War Horse


The video below is a trailer for Steven Spielberg's new movie War Horse. I was pleasantly surprised, because I feel like the past few horse bonding movies, outside of Secretariat and Hidalgo, are very much aimed at kids or the female audience. Maybe I should also throw in True Grit or western themed movies with good horse presence.

A smart move to reach more audience by using the drama and action of war. Using the backdrop of WWI, and very true situations for calvary of the time, I am super interested in seeing this movie. I am a big military history geek.

It has been a while since I have spent the money to see a movie in theaters, but this may be one I want to see. How about you, do you think you will watch this in theatres?


Horses of Interest Updates:

Bug Juice finished 1st by 3/4 lengths, on September 2, 2011, at PRESQUE ISLE DOWNS in Race 6. Off odds: 1.60. He is trained by Bruce Levine (whom also trained Buddy's Saint). Bug Juice has been doing pretty well in the lower ranks with a current record of 8-3-0-3, not to mention four stakes races he has hit the board in, finishing first in the Aspirant Stakes and New York Breeders' Futurity at Finger Lakes.

has a current record of 36-7-2-5 and has improved his record with age. He raced 13 times as a 3yo but only hit the board 4 times. 2010 held a record of 9-3-1-0 and in 2011 has a record of 8-2-0-3. He seems to be a 6 furlong specialist.

Dance Floor Maniac finished 3rd beaten by 2 lengths, on September 3, 2011, at SARATOGA in Race 11. Off odds: 25.00. Dance Floor Maniac also finished 2nd on July 17th at Belmont Park and raced on August 8th. He has a current record of 27-5-7-4. I like to dance and thus the need to support this horse.

Dark Vader's stats are currently 32-9-6-2 with his best year still being at 4 in 2009. In 2011 he is 4 for 8 in hitting the board. Dark Vader recently finished 1st by a neck, on September 5, 2011, at HASTINGS RACECOURSE in Race 3. Off odds: 3.55.

Jadei Knight has a current record of 22-1-2-6 with only two years in racing, starting at age 5 in 2010. Jadei Knight recently finished 3rd beaten by 1 1/2 lengths, on September 7, 2011, at ASSINIBOIA DOWNS in Race 3. Off odds: 11.55.

Darth Tater appeared last on July 22nd finishing 3rd at Hollywood Casino At Charles Town Races.

Guerrilla Warfare is a favorite of mine. He races consistently at Camarero race track in Puerto Rico.  Say what you will, but he is a star there. with a record of 23-8-5-3, this guy knows how to make you money.



Kensei became a horse of interest to me after his victory in the Jim Dandy Stakes. I was talking with @trifectabox on Twitter about how great of a horse he was and wanted to give him another shout out with his untimely passing. 


Leave a Comment:


"I feel like the past few horse bonding movies, outside of Secretariat and Hidalgo, are very much aimed at kids or the female audience. "

Huh?  Both of those were aimed mostly at kids & female audience.  Both sadly were promoted as "true stories" and both were not.  One of my pet peeves of horse movies is the director's need to dumb down a story rather than tell what really happened.

Read the book "War Horse" years ago.  I am thrilled they chose a non-descript bay for the title role because the book was written to honor the millions of horses who served.

I likely will go to the theater for this one.  

13 Sep 2011 10:20 AM

Touche, I admit that Secretariat was aimed at full familys and kids and was not historically accurate, but I think it appealed to more audiences than the many renditions of Black Beauty ect.

Hidalgo I have to disagree about. I think the adventure held an Indiana Jones like horsemanship. Granted, it isn't the westerns holding the Duke.

13 Sep 2011 11:25 AM

A tear jerker for sure but I hope they don't make it like a Seabiscuit or Secretariat. These are stupid sappy movies that did not capture the strength, grit and courage of these animals. We'll see about War Horse.

13 Sep 2011 11:53 AM
Karen in Indiana

I seem to recall reading about a grandson of Seabiscuit that was used as a war horse in Korea. They could send him back and forth without a rider and he would carry out what seemed like impossible missions. he was honored in California when he came back to the States. Was this based on his story?

13 Sep 2011 12:54 PM
Needler in Virginia

No way do I see WAR HORSE. I read the book and saw the play; I don't need yet another sob session to remind me of the unrewarded service animals' gifts to humans. Gandhi was right: the way we treat our animals defines our humanity..... and so far our record stinks. I really don't need to pay any more money to be reminded of that!

Cheers and safe trips.

13 Sep 2011 1:14 PM

Karen, it is based on a book and though I have not read the book, the depictions in the movie are very true to history in seeing the end of the age of horseback cavalry. I am pretty sure HRTV did a piece on the horse you are talking about in Korea. I will see if I can find that link.

13 Sep 2011 1:45 PM

I found a link to a website about Sgt Reckless, but I am thinking now it wasn't HRTV, but a PBS documentary was made.


13 Sep 2011 1:58 PM

The War Horse was originally a book, turned into a West End play, turned into a UK movie.  The puppets used in the play were at Sandown, and were utterly amazing.  They're on you tube.  The play was a drama with a Greek chorus.  The story is about a prince who had to give up his horse for the cavalry in WW I, and is re-united with him on the front lines.

Reckless was a Korean race mare, bought by US Marines, and used to carry ammo to the frontlines.  They raised the $$ to bring her back to the states, gave her the rank of Sgt, and she presided over the Pendleton parades.  The story was on HRTV.  This movie is not about her.

13 Sep 2011 2:22 PM
Karen in Indiana

Thanks, Adam, that was the horse I was thinking about. What a story! Don't know how I got Seabiscuit in there.

13 Sep 2011 4:50 PM

Are kids and the female audience one category or two? (a line from "Out of Africa"). Really - must you call the revisionist sappy movies for the "female audience"? They are revisionist, not gender based.

I HATED the movie Secretariat for that very reason.

Does that make sappy, inaccurate John Wayne movies for kids and the female audience?

Please don't be such a chauvinist.

13 Sep 2011 7:43 PM

HRTV did have a spot on an Inside Information about Sgt. Reckless,but I don't remember the year it aired. It was short, but good.

14 Sep 2011 6:48 AM

Probably won't be seeing the movie-at least in the theater because the prices are way too high!!

14 Sep 2011 6:54 AM

I brought up Sgt. Reckless some months ago (I thought it was an interesting historical connection.)

Great to see people remember.

BTW, the kidlets (nieces, nephews, goddchildren -- all getting into their 20's) are all lined up, whether they want to or not, to see War Horse (and to comfort me when I cry).

I'm up for any horse movie.

14 Sep 2011 1:20 PM
Pedigree Ann

Karen, please note Sgt Reckless was a SHE. And it clearly stated that she was 'a small Mongolian mare', not a Thoroughbred grandson of Seabiscuit.

14 Sep 2011 7:31 PM

kincsem, I appreciate the feedback and acknowledge that there are always exceptions to the rule. However, I am speaking from a marketing angle. For example, animated Disney movies are usually target with children and families in mind, unlike action thrillers about crime families in the drug business such as Gangster Movies...but as mentioned, there are always exception to the rule. One may argue Dick Tracy could fit both =)

18 Sep 2011 8:00 PM

I read the book and I hope Spielberg holds true to his usual quality of movies.

I will see it and hope for the best.

22 Sep 2011 4:26 PM

Needler in VA:

My thoughts & sentiments exactly.  

Thank you for posting them here on Bloodhorse, which has repeatedly denied or blocked my posts (of a similar nature, particularly on the Esther Marr blog).

"War Story" is a riveting story that highlights what Henry Beston termed the "majesty of other nations."

To quote Beston:

"For the (non-human) animal shall not be measured by man.  In a world older & more complete than ours they move finished & complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.

"They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life & time, fellow prisoners of the splendour & travail of the earth (Beston, "The Outermost House").

Beston used this expression to identify & differentiate the existential-ontological world of other animal species from our own (recalling that homo sapiens sapiens is but one of many animal species).

Joey (even as a literary character) is a fully realized...sentient being who because of his species designation lived entirely under the domination & tyranny of another animal species--& endured great suffering & privation because of this subjugation/tyranny.

In the end we must acknowledge that all sentient beings--human & non-human alike, share in two basic existential-ontological dynamics:

1) They can & do experience suffering (& pain);

2) The value of life to its possessor is the same, whether it is a clam, a crayfish, a carp,a cow, a chicken or a human child.

Insofar as "War Story" accepts & countenances what I regard as the immoral narrative of subjugation of non-human animal species in the service of human animals, I reject it & would not support or sustain it by spending my money to see the film or play.

Insofar as I am inspired by Joey & his triumph over human-caused horror, violence, & destruction, I may well part with the $12 required to purchase a ticket & watch the film.

23 Sep 2011 10:14 AM

@ MD-  Huh?  I see why your posts are blocked; they are inane babble.

I look forward to this movie.  I simply hope it is filled with accurate portrayals and scenes, unlike the burning of the newspaper clippings in the shedrow shown in Secretariat.

04 Oct 2011 8:05 PM


Apparently you do not read Steve Haskin's blogs.  I brought "War Horse" to light over 8 months ago right here on Bloodhorse on one of Steve's Derby blogs.  I noted the story, and that Steven Spielberg bought the movie rights after seeing the play in London.  I brought it to light because at the time Soldat, named for the word soldier in French, was Derby bound at that time.  His sire is War Front and I was driving outside of New York one day at lunch when a huge bus painted with the War Horse story all over it appeared in front of my car.  This story is not new to Bloodhorse, I enlightened folks months ago on it.

07 Oct 2011 8:53 PM

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