The Hallmark Channel is premiering “Taking the Reins” on Saturday, September 25, at 9 p.m. Eastern/8 p.m. Central. The movie stars Nikki DeLoach, Scott Porter, Janine Turner, and Corbin Bernsen. Read on to learn all about where the movie was filmed and cast stories.
If you miss the premiere, the movie will air again on September 30 at 8 p.m. Eastern, October 3 at 12 p.m. Eastern, and October 9 at 5 p.m. Eastern.
‘Taking the Reins’ Was Filmed in Connecticut
Unlike many Hallmark movies that are filmed in Canada, “Taking the Reins” was filmed on location in Connecticut.
In fact, according to the On Location video, the movie takes place at Meadowbrook farm and is actually filmed at Meadowbrook Farm too. DeLoach shared that the location where they train in the movie is actually where they train and practice in real life too.
About 75% of the movie was shot at Meadowbrook Farm in Marlborough, Connecticut, Hartford Courant reported. At the time, the movie was called “Love at the Steeplechase,” but the name was later changed to “Taking the Reins.”
DeLoach shared a fun video about Porter while they were filming.
Renee Dupuis and her husband Ed Bennett III own Meadowbrook Farm. They told Hartford Courant that things happened fast once their farm was picked. The production company looked at about five horse farms before choosing theirs.
“I don’t want this to sound like boasting, but we do have a really beautiful farm,” she said. “My husband works really hard to keep it looking beautiful. It’s just very picturesque… Hallmark in particular is very specific about what kind of locations they want in their movies. They need to be neat and tidy and beautiful.”
You can see Meadowbrook Farm’s website here. The farm offers boarding and training, with horses and riders of all levels welcome. The farm is focused “exclusively on dressage training and education.” In fact, a dressage horse farm was exactly what the production company was looking for.
The website notes that the farm sits on just less than 50 acres “in the gently rolling hillside of picturesque Marlborough, CT.”
The site adds:
Previously known as Rainbow’s End, the new owners have recently transformed the farm with a series of updates, new construction projects and extensive renovations across the property. Conveniently located about 20 minutes between Hartford and Norwich, come rediscover this equestrian enthusiast’s dream!
Meadowbrook Farm boasts multiple arenas, turnout paddocks, fields, trails, barns and support buildings, and numerous amenities.
Meadowbrook Farm’s website also mentions “Taking the Reins” specifically and says about the movie:
We feel quite fortunate and privileged to be selected by the Hallmark Channel. Hallmark looked at horse farms all across the state of Connecticut and, in the end, felt Meadowbrook best represented their ideals. That’s a pretty big honor. While we haven’t seen the finished product, we estimate about 75% of Taking the Reins – which will air as part of Hallmark’s annual Fall Harvest lineup – was filmed at Meadowbrook Farm.
Although the movie was filmed in July, Andrew Gernhard told Hartford Courant that they’d digitally recolor the leaves to give the movie more of a fall feel. Gernhard is with the movie’s production company, Synthetic Cinema International.
DeLoach shared the above photo on Instagram, talking about how hot it was while they filmed.
She wrote: “When you see my non-melted face on TV, just know that this is what I actually looked like in the 182 degree heat and riding gear. Hair, makeup and wardrobe are the real heroes on set. Thank you ladies!”
She said they tried to shield her from the 100-degree heat during filming, but it wasn’t always easy.
Porter shared that he played Mario Golf between takes.
He said he had to work a 13-hour day in 90-degree heat on his birthday. They surprised him with lunch on set that day.
Meet the Cast
Here’s another cast photo, shared by Turner:
The synopsis reads: “A writer goes back to the family ranch to write an article about her passion for horses and discovers what ended her marriage and why she stopped riding horses.”
Nikki DeLoach is Sam. Her credits include “Cranberry Christmas,” “Sweet Autumn,” “Two Turtle Doves,” “Love Takes Flight,” “Love to the Rescue,” “Reunited at Christmas,” “Truly Madly Sweetly,” “The Perfect Catch,” “Awkward.” (Lacey), “Christmas Land,” “Ringer,” “Days of Our Lives” (Brenda), “Windfall” (Sunny), “North Shore” (Mary), “Misery Loves Company” (Tracy), and more.
Scott Porter is Luke. His credits include “Lucifer” (Carol), “Ginny & Georgia” (Mayor Paul Randolph, “Harley Quinn,” “Why Women Kill,” “Into the Dark,” “Avengers Assemble,” “Scorpion” (Tim), “Hart of Dixie” (George), “X-Men” mini series (Cyclops voice), “The Good Wife” (Blake), “Friday Night Lights” (Jason), “Caprica” (Nestor), “As the World Turns” (Casey Hughes), and more.
Corbin Bernsen is Preston. His credits include “The Resident” (Kyle), “Magnum P.I.” (2018-2021, Francis), “A Bennett Song Holiday,” “The Christmas Project Reunion,” “Tommy,” “Forever Love,” “Mary 4 Mayor,” “Sunrise in Heaven,” “The Punisher” (Anderson), “Billions,” “Hap and Leonard,” “My Daddy’s in Heaven,” “Psych” (Henry), “The Young and the Restless” (Father Todd Williams), “Love’s Complicated,” “The Glades,” “The Ascension,” “Miss December,” “Trapped,” “Cuts” (Jack,) “General Hospital” (John Durant), “JAG,” “The Cape,” “A Whole New Ballgame,” “L.A. Law,” and much more.
Janine Turner is Bonnie. The movie might have felt just like home to her — she lives on a 100-acre Longhorn ranch in North Texas. Her many credits include “Friday Night Lights” (Katie), “Strong Medicine” (Dana Stowe), “A Secret Affair,” “Northern Exposure” (Maggie), “General Hospital” (Laura), “Dallas,” and more.
Also starring are:
- Eliza Hayes Maher (Alexandra)
- Fredric Odgaard (Matthew)
- Ilana Becker (Ashley Vale)
- Megan McNulty (Amanda)
- Harry Sutton, Jr. (Announcer)
- Josh Philip Weinstein (Dr. Dizon)
- Jeorge Bennett Watson (Chauncey)
- Brian Cade (Paul)
- Damien Jimenez (Scott)