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Jennifer Saunders: Back in the Saddle

Jennifer Saunders is more than just a comedian, she is also a horse enthusiast and a former pony clubber.

This two-part documentary unearths a need to get “back in the saddle” after 40 years to fulfil her childhood dream, champion showjumper.

So Jennifer decides to compete in the 2012 Badminton Grassroots Championships where she will need to jump 20 fences in front of a sizable crowd.

 This equates to a frantic three months of training.  She promptly travels to Ireland where a large number of horses are born and bred for each of the equestrian disciplines – dressage, showjumping and cross country. She speaks with breeders and “talent scouts” to gain an insight into what makes a good competitor.

Enter Jack, her trusty steed and the help of Olympians, Tim Stockdale, Peter Roberts and none other than Princess Anne.

In contrast to Jennifer’s inexperience we gain an insight into the preparation of a number of British dressage and showjumping Olympian hopefuls.

Fast forward to D-day and there is a surprise in store for Jennifer that sees her compete three weeks later in North Norfolk.

Will she hold the winner’s cup aloft?

You will just have to watch to find out.

But never fear her comedic side is still ever present. Her talking horse’s routine is a definate highlight.

And keep an eye out for Dawn French, of sorts.

Back in the Saddle aired a month after the London Olympics where the British equestrian team recorded their most successful Olympic campaign in history.

This 92-minute documentary is a rare glimpse into the private world of Jennifer Saunders and taps into every little girls dream to own a pony and maybe even win a championship.

ActorsJennifer Saunders