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Cleveland Park Stables Hosts International Skaters

Mark and Mary Lou Greenwell of Cleveland Park Stables, Greenville, SC, recently hosted NBC and a group of world renowned ice skaters for a television special that will air on Christmas day. They were first approached about the idea back around the first of November and the actual shooting took place December 3rd and 4th.

“The Greenville Chamber Of Commerce put them in touch with us,” said Mary Lou Greenwell. “We were contacted by Phyllis McQuillan of TWI Production Company in New York and they wanted a rustic stable setting to do interviews with the skaters that were performing at the Greenville Bi-Lo Center. The choreographer is the one who came up the idea of a stable.”

Fully decorated for Christmas, the doors for Cleveland Park Stables were open for producer Jenny Silverstein, McQuillan and their production team to set up for the interviews. They began setting up cameras and lights early that morning and by noon the first of the skaters, Rosalynn Sumners and Nicole Bobek, arrived. Sumners had some western riding experience but did not try this time due to a back injury. She did, however, strike up quite a friendship with Kami Kazi, who according to Greenwell isn’t particularly friendly with just anyone. He was turned out and running in the background of her interview and the two became great friends.

Bobek took a riding lesson on one of the school horses and was actually posting before she was finished. As she was having her lesson Kristi Yamaguchi, Ilia Kulick and Ekatarina Gordeeva arrived. Both Yamaguchi and Gordeeva took their turns in the saddle but Kulick was a little reluctant due to the tension in his legs.

“He was afraid it would alter his performance if he changed any routines before skating,” said Greenwell.

Later that afternoon Jenni Meno, Todd Sand, Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen arrived. According to Greenwell, Sand was quite the comedian and wanted to ride but his wife wouldn’t let him.

The next day the crew returned for another round of interviews. The multi-titled Todd Eldredge arrived as did the current gold medalist Alexei Yagudin.Yagudin had always been afraid of horses but soon settled in and actually fed one for national TV.

“We really enjoyed our time with them. All of the skaters were very nice and didn’t seem to have any celebrity attitudes,” said Greenwell.

To finish the shooting the crew took Mark and Mary Lou out by the Cleveland Park Stables sign and filmed them wishing everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

“They couldn’t promise us that would make the final cut, but it was a lot of fun doing it,” exclaimed Mark.

The actual skating performances were held at the Greenville Bi-Lo Center and were choreographed by Lea Ann Miller. It will air on NBC Christmas Day from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. with the interviews from Cleveland Park Stables interspersed with the skating performances.

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