People like to watch movies about various kinds of competitions. When they include interesting true stories about individuals who took part in them and were remembered for their role in history, they become even more interesting. Horse racing is an adrenaline-packed competition for both competitors and viewers, and there are many movies with this topic covered. In this article, we bring you the 12 best horse racing movies of all time.
The Black Stallion (1979)
What it’s about: This adventure drama tells the story of a young boy Alec who is traveling with his father. On one of these travels, he becomes fascinated by a wonderful Arabian stallion. He is sailing with the same ship as Alec, and soon they find themselves struggling for survival. Their ship sinks, and they are the only survivors, now stranded on a desert island. They form a tight friendship, and after being rescued, they meet a horse trainer Henry Deeley who helps them enter races against the world’s fastest horses.
Why you should watch it: Based on a series of books about the black stallion, this is one of the most beloved movies about horses and horse racing ever. It is a beautiful story, with a wonderful soundtrack and scenery and a nostalgic throwback for all the ones who enjoyed the books.
What it’s about: This is a western biographical drama about the famous American distance rider Frank Hopkins and his mustang Hidalgo. It is the story of Hopkins’ racing Hidalgo in 1891 Arabia against Bedouins and their pure-blooded Arabian horses. It is a difficult race through the desert where most riders often fatally forfeit. Hopkins has to prove himself among the strangers in a foreign country, a country so much different from his own, and fight against prejudice.
Why you should watch it: This is one of those movies that stick together with you after watching it. It is a beautiful true story, with brilliant performances and a strong message about a friendship between a man and a horse.
What it’s about: This biographical drama starring Diane Lane and John Malkovich tells the story of Penny Chenery, a devoted housewife and mother who accepts her father’s wish and takes over his Meadow Stables in Virginia. Even though she has almost no knowledge of raising and breeding horses, she manages to show her talent, tenacity, and strength in the predominantly male business. With some help from veteran trainer Lucien Laurin, she eventually successfully fostered the first Triple crown winner in twenty-five years.
Why you should watch it: This is another interesting drama inspired by a true story, and even though we know how it is going to end, it is never boring. It is full of suspense and has a powerful story that we don’t forget.
Dream Horse (2020)
What it’s about: This movie is inspired by a true story about Dream Alliance, an unusual racehorse bred by the bartender Jan Vokes. Jan lives in a small Welsh town and has no particular experience with horses and even less money. She manages to convince her neighbors to give some money to help raise Dream so he can compete one day with other stellar horses. It will all be worth it when Dream makes it to the Welsh Grand National, where he proves himself a great champion.
Why you should watch it: When you find Toni Collette on the list of a movie cast, you can almost always be sure that you are up for a good movie. And you wouldn’t be wrong this time, too. This is a heartwarming story of friendship and the importance of having good people around you and determination to achieve something that you maybe weren’t expected to at first.
Phar Lap (1983)
What it’s about: This is a true story inspired by the life of the legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap. It is a well-known story even today due to his mysterious death, but also many great accomplishments during his lifetime. The movie begins at the end, and we go back and learn about Lap’s background. Although without a pedigree, he is purchased by the strong-willed trainer Harry Telford who believes in his greatness. Thanks to the love of another human, a stableboy Tommy Woodcock, Phar Lap becomes one of the best racehorses ever, a thorn in the eye for many professional gamblers. During one of his races, Lap collapses and dies, and his death remains yet unsolved.
Why you should watch it: This movie will probably make you go and search for more information about this brilliant racehorse. It is a heartwarming and heartbreaking story about the strong bond between people and animals.
What it’s about: This is a biographical drama about Bob Champion, a British jockey who was diagnosed with cancer in the late 1970s. His story is remarkable because he miraculously recovered and won the 1981 Grand national steeple chase.
Why you should watch it: This is a very good movie which will especially be interesting to racers who want to learn more about the history of their sport and all the inspirational individuals who became heroes after winning certain competitions.
The Cup (2011)
What it’s about: This is a heartbreaking story about two brothers, Jason and Damien Oliver, excellent horse riders whose lives have always been difficult. From the loss of their father and Jason’s horrible accident before the race of his life, which left him paralyzed, it is a story that shows the strength of a person to overcome all the obstacles that were put in front of him.
Why you should watch it: This story will break your heart on one side and fill you with love and warmth on the other. It is a true story about brotherly love and bond and one that you will remember for a long time.
What it’s about: This movie is inspired by a true story and deals with a man’s trust in an animal and its recovery. Ben Crane and his daughter Cale adopt a mare and save it from being sacrificed by her owner. Ben believes that she deserves another chance, but she will also help Ben and his daughter re-establish their lost familiar bond. The mare might have the opportunity to reenter the racecourse despite her broken leg with the help of Cale, Ben, and his father Pop.
Why you should watch it: This is a movie about second chances and the strong bond that exists between a man and an animal. It is also a heartwarming family drama and a true feel-good movie for the whole family
National Velvet (1944)
What it’s about: Mi Taylor is a traveler who has been given “all the roads in the Kingdom” to travel. One of these roads, which is also described in his father’s journal, leads him to a quiet English house in the countryside where he meets the Brown family. Their youngest daughter Velvet loves horses and wins the rebellious steed Pie in a town lottery. Mi is interested in training the horse for the country’s greatest racing event, the Grand National.
Why you should watch it: This is a classic among movies about horses and horse races. It is a must-see for every movie fan since it is one of the earliest movies dealing with the topic, with the excellent and then very young Elizabeth Taylor in one of her earliest roles.
Let It Ride (1989)
What it’s about: Jay Trotter is an ordinary man with a gambling problem and often visits racing tracks where he usually doesn’t win anything spectacular. But one day, lady luck comes knocking on his door, and it seems he can’t lose, no matter how he bets, which results in him having the best day ever.
Why you should watch it: This is a great comedy with brilliant Richard Dreyfuss in the leading role, an underrated gem that combines comedy and racing in an impeccable way. A must-see!
What it’s about: The movie introduces us to a car maker Charles Howard as well who lives with his second wife and dreams of entering the horse races. He joins a group of underdogs that include horse trainer Tom Smith who has a feeling for noticing a good horse, Seabiscuit, an unusual horse that Tom chooses for Charlie, certain that he is ready for the win, and the jockey Johnny “Red” Pollard. This group of outcasts will join forces and try to win against all odds.
Why you should watch it: This is one of the most famous and unforgettable movies about horses, based on a true story during the Depression era. It is interesting, and it brings us a lot of information and intriguing facts about this historical period.
50 to 1 (2014)
What it’s about: This is a drama about a group of misfit cowboys from New Mexico whose lives changes when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. They become the biggest surprise in a final showdown full of the world’s racing elite.
Why you should watch it: This is another true story that will make you feel good after watching it. It is fun and interesting. Its story is unforgettable and one more proof that everything in life is possible.