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Horses in the Lord of the Rings

Who likes the movie and the book, “Lord of the Rings”? Apparently, no animals were harmed in the making of the awesome trilogy which was filmed in beautiful New Zealand. There are lots of horses in the movie and here are the findings of some research that I have done on the horse or equine actors.

The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King

Arod – played by Percy

Arod was ridden by Legolas in the movie, and played by a Percheron cross stallion, called Percy. Orlando Bloom, whom played Legolas (and is my favourite character in the movie) said that Percy was the friendlest horse on the set.

Asfaloth – played by Florian

WARWICK SMITH/Manawatu Standard – Jane puting Florian through a skipping routine at Foxton racecourse, in February 2008

Ridden by Arwen, although in the book, this horse was ridden by Glorfindel, a male elf. In the famous scene in the movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, where the Ringwraiths chase her, the horse is ridden by Arwen’s stunt double, Jane Abbott. The horse that played Asfaloth is a magnificent Andalusian stallion called Florian. Viggo Mortensen, whom played Aragorn, fell in love with some of the horses on the set, and because Jane had such a bond with Florian and expressed a wish to keep him, Viggo actually bought the stallion outright and gifted him to Jane without any monetary recompense!   See   THIS LINK   here more information.

Bill the Pony – played by two horses (and my favourite horse character in the movie)

Bill the Pony, the hobbit horse, was played by two horses -Shane, a Quarter Horse, and Rastus, a Shetland Pony.

See this   link   here for information about the fate of Bill in the movie (warning: if you haven’t watched the movies yet, you might not want to know)

Brego – played by Uraeus

Brego was called Roheryn in the book, and is the steed of Aragorn. It is Brego who lies down, to allow Aragorn to clamber onto his back, in the famous scene where Aragorn is wounded. Brego is played by a Dutch warmblood stallion called Uraeus, and Viggo Mortensen, whom played Aragorn, loved Uraeus so much, he bought him after the movie!

See this link for more information.  UPDATE:  The March 2003 HorseWyse magazine says that a stunt horse, Brownie, did the scene where Aragorn clambers onto the horse’s back!!

Hasufel – played by Kenny

Hasufel was Eomer’s horse and was loaned by Eomer to Aragorn. Aragorn rode Hasufel to Helm’s Deep, in the Two Towers movie, then returned him to Eomer. Viggo Mortensen, whom played Aragorn, bought Kenny after the movie. In 2007 (if not later) both Brego and Kenny lived in New Zealand, on a farm owned by veterinarian Ray Lenaghan. Jane Abbott (whom was Liv Tyler’s stunt double, for the character of Arwen) is Ray’s wife.

Shadowfax – played by two horses

The pictures above show Demero

Shadowfax, probably the most popular horse in the Trilogy, was played by two Andalusian stallions, 16 year old Demero and Australian Andalusian, Blanco. Demero had melanoma so was retired from the set, and died in 2003. Blanco is owned by Cynthia of “Imagine – Discover the Magic” in Califorinia. Click here to go to Cynthia’s site. In the movie, Gandalf asks for Shadowfax, as a gift from Theoden. Shadowfax was a Mearas horse of the Rohan.

Snowmane – played by Hercules

Snowmane was the steed of Theoden.

For more information about “Horses in Movies” click   here

For more information after the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) horses, go to the following links.






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12 thoughts on “Horses in the Lord of the Rings

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  1. Thought Sonia Duncan was liv Tyler’s double that Viggo bought for her.

  2. Apparently there was a “riding double” Jane Abbott, and a general stunt double, Sonia Duncan. Below is an excerpt from a relevant forum – posted by Patty on Oct. 26, 2005. http://www.ka-bloom.org/forum/index.php?/topic/12631-sonia-duncan-liv-tylers-riding-double/

    I obviously got Jane and Sonia confused, as Jane is the one who ended up with Florian. I have had time this evening to look into this and poke around and, yes, Jane was Liv’s “riding double”. Sonia is variously referred to as Liv’s “stunt double” and “stand-in”. Sonia and her horse Tharra (the horse in the picture with Sonia and Orlando) are a stunt riding team, so maybe they doubled Arwen and Asfaloth for more dangerous/tricky shots where a specific “stunt” was needed? Here are some of her pictures at her website

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