Hollywood is full of movies that reflect the lives of famous athletes and the stories of their triumphs. But for some reason, horse racing doesn’t have as special a place in cinematic storytelling as more popular sports like football or basketball. As a result, the general audience has no idea how exciting and emotionally satisfying horse racing can be.
Luckily, there are still plenty of movies that describe the bonds between horses and their handlers in a beautiful way. In this article, we’ll offer a list of the 5 best horse racing movies that you’ll definitely consider watching if you enjoy animals and competitive sports.
Seabiscuit is a classic 1930s American movie that tells the story of struggling jockey Red Pollard in the Great Depression period. Just like most of the horse racing movies, this movie is also based on a true story. Even if you aren’t a big fan of sports, one look at its cast is enough to consider watching this movie. In particular, the movie stars Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Cooper.
The movie became so popular that, after its premiere in cinemas, people started understanding the basics of horse racing betting. Even now, after watching the movie, you might even start looking for horse racing betting apps in order to take part in this exciting sport and place your bets for the first time.
The best part about Seabiscuit is that it’s not just a regular movie for entertainment. It also educates the viewer and explores the basics of the world of horse racing.
Similar to Seabiscuit, Secretariat is also based on a real life character and her story. This movie is pretty famous in the US sports industry and in fact, if you ask athletes to name their favorite movie in this genre, chances are that they’ll mention Secretariat. The reason is that this movie won America’s Triple Crown in 1973 for the first time in 25 years.
Considering that it stars talented actors such as Diane Lane and John Malkovich, Secretariat easily achieved success and has become one of the most beloved movies for sports lovers.
The main characters of the movie are a horse called Secretariat and its owner, Penny Chenery, who has a bit of a sad story – she returns to Virginia after her mother’s death with a purpose to take over the family’s Meadow Stables. In order to avoid spoilers, we won’t reveal other details of the plot. But once you know the details, this heartwarming story will inspire you with the connection between horses and animals.
The name of this movie already reveals its main idea – the life and challenges of a jockey, a professional horse rider. Unlike the previous two movies that are considered classic films of the sports film genre, Jockey is a relatively newer movie that was released in 2021. Therefore, it’s not as popular as “Seabiscuit” or “Secretariat,” but it’s a great movie if you want to take a look at a fresh perspective on this sport.
In fact, as critics say, Jockey is one of the most realistic movies about horse racing because it shows this sport through the eyes of jockeys. Clifton Collins plays an old jockey in this movie who wins one last race in his career. If you like horse racing, then chances are that you’ll enjoy watching this movie and exploring this sport from the perspective of the rider.
We can’t continue our list of the best horse-racing movies without discussing Hidalgo – the oldest horse-racing movie that’s nothing like typical sports films. Hidalgo is the name of a Mustang that takes part in the “Ocean of Fire” race across the Arabian Desert.
This means that other than the exceptional acting skills of Viggo Mortensen, who plays Frank T. Hopkins, the rider of Hidalgo, you can get to know the 1890s Arabian culture and enjoy action, adventure, and the emotional relationship between the horse and its rider.
5. Ride Like A Girl
Let’s finish our list with a modern horse racing movie, Ride Like a Girl. Even though the name of the movie might make you assume that it’s far from gender equality and human rights, actually, the movie is directed by a female director, Rachel Griffiths, who decided to tell the story of the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup — Michelle Payne. Not surprisingly, Payne’s story is all about how a strong woman fought over gender barriers and found her place in the sport of horse racing.
Interestingly, one of the actors in the movie is Michelle Payne’s real-life brother, Stevie Payne, who plays himself. Therefore, this movie is partly a documentary, which is another reason why Ride Like A Girl is far from typical sports movies.
In conclusion, it doesn’t matter whether you just love watching horse racing, want to take part in this sport, or you’re already an experienced jockey, watching these five movies is a great starting point to take pleasure from horse betting. So, choose your favorite one and get ready to explore the challenges, triumphs, and exceptional bonds between humans and animals.