Texan Makes Hollywood Dreams
Thomas Bentley always wanted to be a professional
stuntman and movie and TV horse trainer.
In the early 1990’s Thomas visited with family friend, James
T. “Happy” Shahan, owner of Alamo Village,
which is John Wayne’s version of the Alamo, in Brackettville,
Texas, asking to be an extra in the movies.
This was clearly the beginning of Thomas’ career.
|Thomas and his trick horse Turbo have
been in several films including Twister, Shallow Hal, Tecumseh The Last
Warrior, The Christmas Horse, The Extreme Horseman Show and have performed
at many live shows and Horse Expos around the Country. Some of his other
stunt horses have been in such films as Fields of Freedom, The Alamo,
American Outlaws, Carried Away, A Face To Kill For, Soul Collector, Purgatory,
Wishbone Halloween Hound, The Legend of Creepy Collar, and Still Holding
On Legend of Cadillac Jack.
Thomas’ acting and stunt credits include Fields Of Freedom, Killer
Diller, The Alamo, Shallow Hal, Dawn of our Nation, Purgatory, Still
Holding On Legend of Cadillac Jack, Tecumseh the Last Warrior, and Twister.
Along with stunt work, Thomas has produced a Pilot TV Show called The
Extreme Horseman, which is currently being reviewed by more networks for
additional episodes. Thomas has also produced and directed several HD
|Thomas’ wife Belinda has
also been in the film business. She was one of the stunt doubles for
Gwyneth Paltrow in Shallow Hal. She helped Thomas with the training
of a specific trick for Turbo. Producers wanted Turbo to crawl down a
road with Gwyneth leading him. Turbo also rears and sits like a dog in
the movie. Belinda has also worked on The Christmas Horse, The Extreme
Horseman Show and performed at many live shows.
About two years ago Thomas decided to purchase a stable and training
facility in Forney, Texas, about 25 minutes from Downtown Dallas, to
share his skills and passions with other horse owners. Thomas
has spent 20 years professionally training horses for various venues.
He hadn’t trained horses for the public until about three years ago. While
working at a local Equestrian Center, people began asking him to train
their horses. So with a little persistence,
Thomas began training horses for the public.
Thomas and Belinda’s riding/training and boarding facility is
AFA Riding Center & Sporthorses. He gives lessons, trains horses
and gives clinics on proper training and building of relationships between
horse and human. AFA teaches and trains both English and Western disciplines.
You can see more about the facility and photos of Thomas performing at
You can also see Thomas along with his trick
horse, Yella Turbo Train, perform at this year’s Equine Expo of Texas
in Fort Worth on May 6-7.
Thomas and Turbo will perform some of the
tricks they’ve done for films and TV Shows. Afterwards Thomas
will explain how you might do
some of these tricks yourself. Additionally, Thomas will
provide a riding demonstration on his Andalusian horse, Icaro D.
Icaro has been in a
Texas Tourism commercial and has been cast as the lead horse
in an upcoming picture.
Info about the Expo can be seen at EquineExpoOfTexas.com.