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Copyright © 2003 Express Publishing Inc.
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Friday, July 16, 2004


‘From Idaho to Athens’

Hailey horse is subject of new documentary

Express Staff Writer

Marina del Rey, Calif., had Seabiscuit. Hailey, Idaho has Brentina, a World Cup champion dressage horse who now has a film of her own.

The movie tells the story of Jennifer Serot, a Missouri teenager with cancer, whose idols are Brentina and her rider, Debbie McDonald, of Hailey. Jennifer, a dressage rider herself, met McDonald through the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

"Brentina: From Idaho to Athens" airs Saturday July 17 at 2 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. and again Saturday, July 24, at 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 25, at 11 a.m., all on CBS. It can be seen locally on KMVT, Channel 11.

Debbie McDonald takes Brentina through her steps at last year's Sun Valley Summer Symphony Benefit in Hailey. McDonald and Brentina are subjects of a new film, "Brentinia: From Idaho to Athens," airing this Saturday and next weekend on CBS. Express photo by David N. Seelig

When Jennifer met McDonald, Brentina was just beginning her climb to the World No. 1 ranking in her sport. McDonald is a member of the U.S. Olympic Dressage team that will compete this summer at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece.

Brentina is owned by Peggy and Parry Thomas who own River Grove Farm in Hailey.

The film documents McDonald’s near fatal fall from a jumping horse and her climb to the top of the Dressage World. It also documents the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s fundraising event last summer when the duo performed an Olympic Musical Freestyle performance at their home stable, River Grove Farm. As well it covers McDonald’s win of the U.S. championship and her leading of the dressage team to a Silver Medal at the World Championships in Spain.

Presented by Rolex, the film was produced, written and directed by Tim Ryan, the well-known sportscaster who has a home in Ketchum. His daughter, Kimberley Ryan, a former news anchor, hosted it.

"Brentina: From Idaho to Athens" was shot, edited and post-produced by Produktion in Boise.


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The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.