Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Outside the barn. Everyone is hushed, reverential, expectant. The second assistant director; Cheryl’s stand-in; a CBS female executive; and another woman, are all standing close to the closed barn door. Their ears are pressed against the door, waiting for word of the birth of the foal. Their faces have that rapt, maternal look of expectant mothers.

Arthur Fellows, the. co-producer of this movie, is standing a little apart from the women with a smile on his face. He is a short, tanned, man with a ring of white, friar’s tuft around his bald head. Arthur is a horse lover, a too. He owns 36 horses, he says. He breeds them, trains them, and races them, which is why he is so excited about this movie.

“I told CBS about the breeding sequence,” Fellows says. “They got a bit worried. I tried to reassure them it was all done very tastefully. After all, what could we do? The stallion was all worked up. We couldn’t just pull him off the mare and yell ‘cut’ as if he was an actor?” Fellows goes on to say that it was very difficult to find a mare in foal at this time of year. Most quality horses foal in the spring, he says. Only “cheap” horses, who mate in the pasture, foal in the late fall. Still, he was able to find three mares in foal. Two of the three had their foals unexpectedly, before this birth scene was scheduled to be shot. This is the crew’s last chance to film this historic event, the birth of a foal, and so there is an element of nervousness, coupled with excitement on the set. “It’s going to be a beautiful scene,” says Fellows, smiling.

Suddenly, the veterinarian bursts out of the barn and hurries to his car. He returns with a syringe. “The mare’s not ready yet.” The vet says to Fellows. “I’m gonna induce labor.” Fellows nods and the vet disappears into the barn, where all the actors and crew have taken their places.

The group of women presses their ears again against the barn door. Fellows smiles at them, and says, “Women have this thing about horses.” He quotes a line from the script of “Bluegrass,” which says that all true lovers of horses are 14-year-old females who want to delay their sexuality.

From Pat Jordan's 1988 TV Guide story on Bluegrass, a CBS movie featuring Cheryl Ladd.

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