Cast and Crew
Producer: Christine Lazzarini
Director: Tony Lazzarini
Co-Director: Alex Bacchus
Writer: Alex Bacchus
Narration: D.C. Douglas
Sound Tech: Andrew Twite
Camera: Christine Lazzarini
Editor: Christine Lazzarini
Arabian Silk: Horses of Endurance
|Virginia City 100 September 2007
The only ride that starts at a saloon and ends at a
|Karuizawa, Japan June 2007
First 100 mile endurance ride in Japan
A 24-Hour Race is a 33-Hour Film Shoot
Capturing the finer moments of a 100-mile horse ride takes a lot of stamina.
Following a 24-hour horse race is quite an ordeal; not only are the riders and
horses up all day and night but the film crew is too. We start at 4:00 pm on
Friday and finish at 11:00 am on Sunday. Fortunately for the film crew, we can
sneak away for a couple of hours and return to our hotel rooms for a nap or get
a bite to eat before the rider and horses come back into base camp. On Friday,
we get a crew map and scout the trail, prior to the beginning of the race on
Saturday, 5:00am, and drive to accessible points where we can plan to set-up
our cameras. It's a live event so you only have one chance to get it right; good
planning is essential. When it's over, I don't know who's more tired, the crew or
the rider who has had his/her butt in the saddle for 24 hours.
Christine Lazzarini, Producer
|For Wendell Robie's accident
scene, we used James Dean's
car a 1949 Mercury from "Rebel
Without a Cause".
Acquired through the National
Automobile Museum, Reno
Co-Director, Alex Bacchus
checking camera angle.
|Andrew Twite, Sound Technician
and Christine Lazzarini,
Producer/Camera film the
Virginia City 100 Ride Meeting.
Written by Producer, Christine Lazzarini
Several years before we started working on this project, Dr. Jerry Zebrack
sold Atina DeSoi to Mr. Hasumi, a Japanese businessman. Mr. Hasumi
was instrumental in organizing the very first 100 mile endurance ride in
Japan, in June of 2007. This was an historic event we felt was necessary
to get on film and since we were following the DeSoi lineage, it seemed
only appropriate that we attend. What made filming this event even
more exciting, Atina DeSoi came in second place.
As fate would have it, my sister-in-law Arlene Lazzarini, is half Japanese
and speaks the language fluently. She was able to help us with travel
arrangements and became our guide on the trip.
|Mr. Hasumi's Arabian Horse Ranch
|Christine, Tony and Connie Creech
Connie was one of the Judges
|Atina DeSoi and Christine
|Arlene and Christine
@ 5:00 am waiting
for the race to begin.
|Tony and Christine
ready camera and mic
|Ann Hall who rode
Atina DeSoi, bringing
her into second
|Tony with Becky
Hart and Dr.
Becky is a 3 time
world champion of
|Tony and Christine
in the jungles of
Click on photos to enlarge
Words from the Director, Tony Lazzarini
When I was first asked to direct a film about endurance horse racing,
I envisioned scenes from the film Hildalgo: poor creatures being
ridden to the edge of exhaustion. I found this to be just the opposite
once we met with Jerry Zebrack, owner of the Bedrock Ranch.
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.
As 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. Getting those shots meant being able to
stay ahead of the riders. After each shot the trick was to gather up all
our equipment and rush it back to the truck and beat the riders to
our next predetermined site.
Director, Tony Lazzarini
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 it done in less than 24 hours. My
butt hurts just thinking about it. Each animal has its own personality.
Jerry, owner of Bedrock Ranch, explained to me that some like to be
leaders and 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 significant for a good endurance team.
These folks LOVE their animals.
Getting some of the night shots with horses illuminated only by "glow
sticks" at three o'clock in the morning is an experience I will never
|Horses coming into
base camp, Virginia
City 100, at 3:00
am wearing their
"glow sticks". At
first glance they
|Dr. Jerry Zebrack
and George DeSoi
|Dr. John Madigan
from UC Davis
Hospital and rescue
team double check
the harness during
|Wild West Willy is
now known as
"Willy the Flying
|Ann Hall with Tony
and Christine in
receives his shots
and Jerry stands
We're Going to Japan
Written by Director, Tony Lazzarini
"We're going to Japan!" was the note Christine sent me regarding the
filming of "Arabian Silk: Horses of Endurance". Mr. Hasumi, a Japanese
businessman had bought one of Jerry Zebrack's Arabian horses, Atina
DeSoi, and was going to help sponsor Japan's first internationally
recognized 100 Mile Endurance Rides. It was a wonderful opportunity for
me to travel as director and a return home visit for my wife Arlene who
was born and raised in Japan. Her fluency in the language would prove
invaluable to organizing our trip and the knowledge of the country side,
traditions and customs would be very useful.
After settling down in our hotel room on the 17th floor of a Tokyo hotel
and gazing out one of the massive windows, I was amazed at the layout
of a City, which housed over 11 million people. Not only was the City
spread out, but also up; towering buildings as far as the eye could see.
Our transportation around Tokyo was done mostly by a well-arranged
system of subways, made almost flawless by years of necessity. We
learned early to avoid traveling during rush hour. It was almost
unbelievable as passengers on the trains would pack themselves in and
then be "compacted" by white-glove wearing subway attendants. In one
instance, we almost lost Christine and her camera gear as a tidal wave
of commuters exited at one of the stops.
The trip to Karuizawa to film an interview with Mr. Hasumi and cover the
100 mile endurance ride was done on the bullet train. The gently rolling
hills and lush countryside was quite a contrast to the population-burdend
City. I was quite impressed by the cordiality of our host during the
interview process in his home, which we were told would be limited to 45
minutes. Arlene's ability to translate so fluently resulted on our being
invited to stay after we were through filming, What should only have
been a polite 45 minute interview turned into an hour and a half visit
with our host serving us beer and Japanese snacks.
The 100 mile endurance ride was laid out over a hilly course that
occasionally would wind its way around a picture perfect lake. The riding
trails consisted of densely crowded trees and jungles. Christine and I
had picked out location shots the day prior and would hustle to each
location trying to stay ahead of the competitors. The jungles themselves
were constantly alive with various indigenous sounds and we became
extremely aware of anything that moved. Toting our gear up and down
the slopes of the course made us appreciate the comfort of our
traditional Japanese Inn where we stayed. I found the hospitality of the
service industry people to be nothing short of outstanding. I have been
in the hotel/restaurant industry for over 25 years and sad to say, I have
rarely experienced the attention to detail I found in Japan. Perhaps they
can offer training courses here someday.
What stood out to me most during the making of this film would have to
be the friendliness of the people we came in contact with and the
genuine love these riders have for their horse, whether it was in Japan or
in the U.S.
Oh yes, and the waiting in total darkness for the horse to pass, standing
in the middle of a bug humming jungle, would be a very close second.
Japanese Inn in
|View from our 17th
Floor room in Tokyo
Lazzarini in his
Japanese Kimono at
the Japanese Inn,
|Jerry Zebrack riding
|Ann Hall with Atina
DeSoi, finishing in
second place at the
first 100 Mile Ride
in Karuizawa, Japan
|The Lake at the
Ranch, Japan's First
100 mile endurance
|Inside the Delta Saloon, Virginia City,
Nevada, filming the wager scene
|The Cemetery at Virginia City,