KINGSVILLE—Lights, camera, action!
Hallmark’s “A Merry Single Christmas” was filmed this month in Bay Village and Berea, but the horses who star in the movie are from Kingsville.
Kellie and Sam Rettinger, of Whispery Pines Percherons, revealed they recently crossed something off their bucket list — starring in a Hollywood movie with their horses.
“It was just a regular Tuesday at the barn before Christmas when I received a phone call that said, ‘Hollywood, California,’” Kellie Rettinger said. “I really thought nothing of it, thinking it was most likely a spam call. But I am so happy that I answered because Hollywood did truly call. I almost fell over and thought, ‘here is our shot.’”
The producers were in need of the perfect horses and carriage for an upcoming Hallmark movie called, “A Merry Single Christmas,” by Southern made Productions.
“Not only did they need the horses, but they also needed an actor,” Kellie Rettinger said. “Being a huge fan of Hallmark Christmas movies, I knew we would be the perfect fit.”
After many emails and calls, the details were worked out and they filmed their portion of the movie earlier this month in Berea and Bay Village.
“What an awesome, yet cold day, and the whole crew and set were amazing,” Kellie Rettinger said. “We got to be a part of some of the most important scenes of the new movie, including the last scene where the main character proposes.”
Her husband, Sam, was a pro at acting, convincing the audience that the scene was real, she said.
“He remembered all of his lines and the horses were phenomenal and patient because there were many takes,” she said. “Seeing the whole process from behind the scenes is something that none of us will forget; there is so much that goes into a production.”
The Rettingers and their farm manager, Dylan Loomis, all said they were proud to represent their hometown on the big screen and look forward to seeing the horses and Sam Rettinger’s acting debut on the Hallmark Channel preceding the 2022 holiday season.
This isn’t the first time Rettingers’ Percheron horses have been a feature attraction. In 2019, they were pictured on the cover of the Ashtabula County Fair booklet. This picture was taken at the 2019 Equine Affaire in Columbus during the Fantasia show which is the musical celebration of the horse. In 2021, they were pictured in the Percheron Horse Association 2021 calendar. They also can be found at the fairs, weddings, special events and giving winter sleigh rides at Ma and Pa’s Cabin in Geauga County.
“Our horses are our pride and joy and also how we make a living,” she said. “They are not just animals to us, they are partners who work very hard alongside us.”