We’ve compiled a list of all-time top horse racing movies, from heart-pounding dramas to light-heated comedies. There’s a racing film for everyone to enjoy.
Thus, whether you’re a die-hard fan of the sport or looking for a feel-good film, check out some of these movies, if not all.
Whether you’re a horse lover who spends most of your time outdoors with your horse or enjoys a Hollywood blockbuster centered on horses, there’s no denying how enjoyable a horse movie is.
As horse racing continues to grow in popularity, so do the number of films based on this exciting activity.
The first film on our list of the top racing horse movies is Seabiscuit. Starring Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges, this film tells how three men helped turn an underdog racehorse into a champion.
Based on the true story of one of America’s most iconic racehorses, Seabiscuit is a must-watch for any horse lover.
Despite having a rough start to his racing career, Seabiscuit goes from a disgrace to a domineering racehorse, winning nineteen out of his thirty-six races.
In addition, Seabiscuit uplifted many’s spirits during the Great Depression and became a legacy for years.
Seabiscuit is a heartwarming story of hope and determination that will cheer you for the little guy from start to finish.
The next film on our list of horse racing movies is Secretariat, another based on a true story. This heartwarming drama stars Diane Lane and John Malkovich and tells the story of one of the greatest racehorses in history.
Secretariat was born to run, and that he did, winning an astonishing sixteen out of twenty-one races, including the Triple Crown, a feat that he hadn’t accomplished in twenty-five years.
This film highlights the brilliant career of an incredible horse and the unique bond between him and his owner Penny Chenery, played by Diane Lane.
Thus, look no further, as Secretariat will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
With a fantastic performance by Diane Lane and John Malkovich, this film will leave you inspired and a little teary-eyed.
Phar Lap (1983)
Set in Australia during the Great Depression, Phar Lap is a heartwarming story of hope and friendship.
The film follows the relationship between Phar Lap, a talented racehorse, and his trainer Tom Woodcock. Despite being born in New Zealand, Phar Lap quickly became an Australian icon thanks to his impressive racing abilities.
He won fourteen out of fifteen races, including the Melbourne Cup in 1930. Sadly, Phar Lap’s life was cut short when he mysteriously died in 1932, but his legend remains.
Starring Viggo Mortensen, Hidalgo is the story of a Pony Express courier who enters a legendary 3,000-mile race across the Arabian Desert.
Based on a true story, this film follows Frank T. Hopkins and his horse Hidalgo as they attempt to survive the grueling race and prove that Hopkins is the most excellent rider of all time.
Filled with breathtaking scenery and exciting racing sequences, Hidalgo is a must-see for any fan of horse movies.
National Velvet (1944)
One of the classic horse racing movies of all time, National Velvet, tells the story of a young girl named Velvet Brown who dreams of winning the prestigious Grand National Steeplechase.
With the help of her trainer Mi Taylor, Velvet sets out to achieve her goal. Although its more recent counterparts sometimes overshadow it, National Velvet is a charming film that celebrates the joys of horse riding and racing.
It also features a young Elizabeth Taylor in one of her first starring roles. In addition, the film won two Oscar nominations and was added to the Film National Registry for its cultural relevance.
The Black Stallion (1979)
The Black Stallion is a timeless tale of adventure and friendship. Based on the book by Walter Farley, The Black Stallion tells the story of a young boy and a horse.
When a ship carrying Black Stallion sinks, the only survivor is a young boy named Alec Ramsay. Alec befriends the wild horse and, with the help of trainer Henry Dailey, tames him.
The two form a close bond as they embark on a journey to become champion racehorses. This film is beautifully shot and features some incredible racing scenes. It’s sure to appeal to horse lovers of all ages and is once again a must-see for fans of horse movies.
Ride Like A Girl (2019)
Ride Like A Girl is the inspiring true story of Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the Melbourne Cup. Despite being told that she was too small and weak to be a jockey, Michelle never gave up on her dream.
Against all odds, she went on to win Australia’s most prestigious horse race and proved that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
With an inspirational performance by Teresa Palmer, Ride Like A Girl is an inspiring film that will leave you cheering for the underdog and become a must-see in your house.
Released in 2005, “Dreamer” is a film that will appeal to any horse lover. It stars Dakota Fanning as Cale Crane, a young girl whose father is a horse trainer.
When one of his client’s horses is injured, he takes it upon himself to adopt the horse and welcome his daughter Cale into the family business.
This movie is an inspiring story of courage and determination. Despite the horse’s injury, Ben and Cale’s grandfather feel optimistic about Dreamer’s return to racing after seeing Cale riding him.
It’s sure to please all ages and leave you wanting more.
The Derby Stallion (2005)
The Derby Stallion is a heartwarming story of a young boy named Patrick who doesn’t know what to do with his life.
When he meets Houston, a steeplechase champion, his life changes forever. Houston gifts him a horse, Rusty, and asks that he takes care of the horse until he tells him to stop.
He decides to go to the race and ends up winning. With his guidance, Patrick slowly learns to ride a horse. Despite seemingly ill, Houston suddenly dies, leaving Patrick devasted and no longer wanting to race.
When cleaning Houston’s house, a friend of his encounters some letters addressed to him.
The Derby Stallion is an inspiring film that celebrates the power of friendship and determination.
50 to 1 (2014)
50 to 1 is the inspiring true story of Mine That Bird, a racehorse underdog in the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Despite being given odds of 50 to 1, Mine That Bird shocked the world by winning the race by astonishingly six lengths.
This film follows the horse’s journey from obscurity to fame and celebrates the courage and determination of those who believed in him.
The Cup (2011)
The Cup is a heartwarming film that tells the true story of jockey Damien Oliver, who, against all odds, went on to win the Melbourne Cup just weeks after the death of his brother.
The film chronicles Oliver’s emotional journey as he prepares for the race and tries to come to terms with his loss. The Cup is an inspiring story of triumph against all odds and will please any horse racing fan.
It’s a must-watch for anyone interested in the sport and will leave you on edge.
Let It Ride (1989)
Let It Ride is a fun and light-hearted film based on the 1979 novel Good Vibes by Jay Crooks.
The film follows the misadventures of cab drivers Jay Trotter and his friend Looney. Looney records his passengers’ conversations and conversations about an upcoming horse race.
He tells Jay about it, which leads to Jay having a perfect day.
Armed with a newly found confidence, Jay bets more money and, in turn, wins.
However, he fails when he tries to rally others to be with him. Jay continues to have his excellent winning streak at one point betting all of his winnings at one race.
Let It Ride is a delightful film that will leave you laughing and wondering whether a career at the racing tracks is that bad.
These are just a few of the great racehorse movies out there. Each of these movies is a classic in its own right and will leave you entertained, inspired, and maybe even a bit emotional.
So grab some popcorn, curl up on the couch, and enjoy!