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Horse racing has long been a source of inspiration for filmmakers, who have successfully captured the excitement, emotion, and drama of the sport.
From true stories of legendary racehorses to heartwarming tales of human and equine friendships, these horse racing movies have left an indelible mark on audiences worldwide.
In this article, we delve into eight must-watch horse racing films for equine enthusiasts and movie lovers alike, exploring their storylines, characters, and the impact they’ve had on the world of cinema.
1. Secretariat (2013)
Secretariat tells the inspiring story of a determined woman who defies expectations to lead her horse to victory in the Triple Crown. The film delves into the challenges faced by Secretariat’s owner, from financial struggles to industry skepticism, while showcasing the incredible bond between humans and horses.
The movie is a testament to the power of resilience and the ability to overcome adversity.
Secretariat has an IMDb rating of 7.2 and is available to watch on Disney+.
2. Seabiscuit (2003)
Seabiscuit brings to life the true story of a small racehorse that captivated America during the Great Depression. The film follows the journey of Seabiscuit’s owner, trainer, and jockey, who work together to transform this overlooked horse into a racing legend.
The movie beautifully captures the essence of the underdog story while shedding light on the historical context and the challenges faced by those who believed in Seabiscuit.
Seabiscuit has an IMDb rating of 7.3 and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video, Paramount + and Roku TV.
3. Phar Lap (1983)
Phar Lap is a biographical film about a legendary Australian racehorse that captured the nation’s heart during the Great Depression. The movie traces the rise of Phar Lap from his humble beginnings to his meteoric rise to fame as a champion racehorse.
The film also delves into the deep bond between Phar Lap and his trainer, showcasing their unwavering trust and mutual respect.
Phar Lap has an IMDb rating of 7.3 and is available to purchase on Amazon.
4. Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)
Dreamer is a heartwarming film that follows the story of a young girl and her father as they work together to save an injured racehorse named Sonador. Against all odds, they nurture the horse back to health and begin training her for a comeback race.
The movie showcases the power of hope, determination, and the healing potential of family bonds.
Dreamer has an IMDb rating of 6.9 and is available to purchase on Amazon and other online stores.
5. The Black Stallion (1979)
The Black Stallion is a visually stunning adaptation of the classic children’s novel by Walter Farley. The film tells the story of a young boy named Alec and his deep connection with a wild Arabian horse, forged when they are stranded on a deserted island after a shipwreck.
As they return to civilization, the boy and the horse embark on a thrilling journey into the world of horse racing, driven by their unbreakable bond. The movie is an ode to the power of friendship and the beauty of nature.
The Black Stallion has an IMDb rating of 7.3 and is available to watch on Roku and DirecTV.
6. Ruffian (2007)
Ruffian is a moving biographical film about the legendary American racehorse, Ruffian, widely considered one of the greatest female thoroughbreds in history.
The movie delves into the life of this remarkable filly and her meteoric rise to fame, exploring her rivalry with Kentucky Derby winner Foolish Pleasure and her tragic fate. Ruffian is a tribute to the indomitable spirit of a true champion and a must-watch for horse racing fans.
Ruffian has an IMDb rating of 6.5.
7. 50 to 1 (2014)
50 to 1 is an inspiring true story that follows the journey of Mine That Bird, an underdog racehorse who defied the odds to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby. The movie chronicles the lives of the horse’s unlikely team, including a cowboy trainer and a group of New Mexico-based owners, who come together to overcome numerous obstacles on the path to racing glory.
The film is a heartwarming testament to the power of teamwork, determination, and belief in the face of adversity.
50 to 1 has an IMDb rating of 6.4.
8. Let It Ride (1989)
Let It Ride is a comedic take on the world of horse racing, focusing on a down-on-his-luck cab driver who becomes obsessed with betting on the races. As he tries to turn his newfound passion into a winning streak, he encounters a colorful cast of characters who provide both comic relief and valuable life lessons.
The film offers a lighthearted look at the world of horse racing, emphasizing the importance of enjoying the journey and not just the destination.
Let It Ride has an IMDb rating of 6.9 and is available to watch on Paramount+.
9. Champions (1984)
Champions is an inspiring true story about jockey Bob Champion, who overcomes a cancer diagnosis to win the 1981 Grand National. The film follows Champion’s journey through adversity and highlights his unyielding determination to succeed.
Parallel to Champion’s story, the film also focuses on his horse, Aldaniti, who recovers from a debilitating injury to triumph on the racetrack. Champions is a testament to the power of determination, resilience, and the human spirit.
Champions has an IMDb rating of 6.8.
10. Racing Stripes (2005)
Racing Stripes is a delightful family-friendly film that tells the story of an abandoned zebra named Stripes who dreams of becoming a racehorse. With the help of a young girl and a motley crew of barnyard animals, Stripes sets out to prove that he has what it takes to compete against thoroughbred horses.
This heartwarming, comedic movie highlights the importance of believing in oneself and the value of friendship in overcoming obstacles.
Racing Stripes has an IMDb rating of 5.2 and is available to purchase on Amazon.
11. Dark Horse (2015)
Dark Horse is an inspiring documentary that tells the incredible true story of a group of working-class friends from a small Welsh village who decide to breed a racehorse. The film chronicles the journey of the horse, Dream Alliance, as he goes from humble beginnings to competing in some of the most prestigious horse races in the UK.
Dark Horse is a compelling story of camaraderie, determination, and the transformative power of dreams. It has an IMDb rating of 7.3 and is available to watch on Starz and DirecTV.
12. Ride Like a Girl (2019)
Ride Like a Girl is a heartening biographical sports drama based on the life of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. The movie follows Michelle’s struggles and triumphs in a male-dominated sport, highlighting her unwavering determination and perseverance.
Ride Like a Girl is an empowering story that showcases the power of passion, resilience, and breaking barriers. It has an IMDb rating of 6.8 and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
13. The Cup (2011)
The Cup is an inspiring biographical drama that tells the story of Australian jockey Damien Oliver, who overcomes personal tragedy to win the 2002 Melbourne Cup aboard Media Puzzle. The movie delves into the challenges faced by Damien and the bond he shares with his brother, who tragically dies in a racing accident.
The Cup is an emotional and uplifting tale of courage, determination, and the power of the human spirit. It has an IMDb rating of 5.7 and is available to watch on .
14. The Derby Stallion (2005)
The Derby Stallion is a family-friendly drama that follows a young boy named Patrick McCardle, who dreams of training a local horse named Rusty to compete in the prestigious Derby Cup. With the help of a former horse trainer, Patrick learns valuable lessons about hard work, dedication, and the power of believing in oneself.
The movie showcases the transformative potential of pursuing one’s passions and the lasting impact of friendships formed along the way. It has an IMDb rating of 5.5 and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
15. Casey’s Shadow (1978)
Casey’s Shadow is a heartfelt drama that tells the story of a Louisiana horse trainer who dreams of winning the prestigious All American Futurity Quarter Horse race. When he discovers an exceptionally fast colt named Casey’s Shadow, he becomes determined to make his dream a reality.
The film explores themes of family, ambition, and the power of hope, while offering a captivating look into the world of Quarter Horse racing. It has an IMDb rating of 6.1 and is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.