Horse Movies Based On True Stories

Last Updated on January 12, 2023

Struggles, triumph, sadness, and love, are all parts that make the great horse movies based on true stories that horse fans around the world adore. Here we will introduce you to some of the best true horse movies to hit the silver screen over the years. You will recognize some of them straight away, but hopefully, you will discover something new.


Secretariat brings the story of this legendary racehorse to your screens and Disney’s streaming service. This is one of the most recent, and successful horse movies based on true stories. The film hit the movie theaters in 2010.

The main focus of Secretariat is the horse’s owner Penny Chenery. The movie does a good job of sticking to the story with some added Disney magic. Since Disney is responsible for the movie, it follows a family-friendly theme.

The movie starts at the beginning of Secretariat’s life, and his owner’s struggles as the pair navigate their way to Triple Crown victory. Secretariat stars Diane Lane, John Malkovich, and Dylan Walsh.


Phar Lap

Phar Lap follows the story of a New Zealand-born racehorse that became one of the most famous Thoroughbreds in the world. After his birth in New Zealand in 1926, Phar Lap arrives in Australia when Harry Telford, a trainer buys him, despite his lack of pedigree. The horse did not have a great start to his racing career, but with determination from his groom Tommy Phar Lap shines

The end of the film shows Phar Lap’s tragic death, which is still shrouded in mystery and conspiracy today. Phar Lap stars Tom Burlinson and Martin Vaughan. It hit cinemas in 1983.


Like most horse movies based on true stories, Seabiscuit brings us the story of another legendary racehorse. Seabiscuit thrilled racegoers in the 1930s. The time of the Great Depression in America when the people wanted something to believe in.

He was a small horse on no one’s radar as a potential champion, until three men saw behind the ordinary exterior. This is a story of a true underdog that overcomes challenges. The 2003 movie stars Tobey Maguire and Jeff Bridges.


The 1984 movie, Champions, tells the true story of Bob Champion, a British steeple chase jockey. The story follows Bob’s health struggles during the late 1970s. Instead of letting his cancer diagnosis get the better of him, Bob overcomes it, going on to win the 1981 Grand National.

Not only does Bob suffer a catastrophic diagnosis, his Grand National winning horse Aldaniti sufferers a career-ending leg injury, yet makes a miraculous recovery. Champions star John Hurt.


Shergar was an Irish racehorse worth an estimated 10 million, that was kidnapped in 1983. What exactly happened to Shergar and by who is still a mystery. Ransom demands were made, but nothing ever came of them.

However, the horse vanished without a trace. Shergar, the movie is loosely based on the facts of this story. The story follows the fictional aftermath of Shergar’s kidnap.


Ruffian is a TV movie from 2007 featuring one of the most legendary racing fillys of all time in the United States. This is a sad movie that tells to story of this fantastic racehorse. Due to her success, Ruffian takes part in a match race against the 1975 Kentucky Derby winner, Foolish Pleasure.

Ruffian suffered a life-threatening leg break during the race. In order to save the filly, surgery on her leg was attempted. However, on waking from the anesthesia, Ruffian had a bad reaction, which re-injured the leg. Because of this Ruffian was humanly put to sleep.

Walk. Ride. Rodeo

Walk. Ride. Rodeo., a 2019 movie, tells the true story of equestrian Amberley Snyder. In 2010, Amberley was traveling from Utah to the Denver Stock Show and Rodeo. After feeling unwell in the car, she took off her seatbelt to feel more comfortable.

Tragedy struck when she took her eyes off the road for one second, resulting in a horrific accident that threw her from the car. As a result, Amberley would never walk again. This movie follows her determination to ride again.

Walk. Ride. Rodeo

Movies About Horses Based On True Stories Conclusion

We hope this article gives you some great ideas for famous racehorses movies to watch. Our favorite on the list is Secretariat, followed closely by Phar Lap. In addition to horse movies based on true stories, there are many more fictional movies based on classic books.

Do you have a favorite horse movie? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.