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The horse whisperer the other side

When not acting in front of the camera, actor Randeep Hooda can be seen riding and taming his precious stallions

entertainment Updated: Sep 19, 2012 11:32 IST
Robin Bansal
Robin Bansal
Hindustan Times
Randeep Hooda,stallions,Clint Eastwood’s The Good

What does actor Randeep Hooda do when he packs up early from shooting?
No. He doesn’t go partying like his industry colleagues but rides and tames horses. A passion he took up since childhood, his love for stallions has only grown over the course of years. “I was in class seventh or eighth when I saw Clint Eastwood’s The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and got inspired to ride horses,” the actor tells us while revealing anecdotes about his other side we hardly know about. Horse riding, however, didn’t come easy for little Randeep then. “I fell down the first time pretty badly. But they put me back and then I overcame my fear. And since then I’ve fallen from a horse many times,” he laughs it away.

But that’s not all — he has had worse than just a fall. “I was once bitten by a horse on my spinal cord when I was in school. Three years ago, I’d fallen in a polo match from my horse and even broken my ankle and had to get a rod fitted in my leg,” he says sportingly. Hooda keeps his horses in different stables at the Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai as a part of the Amateur Rider’s Club. He owns five horses namely Ranji, Johnny Walker, Simply Supreme, Son of the Soil and Rommell, who are looked after by a team of 10 people. “I plan to buy more horses. I see a horse, I get attached to it. Unlike others who choose a horse looking at its capabilities, I get a horse and then decide what it can do best,” he says. Not many would also know that Hooda is the only actor, who regulary participates in professional horse riding events. “I’ve not been able to compete properly since the last two years but this year or may be next year, I’ll ask my producers to lend me some time to do it,” he says.

The side we know
Randeep Hooda, 36, was spotted by International filmmaker of Indian origin Mira Nair, who gave him his big break in her film, Monsoon Wedding in 2001. However, commercial films came to him only after a long wait of four years with Ram Gopal Varma’s D in 2005. He followed it with a couple of flops but his career took a major turn with Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai in 2010. He has since earned acclaim for his power packed performance in films such as Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011), Jannat 2 (2012) and Jism 2 (2012). Next in the pipeline for him are films such as Heroine, John Day and Murder 3.

The master
Hooda learnt riding a horse during his childhood after watching a film. He fell in love with the blue blooded sport and finally got to buy his first horse when he came to Bombay. But the stallion died in his arms in 2007 due to an injury. Since then he’s not stopped buying and looking afterhorses

First Published: Sep 18, 2012 16:56 IST