Oscar

Les Amis dOnno

Date posted: 7th February 2010

The equestrian display team “Les Amis d’Onno” have come to settle in the Borders of Scotland bringing with them their unique form of equestrian entertainment.
Their five magnificent Friesian horses, two Andalusians and Norwegian Fjord pony are the stars of the family troupe. The training of the horses is undertaken by the troupe who also make the costumes, props and artistic material associated with the shows.
The troupe is made up of the Martin family, that includes mother Sue Martin daughter Bethany and son Jacob as well as guest performers from the south of England and the Borders of Scotland. The Martin family have lived between Jedburgh, in the Borders, and the Charente in France for the past seventeen years and are very pleased to have the opportunity to now present their shows in the U.K.
Over half the horses in Les Amis d’Onno’s troupe are beautiful Friesians, Bethany and Sue were first introduced to the breed when they were living in France. After always admiring the “big black horses” at a farm in the next village to their house they decided to stop and meet the owners. The Dutch lady who owned the horses bred them and trained her stallion to do the much revered “Haut Ecole”. It was from that first meeting that the Martin family got involved with the entertainment shows.
These intelligent horses have the perfect temperaments for being taught circus tricks but they are equally suited to leading a medieval battle charge. Friesians are well known for being carriage horses and have amazing natural presence with their distinctive high stepping gait; this makes them one of the most eye catching horses when trained for dressage. The Friesian will stand out in a crowd anywhere often in France being referred to as “La Perle Noir”, The Black Pearl! Also the “costumiers” for Les Amis dOnno love that any coloured costume goes with black!
Les Amis d’Onno are a unique and versatile performing troupe who primarily work with horses in a very traditional style of French entertainment. The horses are trained to a high standard and have performed in every type of venue imaginable from large equestrian arenas through village greens, to chateau courtyards, tents and marquees right down to village streets and gardens.
The performances range from a street procession through to a ten minute slot in a cabaret show right up to an hour long theatre show.
The types of show can be tailored to the needs of the event, themes such as Medieval, Western, Zorro, Cossack, Barbarian or Circus can all be catered for. A Medieval banquet show of around one hour is always popular,
Winter 2007 was the “Magic Carousel” show tour, an hour long show performed in two parts set to music with wonderful costumes the story was of how the toy box toys come to life with ridden pieces, trick riding, combat, fire breathing, unicycling and sword fighting. This show has a feeling of a 1940/50’s funfair.
“Fairytale” was the winter show on tour in 2008 there was singing fairy, wicked witch, princess and prince charming and an evil dragon who was dramatically slayed! The dragon was played by the little Fjord horse, Onion, who lies down and plays dead. This show has a magical feel to it and is best under lights.
The summer of 2009 saw the troupe performing the highly acclaimed and fast paced cancan on horseback show that won a place in the best ten shows at Tarbes Equestria, France. This show is around 12 minutes of trick riding and high kicks on horseback by two/three daring young ladies with a finale of fast and furious trick riding by Jacob Martin. The costumes are exact replicas of the costumes worn at the Moulin Rouge, although the dresses are shorter to allow free movement. This show has proved to be highly popular. It has the feeling of the old fashioned circus shows popular at the turn of the century and always succeeds in having the audience clapping and cheering for more.

Each summer les Amis d’Onno will be touring Scotland performing at various venues, please contact them for performance dates.

Les Amis d’Onno are pleased to welcome interested members of the public to come and meet them at their home, Lanton Hill Farm, Jedburgh TD8 6SY.

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