VIRGINIA "MINI" APPEARS WITH THE ROYAL LONDON BALLET
Jack Harmon and The Mighty Hercules on the Opera House stage at the Kennedy Center during a break between performances of "La Fille Mal Gardee."
Hercules latest preformance was on stage for a video at New Hope Church in Lorton, Virginia. He wore a tiny saddle and came on stage to The Bonanza theme music accompanied by the minister who was very tall and dressed in western clothing.
Jack and Midge Harmon of Harmon's Hayrides and Carriages in Centreville, Virginia were asked if they could provide a well trained driving miniature horse to drive on stage with The Royal Ballet of London, England. He was to pull a cart in the ballet company's performances of La Fille Mal Gardee (The Unchaperoned Daughter) at The Kennedy Center's Opera House in Washington, D.C. The Mighty Hercules was immediately pressed into service for the U.K.
Herc's duties were to include entering and exiting with two ballerinas in a two wheeled cart six times each performance. Herc impressed the well disciplined dancers, both on and off stage during the performances. He behaved like a Trojan while twenty plus dancers whirled around him and the cart at one point in the ballet. Six ballerinas in chicken costumes and a very realistic Rooster flitting all around him did not even faze him. It was dark and very crowded back stage. When Herc would exit, the cart would have to be picked up by two or three stage hands and as Jack wound Herc, still hitched to the cart, through the lines, flats, and lights they dodge the obstacles to carry the cart, to the other side of the stage for the next entrance. Didn't bother Herc a bit!
Herc arrived at the Kennedy Center in his "Limo", a 2 horse trailer, and stopped all traffic both foot and automotive while being unloaded. Tourists and Kennedy Center Security personnel escorted Hercules into the stage door of the Opera House.
During Herc's performance, rehearsals, matinees, and evening performances Jack (who incidentally accompanied Herc during his performances on stage) would take Herc out in front of The Kennedy Center for some fresh air and exercise, only to be mobbed by tourists, visiting dignitaries, and many little girls wanting to visit Hercules after seeing his performance on stage. Stardom has not affected Hercules one bit, Jack says he still is a "Free Spirit" roaming all over Meadow Acres Farm, getting into everything, and especially running with the Belgians; taking one hundred steps to the Belgians four cantering strides.
Hercules had previously appeared in an advertisement for METRO, in a starring role. Its theme was a "Dog and Pony Show". The CEO drove Herc to his cart leading a large dog tied to the back of the cart on the way to a planning meeting. Herc was at the Board of Directors Meeting in the building with a place at the table joining in the planning session.
Jack had promised Herc his own house if he earned the money, and rumors have been circulating since his return from D.C. that Herc is looking at little Amish made Cape Cods and Victorian Houses. He also was overheard interviewing agents to book more engagements.
By Midge Harmon
Meadow Acres Farm
14488 Weeping Willow Lane
Brandy Station, Virginia 22714-2344