Horse racing is an ancient and elegant sport that has remained true to its original roots. The main goal was and still is, to identify which is the fastest horse over a set course or distance. Horse racing is an extremely popular sport which had new race formats introduced over time. These races are sometimes restricted to breeds, obstacle courses, different tracks, different distances, and gaits for example. The best horse racing movies all have these things in them.
As a sport that enjoys worldwide renown, the best horse racing movies are important to note too. The races serve a purpose of entertainment and even involve gambling. This has been the case for hundreds of years now, as you might have seen in movies or real life. Historians say the sport was already extremely popular in Ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt, and even Babylon. Furthermore, it plays a great role in legends and mythologies as well. Another ancient variant of the sport was chariot racing, which was a major part of the ancient Greek Olympics. Ben-Hur for example is a superb movie that visualizes ancient chariot horse racing as part of it. The famous spring carnival of Rome featured a horse race as the closing event for over 400 years.
Why Thoroughbreds are Present in The Best Horse Racing Movies Ever
A few hundred years ago Thoroughbred horse racing emerged and remained a very popular sport to this day. British royalty and aristocrats dubbed it the sport of kings. A sport filled with adrenaline, discipline, endurance, and skills has been a fan favorite for centuries. The sport was already really popular in the 17th and 18th centuries. This is when a lot of clubs and tournaments were created.
This applies today as well with the addition of online sportsbook sites in the UK and worldwide as well. The movie industry produced a lot of horse racing movies in the last decade. Because of the superiority of these horses, movies focus on thoroughbreds most of the time. The majority of movies show us some of the best horse races in the world with a great story attached to it.
How The Sport Stayed Alive and Reached The Big Screen
In the 17th century, the Newmarket Racecourse became widely known, mainly due to the support of King Charles II. The system of gambling and horse race betting became crucial by the early 19th century. A complete racing system involved cash prizes and prestigious awards. Everyone from the poor to the royalty took part in the bettings as this was what kept the sport alive and kicking. The growth of the horse racing industry provided countless jobs for the locals. With great endurance, stable boys could even become jockeys and make it to the big stage. Some of the best horse racing movies ever have similar stories to this.
Horse racing is very popular in Europe but it has transitioned to other continents as well. The two countries where horse racing is the most popular would be Great Britain and the United States of America. Thoroughbred races enjoy great crowds and are second only to football. These races include flat and jumps racing events. Usually the flat races are the main focus of horse racing movies. Bet365 Sportsbook for example is just one of the many online sportsbook sites in the UK where you can see the many categories available in the sport.
The Best Horse Racing Movies – Something for Everyone
It was only a matter of time before movies took over the world and directors realized if there is a market for horse racing, there is one for horse racing movies as well. The first-ever movie about horse racing is “The Derby”, released in 1895 it’s a documentary about the famous Epsom Derby. This movie kickstarted the genre and by the 1930s horse racing movies were being released en masse. There are so many good movies out there about horse racing but we’re going to try to narrow it down to just five. In no particular order, as these are all great movies.
Seabiscuit – Considered The Best Horse Racing Movie Ever By Many
Probably coming as a no-surprise pick, this 2003 drama is based on a true story and was nominated for 7 Academy Awards. The movie has Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges as the leads and the Depression-era-inspired film is both a critic and fan favorite.
A classic against all odds type of movie which tells a great story with heart. The movie also allows the viewer to see into the trade of jockeys, horse trainers, and owners as well. To defeat Triple Crown winner War Admiral, Seabiscuit and the team first have to prove themselves. Their journey is a path that sends hope to the hearts of people in the darkest hours.
An emotional and beautiful biography tells the story of the thoroughbred Secretariat, the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 25 years. Focusing on the 1973 event, the movie stars Diane Lane and John Malkovich. The three characters develop a strong bond throughout the movie and the actors are exceptional. Secretariat set an unbeaten record for winning margin and winning time. The movie features both recreations and real footage of the races. If you want to understand the excitement behind the races, check out Bet365 Sportsbook which offers horse racing betting.
Hidalgo is a little different from the previous films, it is an action-adventure set in the late 1800s. Featuring the incredible Viggo Mortensen as the lead, the movie tells the story of a cowboy and his mustang. The duo accepts a challenge which takes them to a deadly desert race in Arabia against more experienced and thoroughbred horses.
Based on true characters the story has everything from the heartbreaking lows to the exciting highs. Moreover, it brings together different cultures and showcases acceptance. Both reputation and lives are at stake in this 2004 flick.
The 1983 movie tells the story of the legendary Australian racehorse Phar Lap and a stableboy. The story focuses on Phar Lap’s entire career from his rocky start to his mysterious death. Arguably the greatest New Zealander racehorse and the pride of Australian horse racing, the movie is a real gem. The film doesn’t say it out loud but it is highly believed that Phar Lap was murdered. The legendary horse and his owner were winning so much that it upset the scales of horse race betting. The probable poisoning is related to the underground gambling circuit. Give it a watch and learn how to make good bets on online sportsbook sites in the UK, instead of resorting to extreme measures.
The Black Stallion
Our list ends with a difficult but great pick. The Black Stallion is a 1979 American movie based on the 1941 classic novel. It tells the story of an Arabian stallion and a boy who shipwreck together and form a strong bond. When finally rescued, they start training together to face the fastest horses in the world. A family-friendly film fit for younger audiences as well, it tells a beautiful and heartwarming story of friendship.
There are so many good movies about horse racing and you could mix or argue about our picks. We have to mention a couple of other films as well, for their stories are equally beautiful.
Bet on Revenge
Otherwise known as “Kincsem” the movie is widely considered a box office failure and a wasted potential. Based on the real story of Kincsem, the most successful thoroughbred racehorse ever.
Nicknamed the “Hungarian miracle” Kincsem won 54 races in 54 starts, setting a record that seems virtually impossible to break. This movie is good enough if you want to watch something about Hungary or learn a bit more about Kincsem.
50 to 1
A modern movie based on the inspiring true story of when a misfit group of cowboys qualified for the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird is an American thoroughbred who won the Derby at 50-1 horse race betting odds. Which is both unique and interesting, because he is crooked-footed. It’s a great movie about the underdog and the racing elite. Mine That Bird is currently 15 years old and lives a peaceful life on his owner’s ranch.
Our Opinion On The Best Horse Racing Movies Ever
If you are just as interested in horse racing movies as us this list will come in handy for you. Although these are what we consider the best horse racing movies ever, we cannot deny the greatness of others either. Each movie is special in its own way. If any of these movies piqued your interest and you want to know more about horse race betting for example, that’s great. So what do you think about our list? What would you change about our picks?