December 1, 2016

Lights, Camera, Action!

Screen Shot 2016 12 01 at 9.08.08 PM 

On the set of “Christmas Ranch” (photo by Holden Rafey)

Have you ever wanted to be a movie extra, especially in a HORSE movie? Last December, I had the chance to spend the day on the set of the movie “Christmas Ranch,” which was really a horse farm in Maryland.

Christmas Ranchtells the story of a rebellious girl sent to stay on her grandmother’s horse ranch for Christmas. She bonds with her grandmother’s pony and tries to save the ranch from foreclosure. You can watch the trailer here. This heartwarming film was made in Maryland at GreenMount Farm in Glyndon.

Maryland filmmaker Douglas B. Maddox directed and produced the film. I had the chance to talk with Mr. Maddox at the EQUUS Film Festival tour stop in Baltimore this summer, and he told me how much he enjoyed making “Christmas Ranch” in Maryland. For this blog post, I asked Mr. Maddox if there’s anything he'd like to say to young horse enthusiasts in Maryland and he replied, “Keep loving horses and loving what you do!”


 Christmas Ranch Clapper

They really DO use a clapperboard (photo by Holden Rafey)

The day on set started very early, and it was pretty cold out. But that didn’t stop me from having an awesome experience. My job was to be in the marketplace scene, pretending to be shopping. They had a whole area set with tables filled with merchandise and baskets of produce meant to look like a real market. Ross Peddicord, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, even acted as a farmer at the market! There were beautiful hand carved horse figurines and horse pictures that people brought to add to the scene, so it wasn’t hard to pretend to be interested in the merchandise while “shopping.”

I also got to meet and talk with some of the actors. Allen Williamson, who plays James, was very funny and made up back stories for the horse figurines he was “selling.” There were some exciting moments, like when the equine star bolted out of a photo shoot, scared by a tablecloth that fluttered in the wind! Spending a day on the set of this wonderful movie was a really cool experience.

 Christmas Ranch Movie Poster

On December 8, Baltimore’s historic Senator Theatre will host the Maryland premiere of “Christmas Ranch” (tickets available through Eventbrite). The film features an original song by Cheri Keaggy who will perform “Hope is Believing” at the premiere. Recently, “Christmas Ranch” won a Winnie Award at the 2016 EQUUS Film Festival for Best of Festival – Family Film. You can read more about the EQUUS Film Festival and their tour stop at the Senator Theatre in Baltimore earlier this year in my June blog post

I can’t think of a better way to start the month of December than with a holiday horse movie. I hope you’ll join me at this exciting event to see a Maryland-made horse movie at its Maryland premiere!


Holden Rafey Bio Pic

My name is Holden Rafey, and I am honored to be serving as the Maryland Horse Council’s Youth Correspondent. As the MHC Youth Correspondent, I will be posting monthly to this blog about horse-related topics in the state of Maryland to give a youth perspective and share information on topics of interest to MHC youth members. I live in Montgomery County and attend Walter Johnson High School, where I play softball and field hockey. My equestrian trainer is Melinda Cohen, and I ride at her barn, Dream Catcher Farm, in Frederick County. In addition to being the Youth Correspondent for the MHC, I am also serving a second term on the Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee and was proud to see lots of Maryland barns represented at Barn Night!

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