The Rings of Power: Animal rights campaigners criticise TV show after horse dies
Peta has condemned the use of real horses on television show sets after a horse died in rehearsal for The Rings of Power.
The animal was reportedly one of more than 30 on the set of the Lord of the Rings-based programme on the day of its death.
A spokesperson for Amazon Studios shared that the horse died of a cardiac arrest in a statement released on Sunday (26 March).
“We are deeply saddened to confirm that a production horse died,” the statement reads.
“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.”
According to a source comment to Deadline, the horse was standing near 20 other horses when its heart stopped.
The source also reported that after the horse collapsed, all surrounding cast and crew were asked to leave for 30 to 45 minutes while the body was removed.
In response to the news of the horse’s death, Peta voiced their opposition to the use of real animals in place of CGI or other visual effects.
“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,” Peta’s senior vice-president Lisa Lange said in a statement.
“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 Independent has contacted showrunners for comment.
The Rings of Power season two is expected to be released in early 2024.