Temple woman’s horse makes movie debut in Netflix film ‘Concrete Cowboy’ Friday

  • Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film “Concrete Cowboy.” Ben Conant / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant—

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    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ">

    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ">

    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ">

    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ">

    Trina Parslow of Temple and her horse Melody both appear in the upcoming Netflix film "Concrete Cowboy." Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • 'Concrete Cowboy' Courtesy photo—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/30/2021 3:44:30 PM

The upcoming Netflix film “Concrete Cowboy” tells the story of the real-life Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, a group of Black urban cowboys in Philadelphia who maintain a horseback tradition and teach it to youths in their neighborhood. Starring in the film are Idris Elba of The Wire, Caleb McLaughlin of Stranger Things – and Melody the horse, who traveled to Philadelphia from Temple to film her cinematic debut in August 2019.

“The very first day we were literally in the center of Philadelphia, like the city center of Philadelphia,” said Trina Parslow of Temple. “It was intense. There’s cars everywhere. People aren’t slowing down.”

The City of Brotherly Love was a far cry from the Temple pastures where Parslow and Melody first met while Parslow was working at Mountain Lane Farm. Parslow trained Melody and formed a special bond with the young paint horse; when the opportunity arose to buy her, she couldn’t resist.

“She’s very smart,” Parslow said. “Very laid back ... I love having that connection with her.”

Parslow and Melody participated in a horse training workshop in Lyndeborough along with representatives from LTD Animals, a company that provides animal actors for movies and television shows, and the recruiter liked Melody’s look and calm demeanor.

“They wanted a paint horse, but not like a loud paint,” Parslow said. “So because she has just a few spots, she kind of fit the part perfectly.”

In August 2019, Parslow, mother Amy, and Melody loaded up the horse trailer and headed down to Philadelphia to start filming. At the time, the movie had yet to be picked up by Netflix, and the Parslows weren’t exactly sure how big the film would be – or if it was even on the level.

“We just went down there without any knowledge of what was even happening,” Amy said. “Will we get paid? What kind of movie is it? Where are we going when we get down there? ... And it was probably the most amazing experience I’ve had – ever – or in a very long time.”

The initial casting call was for 12 to 14 horses, so the Parslows didn’t expect significant screen time; as it turns out, Melody plays a prominent role in the film. McLaughlin’s love interest, Esha (played by Ivannah-Mercedes), rides Melody throughout the movie, and wherever you might see Melody, Parslow was just off camera, keeping an eye on her girl.

“I had to brush her, tack her up, and then I would actually usually ride her through the scene first before the actor got on just to make sure that she was going to handle everything,” Parslow said.

By virtue of proximity, the Parslows were called into service themselves; Amy was rounded up for general wrangling duties around the horse pen and was an extra in the background of several scenes, and during a break from Melody’s shooting, Trina suited up as part of a softball team for a scene, though neither of them know if they made it into the final cut of the movie.

Concrete Cowboy was expected to debut at the Telluride Film Festival in 2020, but COVID-19 altered the course, and it eventually showed at the Toronto Film Festival in September, leading to its pickup by Netflix. The film is set to debut streaming on Netflix on Friday, April 2.

The trailer was released earlier in March, and Melody and Ivannah-Mercedes appear in the trailer in a few shots – something Amy picked up on excitedly as she watched it for the first time with a friend.

“I was running around the living room, touching the TV,” Amy said. “And she’s like, ‘I can’t watch the movie with you if this is what you do with the trailer.’ ”

These days, Melody is back home in New Hampshire, boarding at a Lyndeborough stable, where Parslow visits her daily. And, Parslow said, despite Melody’s turn on the silver screen, she hasn’t let her Hollywood success get to her head.

“She has no idea,” Parslow said.




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