He’s won a swag of acting awards. Australians probably remember him best as Detective Senior Inspector Frank Holloway in the long running televisions series Water Rats. Or maybe as the shy mechanical genius with a tram obsession in the feature film Malcolm. Or more recently as Willy Loman in the stage play Death of a Salesman at Sydney’s Belvoir St Theatre.
Now Colin Friels is coming to Daylesford as Master of Ceremonies for The Functional Hoof Conference!
One of the lesser known facts about this celebrated but private Austalian actor is that his passion in life is horses! He’s run his own small herd on a piece of land south of Sydney for many years now. “I’ve loved horses all my life. I’m self taught. I’ve never competed.” Although he did win a celebrity cutting comp at Tamworth last year.
“I’m a student of the classical (C18th horseman) François Robichon de La Guérinière,” he says. He talks animatedly about the shoulder-in and other gymnastic exercises he does with the individuals in his band – often riding out in the bush for a day or so, with several in tow. He mostly trims – and conditions - his own horse’s hooves. But he also has an old timer farrier he can call on.
Friel’s equid empathy embraces both the psyche and the physical. “I live for horses. I never stop thinking about them. I just love the animal.,” he says.
At the centre of his approach is the study of biomechanics “Learning the scientific biomechanics of the horse is crucial……I am steeped in what is classical and that is an absolute respect for the horse. I want them to go straight, true and upright. All I want is for the horse to feel proud. I want to communicate with the horse so the horse thought he thought of it. (first). And I want to do that using classical principles.”
As organisers of the conference we are delighted to have Colin Friels onboard to guide proceedings.