May 18, 2022
Comedy Horse Race Movies

Horse Racing Movies Based on True Stories

For many years, horse racing has been a source of immense pleasure – and, for the fortunate, money – for a large number of people. Horse racing is about much more than the winners crossing the finish line or the heart-breaking moments when a horse falls and is forced to retire or worse. There are numerous participants, from breeders to trainers to the jockeys who exercise the horses, as well as the jockey who rides the winner to victory.

Here is a selection of horse racing movies based on true stories for those peaceful afternoons when you want to see something wonderful and heart-warming.


Best Horse Racing Movies Based on True Events

Champions (1984)

This 1980s gem is based on the life and career of Bob Champion (played by John Hurt). Champion was afflicted with testicular cancer in 1979. He had chemotherapy and had his damaged testicle removed before riding Aldaniti to victory in the 1981 Grand National. Additionally, Edward Woodward appears in the film, and Aldaniti portrays himself. 

John Irvin was nominated for a Golden Bear for this movie, and director John Hurt took home a prize in the Evening Standard British Film Awards. Chamipons is one of the popular horse racing movies inspired by true story.


Hidalgo (2002)

This movie is based on the famed American distance rider Frank Hopkins and stars Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson, and Omar Sharif. Hopkins and Hidalgo were in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1890, where they were dubbed “the world’s greatest endurance horse and rider.” Sheikh Riyadh, a wealthy Saudi prince, requests that the show refrain from using such phrase and instead challenge the rider to prove himself in the “Ocean Of Fire” – a yearly 3,000-mile race over the Najd desert. 

In the movies, Hopkins overcomes adversity and intense competition to win the horse race, despite nearly dying of dehydration and contemplating shooting Hidalgo to end his misery. The movie grossed $108.1 million worldwide, and screenwriter John Fusco received a Golden Spur award for his work on the picture.



This heart-warming horse racing movie, starring Kurt Russell, Kris Kristofferson, Elisabeth Shue, and Dakota Fanning, follows a father and daughter who discover that an injured racehorse can help them mend their deteriorating relationship. 

Cale (Dakota Fanning) develops an attachment to a race horse that her father is adamant about selling and attempts to flee on it. While pursuing them in his car, her father Ben notices how swift this horse is and decides to enter her in a race. 

Regrettably, the race is a claiming race, and thus the horse is removed. Ben realises how beneficial the horse was for their family during a parent teacher night while hearing a tale written by his daughter, and chooses to purchase her back. Dakota Fanning was the recipient of a Young Artist Award for her performance in the movie.



Kiwi, starring Nick Blake and Alison Bruce, is the story of a horse racing who won the Wellington Cup and the Melbourne Cup in the same year, capturing the hearts of Australasian horse fans. Kiwi was bred for mustering and defied expectations by developing into a superb race horse despite his roots. Kiwi starred three distinct horses in the movie, which was shot in and around Auckland. 

This horse racing movie was directed by Thomas Robbins, who began his career as an actor before transitioning to the director’s chair.



Based on the real-life abduction of Shergar, an up-and-coming racehorse worth a small fortune, this film deviates from reality when Shergar is rescued by stableboy Tim Walsh (in real life, Shergar was abducted by the IRA and held for ransom, which was never paid, in an attempt to deter the IRA from abducting more high-profile racehorses). Shergar’s skeleton has never been discovered). While not exactly accurate, the ending of this video is significantly happier than what actually occurred!



Horses, regarded as one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, have served as an inspiration for movies since their inception. Numerous horse racing-themed movies have been released over the years, each one capturing the viewer’s imagination. The majority of these movies were based on true occurrences. We hope you will like the collection of these horse racing movies that we have shared.

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