Famous Racehorse Movies

Racehorse ready for the race

For years, renowned figures in society, famous athletes, and even notable events have been re-enacted and immortalised by the film industry. The stories of famous racehorses have also been shared through film and have spanned decades. Most of these movies have been inspired by true events, so make sure you have a box of tissues nearby once you hit play.

The Story Of Seabiscuit

The Story of Seabiscuit is deemed by many to be a true rags-to-riches story. It is an American technicolour drama film that was released in 1949 and directed by David Butler. The film is a semifictional account of one of the most famous racehorses, Seabiscuit. The film incorporates actual footage of Seabiscuit’s races, which he dominated up to the 1940s. The film stars Barry Fitzgerald, who plays Seabiscuit’s trainer, Shawn O’Hara, and Shirley Temple, who plays Shawn’s niece Margaret O’Hara.

The story follows the two as they escape a traumatising event involving Margaret’s brother, Danny. Shawn takes a liking to a small and knobby-kneed horse with a laid-back demeanour by the name of Seabiscuit. He fights to convince the owner that Seabiscuit is a champion and should be put on the track. For all those romantics out there, there is a romantic subplot involving Margaret and the jockey, Ted Knowles, who is played by Lon McCallister. This story was brought to our screens again in 2003 by the director, Gary Ross.


Another heart-tugging biopic is Secretariat, a 2010 film based on a true story. As we now know, Secretariat went on to set the unbeaten record for winning the Triple Crown in 1973. However, seeing the journey through the eyes of director Randall Wallace is truly inspiring. Famous racehorse movies give us a great perspective, albeit fictional, of great horses that graced the tracks decades ago.