions." She studied at UCLA and produced a feature length documentary, "Critical Mass-The Obesity Epidemic" which was screened at Truckee Meadows Community College in May 2006. She is currently working on "Arabian Silk-Horses of Endurance" about endurance horse racing.

She is particularly interested in producing BVD's and family history documentaries.


















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Writer/Director

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Ann Hall with Atina. 160k Endurance ride, Japan

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Getting ready for the "hard shots".

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Chris at the camera, Arlene with the boom mike

Our current film project, Arabian Silk-Horses of Endurance, took us to Karuizawa, Japan to film it's first internationally reconized 100 mile endurance horse ride. This event attracted riders from the U.S and Australia as well as local horse riding enthusiasts.  Look for the film on television at the end of 2009.

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Arlene and Tony Lazzarini