The Best Horse Racing Movies of All Time

America loves its horses.  Aside from a select number of disgusting individuals that insist on mistreating or selling horses for human consumption, most of us appreciate the beauty and power that these champions exude.  There are endless movies about horses - Silver, the horse belonging to the Lone Ranger, a Wonder Horse named Champion, Trigger… The list goes on.  These movies – some of them Oscar winners – range from comedies and stories of bravery that will warm your heart to mysteries and whatever else the imagination can envision.  With so many to choose from however, we could be here all day so let’s narrow this down to the top 10 movies, about horse racing.

Movie #10

1983’s movie about the horse named Aldaniti and Bob Champion, his jockey, is entitled simply Champions.  What was so wonderful about this movie, among other things of course, was this man’s Grand National win in 1981, of course.  But what made the win even more outstanding was the fact that he had already won a different battle.  The battle against cancer.  Stunning footage of live races added to the film’s appeal.

Movie #9

2004’s Hidalgo introduces us to horse racing on a whole new level – namely, through the Arabian desert.  And, no circular tracks for these horses, oh no… A mere 3300 miles is what is asked of a beautiful Mustang and his rider, a pony express man.  Having taken place at the turn-of-the-century the movie is, again, true story based.  The cinematography involving both God’s amazing creatures themselves and the scenery is utterly stunning.

Movie #8

You will have every chance to boo and hiss at the bad guys in 1999’s Shergar.  If you like happy endings you’ll be pleased at Hollywood’s turn on this story of terrorists from the IRA stealing a race horse that was truly a champion – Shergar.  Mickey Rourke and Ian Holm star in this originally tragic story.

Movie #7

Richard Dreyfus starrd in 1989’s Let It Ride.  Amply named due to the fact that Dreyfus’ character is a lovable, but incurable bettor on the ponies.  Even though he swears to his wife that he will no longer do so he, of course, spends their last cent on a horse race and of course, proceeds to win.  And win.  And win.  But nothing lasts forever… Right?

Movie #6

You’re going to need a bigger box of Kleenex for 1983’s Phar Lap.  Another true story, this one involving Australia’s toughest times in history and the Great Depression, is lightened up a bit by a horse named Phar Lap.  Well over 30 races are won by this horse and the tale is made more lovable by the fact that it’s your basic rags to riches story.  Watch out for the ending though.

Movie #5

Secretariat - There can be no doubt as to what or who this movie is about.  The record involving Secretariat’s Kentucky Derby win still stands.  But the movie is equally about Penny Chenery, the horse’s owner, and her fight to make this racehorse a great American hero.  This movie was put out by Disney (I know… what?) in 2010.

Movie #4

The jockey is too big, the horse is too small, but Seabiscuit, again a true story, used 10 horses just to portray one, in this 2003 movie.  It takes place in the 1930s, another depression era tale, and a group of men (and a horse) doing their best to beat the odds.

Movie #3

Though the remake was fine, 1944’s version of National Velvet still wins out.  Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor were just young pups, but both clearly had their destinies already predetermined. Possibly that’s why this movie landed 2 Oscars.  Back in the day, when every little girl wanted a pony (not an iPhone), but weren’t allowed to race them Elizabeth Taylor, naturally, has a plan.

Movie #2

2005’s Dreamer - a broken leg is usually a death sentence for racehorse, but in this movie the horse is not only rescued, but rehabilitated through the love of a little girl, by the name of Cale Crain.  The movie starred Dakota Fanning and Kurt Russell.  Said to be inspired by a true story, the movie was written and directed by John Gatin’s.  Just watching the trailer gives you goose bumps.

And The Winner By A Nose Is...

2011’s War Horse - Simply put... A man and his horse… but so much more.  Not a horse racing movie per say, but definitely one of the most inspiring movies ever written and produced.  Never, ever, underestimate the power of love, between a man and his horse!

These movies will make you laugh, they will make you cry, they will make you mad, they will make you sigh.  But, no one can walk away from any of these 10 best horse films, without having their emotions somehow affected.