Your Summer Task and Meydan City

 

During conversation with a co-worker a summer movie challenge arose for you to participate in.

In the month of July, let’s try to view and discuss some of these movies in this blog post. We can discuss what we thought of the movie we saw and suggest other movies to check out, or possibly to never see. The list can be found a few paragraphs down. Make sure you +Favorite this blog post/link/url so you can easily come back and find it, because I will still post blogs unrelated to this topic during July.

Thanks to Amazon.com and our Exclusively Equine store, I was able to scroll through a plethora of horse racing videos, mostly Thoroughbred racing related but a few unrelated to Thoroughbreds. I have compiled this list of videos that looked interesting enough to hopefully appeal to some of you out there. Some of these videos look rather cheesy, but some of them look quite good.

I have seen Seabiscuit and have The First Saturday In May in my queue on Netflix. I have chosen to watch Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments from the list and will be receiving it this week via Netflix.

Here is the video listing, with the movie title, then some additional info on the movie to help you find it.

    Win, Place, Show: The History => history

    Laffit: All About Winning => Kevin Costner, et al.
    Seabiscuit - America's Legendary Racehorse (Documentary) => Martin Mason, Doc Bond, Charles Howard, and Mrs. Charles Howard

    Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments => Secretariat, Barbaro, War Admiral, and Citation

    Thunder and Reins => Gary Stevens; Craig Perret; Pat Day; Jerry Bailey; Kent Desormeaux; Jose Santos; Mike Smith; Carl Nafzger; John Ward; John Sadler; Joe Drape; Billy Reed; Sheila Day, and Rita Santos

    Saddles & Silks: A Jockey's Story => Saddles & Silk-Jockeys Story

    Seabiscuit - The Lost Documentary => Martin Mason, Doc Bond, Charles Howard, and Mrs. Charles Howard

    The Life & Times of Secretariat, an American Racing Legend

    The First Saturday in May => Chuck Chambers, Paul Parrish, Edgar Prado, and Jake Romans

    Barbaro - A Nation's Horse

    Seabiscuit => Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, and Cameron Bowen

    Dreamer - Inspired By a True Story => Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Oded Fehr, and Kris Kristofferson

    Champions => Julie Adams, Kirstie Alley, Peter Barkworth, and Ann Bell

    Racing Stripes => Frankie Muniz, David Spade, Snoop Dogg, and Bruce Greenwood

    Women in American Horse Racing => Documentary

    The Horse Whisperer
---

A week or so ago I noticed a new ad running on our site. I clicked on it and behold the shiny new discovery that resulted.

Meydan City.

A ridiculously amazing spectacle of modern engineering, and future city awesomeness that I just had to mention. Quite literally just awesome. I had to learn more.

So I have been surfing the web, and looking up the specs on this location. 40 million square feet gross floor area, 15 million square feet of land area, a self-contained community, boat canal, and waterfront with Meydan Marina, and 10,000 people per hour able transit via metro from the city to the Meydan track and back.

I clicked on the Racecourse video near the bottom of the home page and was amazed at the plans and feel of this place. It is a trip I am now going to have to plan to take in my lifetime, just to see it to believe it.

The city itself is a tribute to the horse, but their race track is beyond words.

Meydan Commercial Director Mohammad Abdul Nasser Al Khayat said: "We are keen on enhancing awareness of the Meydan project. Our objective is to showcase this iconic development to our potential consumers and stakeholders.
 
The Meydan project is being developed with the aim of cultivating a spirit of sport, commerce and play. The project is designed to foster cultures that are competitive, healthy, and energetic."

You can view the city here http://www.meydan.ae/

---

Horses of interest results:

6th race - Hastings Racecourse - June 19, 2009
Off at: 9:46   Race Type: Claiming        
  Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
  Value of Race: $10,044
  Distance: About Three And One Half Furlongs
  Surface Type: Dirt Track Condition: Fast
  Winning Time: 40.93
Pgm     Horse     Jockey     Win     Place     Show
1     Dark Vader              Pedro V. Alvarado     4.80     3.20     2.80
2     Money X Change     Richard Harvey Hamel           4.20     3.40
3     Master Foolish         David Wilson                                      3.10
Also ran: 5 - Freequartersmine , 8 - Mykentuckyprincess , 4 - Forecastor , 6 - Write a Letter
Scratched horses: Bad Sneakers

4th race - Hollywood Park - June 19, 2009       
  Off at: 8:37   Race Type: Claiming     Video Race Replay
  Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
  Value of Race: $37,800
  Distance: Seven Furlongs
  Surface Type: All Weather Track Track Condition: Fast
  Winning Time: 1:22.12
Pgm     Horse     Jockey     Win     Place     Show
6     Soda Pop Kid                 Jose Valdivia, Jr.     10.80     5.80     3.60
1     Big Bad Leroybrown     Tyler Baze                           6.60     5.00
4     Yankee Visionary             Garrett K. Gomez                            3.40
Also ran: 7 - Bestdressed , 2 - Lang Field , 3 - Principle Secret , 5 - Saint Paul

9th race - Arlington Park - June 21, 2009       
  Off at: 5:14   Race Type: Allowance Optional Claiming  
  Age Restriction: Three Year Old and Upward
  Value of Race: $34,500
  Distance: One And One Sixteenth Miles
  Surface Type: All Weather Track Track Condition: Fast
  Winning Time: 1:45.10
Pgm     Horse     Jockey     Win     Place     Show
8     General Charley      Eduardo E. Perez     8.40     4.00     3.00
4     Just Julian                Eusebio Razo, Jr.                8.00     5.20
5     Obi Wan Kenobi     James Graham                               4.60
Also ran: 3 - Quasicobra , 7 - Going Ballistic , 1 - Hurta , 2 - Voy Por Uno Mas , 6 - Alone At Last

 

Horses of interest works:

Piratesonthelake
Date: June 23, 2009
Track: ARLINGTON PARK
Distance: Five Furlongs
Time: 1.00:20 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: All Weather Track
Rank: 2/16

Brass Hat
Date: June 19, 2009
Track: CHURCHILL DOWNS
Distance: Five Furlongs
Time: 59:60 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: Dirt
Rank: 2/9

Pyro
Date: June 13, 2009
Track: KEENELAND
Distance: Four Furlongs
Time: 50:80 Breezing
Track Condition: Fast
Surface: All Weather Track
Rank: 51/59

 ======================

On The Muscle:

Not just the best horse documentary I have ever seen, but one of the best documentaries I have ever seen...period. This statement coming from an avid war history buff who finds himself habitually watching military documentaries.

Summary:

On The Muscle is a video that is over two hours long and divided into three parts. You follow Richard Mandella, his trainers, exercise riders and barn around the US in 2003.

If you are a fan of The Tin Man, Pleasantly Perfect, Reddatore, Alex Solis and many other horses, then you need to watch this movie.

On The Muscle covers predominantly the West Coast racing, with Mandella's barn based in California. You will visit Santa Anita, Del Mar, and many other tracks while  witnessing the Kentucky Derby, Breeders' Cup and several other stakes races.

The video follows the progression of horses already in training and watches the careers grow for Mandella's stars. Witness the arrival of 2YOs from Kentucky and witness their introduction to training. Learn how the horses train and see the skill required to understand a horse's personality, running style, health and limitations.

This movie taught me so much more about the ins and outs of a barn. Respect and admiration for the dedication of true horsemen has grown immensely. It was great to see how Mandella won four Breeders' Cup races in a single day, setting a record.

If you have ever wondered what the daily routines are or what it takes to be in this industry, see this movie. It is entertaining, highly educational, and family friendly.

I give this six out of five stars.

 ======================

Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments:

Filled to the brim with history, statistics and lots of footage I have never seen before, and I have seen a lot of Derby footage.

The film was not just about the races, but the people, the farms, and the culture at the tracks. One of the largest stand outs for me to see was how the in-field use to be PACKED with people running from side to side, just to see the horses.

Watching various celebrities and stars that visited through the years was fun. Seeing how much international attention was given to various horses along the way, especially Secretariat of course.

I learned so much about various farms, especially Calumet. I knew how much Calumet meant to racing, but now I understand truly why. I learned about the golden age of racing and so much about the horses from WW2 and before.

I was lacking in history here and there from the early days of the Derby. I was super excited to meet Lord Darby and listen to his statements on the differences between Europe's Darby and the Kentucky Derby.

I give this four out of five stars, and highly recommend this movie to anyone wanting to learn about the Kentucky Derby. I never found myself bored.

39 Comments

Leave a Comment:

Soldier Course

Adam:

I would like to suggest that you add the DVD documentary "On The Muscle" to the list of films to review.

It's a year in the life of trainer Richard Mandella, and features six of his "trainees", including Pleasantly Perfect and The Tin Man. Also featured are jockeys Alex Solis, Julie Krone, Eddie D, and veterinarian Rick Arthur with some great surgical clips. Some of the races featured are the Arkansas Derby, Kentucky Oaks and Derby, Arlington Million, Pacific Classic, and Breeders' Cup.

This DVD was produced by Robin Rosenthal and Bill Yahraus of Pony Highway Productions in Southern California. It is very professionally done,and is of the highest quality. Their website is ponyhighway.com. I bet that Ms. Rosenthal would be glad to send you a courtesy copy if you told her about the contest. And tell her that her buddy from Charleston, SC sent you!

24 Jun 2009 9:32 PM
Soldier Course

Adam:

When you go to Dubai to visit Meydan City be sure to stay at the Burj al Arab Hotel, built on its own little island in the Persian Gulf and designed to resemble a sailboat.

That hotel is on my dream list of places to stay, as is the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados, which I think is owned by one of Rags to Riches's owners, Derrick Smith. Tiger Woods and his wife were married there.

24 Jun 2009 9:43 PM
RachelSatterfield

You didn't put this one:

On the Muscle: Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable'

Which I found through Netflix.  I really enjoyed watching it.  I think it's actually my favorite racing doc. that I've seen.

25 Jun 2009 1:20 AM
da3hoss

First 2 on are not on your list:

"On The Muscle" a year in the life of Richard Mandella. Focuses on the story of  Pleasantly Perfect, The Tin Man, Redattore, Kudos, Ile de France, and Brisquette.

The Black Stallion: Good, Good, Good.

Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments: was pretty good.

Racing Stripes was cute, horse crazy little girls will love it.

The Life & Times of Secretariat: Yes

Seabiscuit: Hollywood

Horse Whisperer: Nothing like the real original, this was pathetic.

25 Jun 2009 7:18 AM
flytothestars

I wish the new track is the traditional dirt not the rubber. It seems ALL turf horses have an advantage with all tracks that are rubber hands down. A turf horse has to run on dirt to prove its mettle against best runners if its thought to be hailed as a top racehorse in the world. Same goes for the dirt runner to run on turf.

It seem a turf horse will from now on be a top horse in the world...

BRING back the early dawn of racing in the 20th century!

25 Jun 2009 7:23 AM
FSF

What in the world is going on with the availability of 'First Saturday in May' via Netflix? It's been sitting there quietly in my queue for a year(?) now. Any idea how we can find out when they are actually going to have it, instead of just teasing us with the potential of having it?

25 Jun 2009 8:52 AM
Greg J.

Adam,

    I don't have time right now to talk about the movies(I will be back...).  Since you listed horses with movie theme names, I had to list my favorite, From the movie "Sound of Music":

"Doremifasollatido"

   If you haven't seen this(I am sure you have), Here is Tom Durkin Singing "Doremifasollatido", Priceless...

www.youtube.com/watch

25 Jun 2009 9:29 AM
merrywriter

Meydan City,

If we ever want to know where our oil money went  - here it is - on a city we didn't even buy.  How can I ever go there when I can't drive and have to wear black all covered up in unspeakable heat?  Plus, if you will notice, the only woman in the whole race track video is a bartender - good old subservience.

Although I have to say if I had my choice of going to Ascot or Dubai World cup, I'd choose Dubai.  Still nobody parties like Kentuckians.

Merry

PS - Maybe Maktoum will give you a free jet ride to the World Cup for the PR, Adam.

25 Jun 2009 10:32 AM
MtBFan (STILL)

'Racing Stripes' should have been banned from all theaters.

25 Jun 2009 12:42 PM
aspradling

It seems On the Muscle: Portrait of a Thoroughbred Racing Stable is quite popular, so I am putting that on my task to watch this summers as well.

Soldier Course: I love The Tin Man! That dvd sounds very interesting and I will definitely have to try and watch it. It might be forty years before I can afford to visit Dubai, but I will definitely see if I can land a room in that hotel.

da3hoss: You should have been a film critic, your description of The Horse Whisperer made me laugh. I know one or two people who liked it. It is good to know about the other movies. My co-worker and I were commenting on Racing Stripes, thinking how does a zebra fit in this scenario...then we read the movie description and laughed. I would definitely recommend this purely as a kid's movie =)

FSF: I had the same issue with a few different movies. I like a lot of martial art movies, so I had some that had been released in Japan for over a year and available in English, it took another year for Netflix to get it, so they should get it soon. I will investigate it, because it has been sitting in my cue as well.

merrywriter: I'll be honest, I don't think I could turn down a private jet for a weekend in Dubai, but the scope of this track is just an amazing monument, if you will, to racing. I always have admired the Middle East's love for the horse and found it fascinating how ingrained the horse is in their culture.

MtBFan: lol

26 Jun 2009 9:04 AM
Soldier Course

Rachel Satterfield and da3hoss:

How fascinating that the very first comments (ours) on this thread all were about "On The Muscle". Nice coincidence and great tribute to a fine work.

This DVD is my favorite documentary about horse racing, except for the one about Secretariat's life. The thing that is so amazing about it is that Pleasantly Perfect was almost an afterthought in Mandella's barn when filming first started, then towards the end of the project - SURPRISE! No one could have planned this remarkable ending.  

Adam, you really must watch "On The Muscle". It is a marvel. "First Saturday in May" is boring by comparison.

26 Jun 2009 10:23 AM
aspradling

I just added "On The Muscle" and "Greatest Derby Moments" should arrive by today...then watch that and send it back and will get OTM.

I'll come back and edit this blog post as an update...as I watch the movies.

26 Jun 2009 11:44 AM
Wanda

Thanks Adam really enjoyed looking at all the info on the track. My brother and sister inlaw went there last year but did not go to the track. That would be a dream trip and I liked the movie Racing Stripes!

26 Jun 2009 9:34 PM
merrywriter

Sometime this spring, somewhere I heard Calvin Borel asked what was his favorite movie.  He said Casey's Shadow.  It seemed to me I had heard another Cajun jockey mention it to, Desormeaux maybe?  It's from the 1970s and even if the acting with Walter Mattheau isn't great and the backstretch swearing prevents it from being a family movie, it does show the Louisiana bush leagues  and Ruidosa as the big leagues.  It's also about running 2 yr. old (quarter) horses too early.  

There was also a documentary called The Making of Casey's Shadow which I didn't see.  But this is the most intensive movie I've seen about racing itself.  Lots of backstretch and at the gate shots.  I especially enjoyed the shutes(?) for the stretch races in LA.

One of the things that cracked me up is that the hooping and hollering of the winners sounded just like Borel at the Derby.

t

27 Jun 2009 1:37 AM
aspradling

I watched Kentucky Derby's greatest moments over the weekend...review appended at the end of this blog.

29 Jun 2009 8:44 AM
merrywriter

Saw 'On The Muscle' last night.  It was wonderful as I love The Tin Man so it was fun watching him 'come up.'  What ever happened to Reddatero (sic)?  

We see how people LOVE these horses and I couldn't have helped but think of Eight Belles and how devastated that whole barn must have been.  The Mandella barn cries when their horses win.

The thing I took away is how positive everyone is.  And how laid back - especially Mandella.  Guess no one can be a nervous Nelly around high strung thoroughbreds since they will pick it up.  Alex Solis and Mike Smith showed they are no prima-donnas.  either - if you ride a horse, you work with the horse.

The movie showed what a nice culture the whole racing industry is.  I better understand what goes on to get a horse to the track and the myriad of people involved.  

06 Jul 2009 9:47 AM
Soldier Course

I enjoyed both "Dreamer" and "Racing Stripes", but my expectations were in line with the fact that these movies were targeted to young audiences.

I thought the performances in "Dreamer" were stronger than the plot. Dakota Fanning was a wonderful "old soul". The scene with her at the filly's stall door offering the cherry Popsicle was lovely. The strained relationship between Kris K. and Kurt Russell was played convincingly, as was its warm and welcome resolution. I was glad that the Breeders' Cup was featured, even if certain details about its operations were wrong. At least the audience was introduced to this great event in racing and took home something to learn more about.

I thought "Racing Stripes" was great fun. It had good lessons about fortitude and bullying. I enjoyed it as much as I did "Babe".

Both of these movies presented three memorable fathers - strong, steady, and compassionate.  

07 Jul 2009 9:46 PM
Soldier Course

Adam:

I am thrilled with your review of "On The Muscle". Loved the six stars.

08 Jul 2009 9:58 PM
Soldier Course

Here's my review of  the movie "Seabiscuit" (Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, etc. movie)

I think Hank Goldberg summed up my feelings about this movie pretty well: needed a little more Clippity in its Clop.

The movie was 10-15 minutes too long. I found myself getting restless at the end.

My biggest criticism is that there was no moment of emotional connection with the horse, early enough to make the connection meaningful for the viewer. For me the connection came very late, when the injured Seabiscuit stepped off the van at Ridgewood where Red Pollard was waiting.

Some of the incorrect details distracted me, for instance, Tom Smith's calling War Admiral an 18-hand "monster". What??? War Admiral was diminuative.    

10 Jul 2009 3:16 PM
Soldier Course

Don't you hate those incorrect details? Like spelling, for instance. In my previous comment, it's "diminutive", not "diminuative". Funny though, neither spelling looks right to me.

10 Jul 2009 10:15 PM
Horswld

Another great horse racing movie is "Phar Lap" with Phar Lap's groom being played by Tom Burlinson who played in "The Man From Snowy River" and "Return to Snowy River" both of which have racing undertones to them. The footage in those two movies are beautiful and second to none. There is one stunt where he jumps over and runs down a cliff chasing the brumby herd. That is my favorite scene in a movie ever! I highly, highly recommend all of these movies!

Also there is a horse movie called "Sylvester" about a semi-wild, big, gray horse trained to become a three-day event horse. The story is great. The two little brothers in the movie are so delightful and sweet!  In one scene Sylvester gets spooked, throws his rider, and tries to run off down the road. A pickup truck swerves to a stop in his path and instead of stopping himself, the horse jumps clear over the bed of the truck! That's where the idea comes in to make him into a jumper. But one of my favorite parts is watching the Appaloosa that runs him down.  He runs faster than any horse that I have ever seen run in a movie! For real!

I highly recommend this movie also. You'll even get to see this horse dance in the moonlight! Good Stuff!

12 Jul 2009 12:48 AM
Shiznik

"Let It Ride" is still the best horse racing themed comedy ever made.  Dreyfus is hilarious and there are people at every track I have ever been too just like the ones in the movie.  Great characters!

12 Jul 2009 4:15 PM
Paula Higgins

Seabiscuit the PBS DVD is very good. Seabiscuit the movie is missing Seabiscuit. Sorry, it needed more horse and less people. I liked Dreamer as well. It's gearded to a younger audience but Kurt Russell never gives a bad performance, Dakota Fanning was credible and they actually had a lot of horse in it! I also loved the Secretariat movie-Life and Times. I couldn't bear to watch the Barbaro movie. I followed his progress from beginning to untimely end each day on the U.Penn site so I knew the story only too well. It broke my heart. I need to find On The Muscle.

12 Jul 2009 5:03 PM
Soldier Course

Horswld:

"Phar Lap" is an excellent movie, but so sad, especially now that we know that Phar Lap was poisoned in this country.

Ron Leibman plays Phar Lap's owner. I've always liked this actor. Remember his short-lived 1970s TV series "Kaz"? He also played in the movie "Norma Rae" with Sally Field. He was Reuben, the union organizer.

In "Phar Lap" the scenes where the horse trained on the sand dunes were magnificent, but again, hard to watch. A few years ago, my cat Jacob was treated for lymphosarcoma by a veterinary specialist, who had worked for Allen Jerkens before she went to vet school. She told me how they exercised the horses by running them in the sand on the beaches of Long Island. She said it was very good conditioning.

13 Jul 2009 11:17 AM
Soldier Course

Here's another horse movie to review:

"Something To Talk About", with Julia Roberts, Dennis Quaid, Kyra Sedgwick, Robert Duvall, Gena Rowlands

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The characters seemed like real people, warts and all. It presented a warm Southern family without resorting to the usual Hollywood "grits and gravy" treatment.

The interactions between the two sisters (Julia and Kyra) were wonderful. I enjoyed Julia's role as stable manager for her father's farm, and how well she handled the trainer and other employees, bringing out the best in them.

The marital rift was believable, as was the way it was resolved. I liked that the reconciliation had an implied condition, yet left plenty of room for the dignity of both Julia and Dennis.

The only flaw is this movie was the "food poisoning" gimmick, way too silly and out of character for Julia's role. It was so out of place.      

I thought the young daughter "Doodlebug" was great, not sappy or irritating. She was determined to ride that big horse, and boy did she. She loved her father and grandfather so much, and wanted them to be proud of her courage.

The other marital rift, between Gena Rowlands and Robert Duvall, ran its course in such a funny, heartwarming way.

Everybody had to go round the bend for a while to find out what love means. So much like life ...

This movie was filmed in and near Savannah, and also in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, my home.

14 Jul 2009 1:23 AM
hmb0725

The original Black Beauty was alright... I enjoyed the Seabiscuit doc. and 2003 movie (event though the movie was "Hollywood" flawed, as previously mentioned) (Sorry, just wasn't too thrilled about the Shirley Temple version lol)

All the talk about about On the Muscle makes me want to go check it out!!! Sounds really good.

14 Jul 2009 11:13 AM
Soldier Course

"Something To Talk About" reminded me of the movie "Once Around", because both movies had such warm family depictions. Turns out they both had the same director, Lasse Hallstrom.

14 Jul 2009 2:46 PM
Horswld

Soldier Course,

I remember Ron Leibman in "Norma Rae" but I never watched "Kaz". Though it was hard to watch, I also loved the scenes where Phar Lap was being trained on the sand dunes. Boy, he was some horse!

I also loved "Something to Talk About". I watch it everytime I see it coming on.  I agree with you on everything that you said about the movie. It's a new classic for me!

Another great movie like "Phar Lap" is the movie "Ruffian" that was just put out a couple of years ago.  (I can't believe I didn't mention that one before, because Ruffian is one of my alltime favorite horses!) The movie is done really well plus the bonus features on the DVD include all of Ruffian's races, highlights and interviews.  I highly recommend that you find this movie to buy and keep.

15 Jul 2009 3:42 AM
Soldier Course

Horswld:

I have the Ruffian movie DVD. I was not impressed with the movie, but the footage of Ruffian's races after the movie is invaluable. I tell everyone to buy the DVD for that reason.

I wonder if any movie could do justice to Ruffian's story? She was just so very special. The same is true of course about Secretariat. I hope Hollywood doesn't miss the mark with the movie about him. Hate to say this, but after "Seabiscuit" I am expecting Secretariat's movie to be a disappointment. Hope I am wrong.

I had a hard time finding the DVD "Something To Talk About". Finally I saw it by chance one day at the grocery store, of all places, for $4.99!    

15 Jul 2009 10:00 AM
Soldier Course

This is not a horse movie, but I love the scene in the 1995 movie "Sense and Sensibility" where Elinor Dashwood (Emma Thompson)says goodbye to her beloved horse at Norland, her father's home.

The Dashwood women have to leave Norland after the father's death because of the English laws of inheritance during the Regency Period. They move to a cousin's cottage on the coast. Elinor could not take the horse with her because the Dashwood women could not afford to keep him.

15 Jul 2009 3:21 PM
Horswld

Soldier Course,

I remember that part in "Sense and Sensibility". It touched my heart.

I really enjoyed "Ruffian". But do I think that it was in the same league as a movie such as "Phar Lap", no, not at all. Not many "horse" movies are.  When I watch "Ruffian" or "Phar Lap" I always skip the part where the horses die.  Watching the whole movie once is enough for me.  I just watch and enjoy all of the race scenes now.

I also like watching movies that have alot of horses in them to judge if the people that made the movies pay enough attention to put the right breeds or types of horses in the right places. I am stickler about that! One movie that does this to a T is the movie "The Thirteenth Warrior" staring Antonio Bandaras. Anyone that loves horses would appreciate the effort they took in making sure that the right breed or type of horse was matched with the right character of people. For instance, Antonio's character, the movies namesake, is fondly refered to as ,Arabian, or Little Brother because his new found friends, the Northmen, can't pronounce his name. His horse is a very fine white Arab that the Northmen refer to  as a dog because, compared to their giant, draft-type, war horses, he is too small to bring to war.  This is later dismissed in the movie because of the Arab's great courage. Also, the bad guys of the movie, refered to as the "Eaters of the Dead" ride Fjord horses and Icelantic ponies.  This is so because these tribes people came from farther north than anyone else. You should watch this movie if you haven't already.  It has a great storyline. Also, the scenes with the Arab horse are priceless. But I must warn you that the movie is very violent so be prepared to turn your head if you must.

Another movie that introduced me to one of the most beautiful horses in the world is the movie "Ladyhawke" staring Michelle Phifer. This movie introduced me to the majestic Friesan horse that has become one of my alltime favorite breeds of horses. The movie also has an Andalusian that has one of the longest manes that I have ever seen on a horse. This is actually a pretty darn good movie.

If you haven't seen these two movies I hope that you do so soon.  If your anything like me I beleive that you will enjoy them at least because of their "horse facter!"

16 Jul 2009 11:56 PM
Horswld

Has anyone seen the movie "Man and Boy" staring Bill Cosby? I actually really enjoyed this movie. It's pretty touching.

17 Jul 2009 12:05 AM
Soldier Course

Horswld:

I plan to see "Ladyhawke" soon. I love Friesians and always look forward to seeing the Friesian featured in the Parade of Breeds show at the Kentucky Horse Park.

17 Jul 2009 11:02 AM
Karen

Merrywriter: Redattore is standing in California (Northern Hemisphere)/Brazil (Southern Hemisphere). His offspring are doing very well in Brazil. Lots more info about him: www.harrisfarms.com/.../index.htm

17 Jul 2009 5:32 PM
Karen

I recommend "Riding High" starring Bing Cosby as a racehorse trainer. Bing owned racehorses and even opened Del Mar, and his rapport with horses shows. This is an oldie from 1950 that I recently discovered and really enjoyed. Frank Capra is the director, so it is quite well done. Netflix has it.

17 Jul 2009 6:14 PM
Tiznowbaby

Without a doubt, "Champions" with John Hurt playing Bob Champion who rode Aldaniti to a Grand National win.

Also, I have "Shergar". Cheesy when it winds down to a rather fantastical ending (but much more palatable than watching a horse get shot).

"Casey's Shadow" is a childhood favorite I think most adults would enjoy.

Another cheesey movie but definitely a childhood favorite: Anyone remember Disney's "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit"? A good 1/3 of it takes places at the Washington D.C. International Horse Show.

Very much want to see 1960 documentary "The Horse with the Flying Tail" (which won an academy award). Gives the story of Nautical, an appendix type palomino that started as a cow horse and eventually helped the U.S. team win gold in the Pan American games.

17 Jul 2009 8:20 PM
barb

I just came across this on the "bump" blog but am glad I did. I have almost all of the dvd's on Adam's list and would recommend them all. I do not have Champions or The Horse Whisperer tho I have seen both...

Champions was good, HW not so much (I was completely distracted by the main horse being played by a different horse in every scene). The docs about jockeys are all good (Laffit: All about Winning, Saddles and Silks, Thunder and Reins) And everyone already seems to know how good On the Muscle is, lol.

A couple that aren't on the list are Lost in the Fog a doc about H Aleo and the Fog, very touching. And A Cup of Courage: The Jockey's Story, a good look at what it takes to be a jockey.

As for movies...Phar Lap is the best racing movie I've seen. The Black Stallion movies are magificent and for awesome horses as the central plot the Snowy River movies are the tops! Noone has mentioned Hidalgo, that was a good movie about a horse race across the desert and as an interesting side note the star of the movie (Viggo Mortenson) fell in love with the horse playing Hidalgo and purchased him and took him home after filming was done (of course he also fell in love with his equine co-star in Lord of the Rings and while he did not adopt him he has provided for his secure future. LOTR is also an excellent movie, or 3, with horses in it.).

I liked Dreamer, expecting a kids movie and I like Dakota F alot. I was not so thrilled with Racing Stripes, but I still get a laugh out of the idea of it...a zebra who dreams of racing against thoroughbreds, that's cute! Another one that hasn't been mentioned is Shergar, starring Mickey Rourke and Ian Holm, while it is "based on a true story" nobody actually knows what happened to Shergar so after his disappearance it is totally made up but still a good movie and an interesting "what if". I have also had success on e-bay buying "homemade" dvds of specific horses and/or races with TONS of historic footage.

17 Jul 2009 11:22 PM
aspradling

barb: I am also glad you stopped by. An amazingly insightful post and I am definitely going to have to check out some movies. The black and white films are great. I'll never forget when I ran across 12 Angry Men on AMC. Who knew a movie about a trial in the same scene and no real changes could keep my attention and be so well done for an hour and a half?!

20 Jul 2009 9:34 AM
barb

Adam, Thank you for the kind words. I am always glad to help out with my opinion. :) And I love to watch anything with horses. I forgot to mention National Velvet which is such a classic, with Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney, focusing on the grand national steeplechase. The sequel, International Velvet, is ok but it is focused on jumping.

I liked the Shirley Temple Seabiscuit movie but it is certainly not the true story of Seabiscuit. And the Tobey Maguire Seabiscuit seemed pretty watered down and not so concerned with facts but it was a good movie. The Seabiscuit "American Experience" dvd is really good but I like "The Lost Documentary" best. It was made in 1939 by C Howard. I remember the first time I saw it, when I saw the footage of Man O'War I just kept rewinding it to look at him (I had never seen video of MOW before, only photos), I was blown away by him even though it's only like 15 seconds. I wish someone would make a movie about him, or a good doc.

I seem to have rambled on again, lol. I suggest that if you haven't seen The Man from Snowy River and Return to Snowy River you get those right away, and if you have a wife or girlfriend she will like them too. I first saw them when they were new and I was very young so I may be a little bit biased, I have after all been in love with the Man from Snowy River since I was 12, lol. But I am sure you will enjoy them.  

20 Jul 2009 8:12 PM

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