A horse involved in the production of The Lord Of the Rings: The Rings Of Power died on the set of the series in the UK recently. As per The Hollywood Reporter, the horse passed away on March 21 due to cardiac arrest.
Sharing the unfortunate news, Amazon studios issued a statement that read, “We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died. The incident took place in the morning whilst the horse was being exercised prior to rehearsals. The trainer was not in costume and filming had yet to commence. Both a veterinarian and a representative of the American Humane Association were present at the time. The independent necropsy has confirmed that the horse died of cardiac failure.”
The horse was one of about 30 on set on that day, all supplied by respected outfitter The Devil’s Horsemen, which has provided horses for many shows including Game of Thrones.
Apparently, the first on-set animal fatality in the company’s 50-year history, the horse is said to have shown no prior health problems and was standing among 20 other horses before it died.
Animal rights organization PETA condemned the horse’s death. The organised urged the studio to “stop lording over animals.”
“It seems that living underground with the orcs is par for the course for the producers of The Rings of Power because they have the option to use CGI, mechanical rigs and other humane methods that wouldn’t run vulnerable horses to death on set,” said Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on the show’s creators — and all other producers — to take on a new quest without using any real horses. If they can’t avoid exploiting animals for their art, they should find a new medium, because no one wants to see a spinoff for TV with torment as the theme.”
The Rings of Power has been filming its second season for months in the UK and has announced many new cast members are joining the series. The first season’s eight episodes were released last spring and quickly became the streamer’s most-watched original series, racking up more than 24 billion minutes streamed.