Gary plays his role in movie business

Gary Lowry is an unlikely film mogul but his understanding of equines and riding skills is now much sought by film production companies.

I recall when legendary American horseman, Monty Roberts, needed a skilled rider for his series of Join Up demonstrations in Ireland it was Gary (pictured) who was the rider of choice and coming from the Lowry family of Newtownards, renown for their equestrian skills and his father, Albert formerly the mainstay as whipper-in of the North Down Hunt.

Last year, during the shooting of Your Highness by Universal Studios in the province, Gary was involved in the supply of horses for the film featuring Natalie Portman and Danny McBride, with the medieval fort built at Clandeboye Estate.

The current project for the Newtownards horseman is again the supply the suitable horses and riders for Game of Thrones which is based on George R R Martin's best selling novels.

Funding for Game of Thrones is provided by Northern Ireland Screen supported by Invest NI and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The film is being made by Home Box Office, a subsidiary of Time Warner with an all star cast and Ulster locations used include Carncastle, Shane's Castle, Castle Ward, Magheramorne and Tollymore Forest.

Working alongside Gary are The Devils Horsemen, familiar to visitors to the Northern Ireland Horse Show in past years for their thrilling displays and they and some of their horses are based at Newtownards.

Gary Lowry told Equestrian Life: "I am delighted many more films are now being made locally, especially when they require horses. The work in very interesting and the worst aspect is the waiting about. It is a real pleasure to work alongside the Devils team and witness the extremes of their equine skills."

Game of Thrones is a series and includes Sean Bean, Mark Addy and Alfie Allen taking leading roles and location shooting is scheduled to continue until Christmas.

The pilot show reportedly cost $5/10 million while the film Game of Thrones is scheduled for screening in the spring of next year.