Now that the nation’s racing season is well underway with Cheltenham Festival kicking off the horse racing activity, and the Grand National just around the corner, we thought it would be a good time to take a look at Hollywood’s love affair with the races!

 

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Steven Spielberg

Although the Academy Award winning director may be best known for his work directing the 2012 epic War Horse, Spielberg is also a massive horse enthusiast. He is an investor in the successful Delaware Biscuit Stables, and he proved to be something of an equine expert with his horse Atswhatimtalkingabout winning the Kentucky Derby in 2013.

 

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Elizabeth Hurley

Closer to home the very glamorous Elizabeth Hurley has also had some success in the world of horses. She part-owned a three year old racehorse called Memory that went on to be sold for a massive £500,000 to the Queen after winning the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot in 2010. Whether Ms Hurley has any horses racing at this year’s Grand National remains to be seen!

 

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Kevin Costner

The Oscar winning actor is famous for his portrayal of rugged heroes in films such as Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and 1990’s Dances With Wolves which saw Costner demonstrate some great horse riding skills. But the film star is also known for his frequent attendance of the prestigious Del Mar racetrack in California, and he also has a ranch where he rides his prize thoroughbreds.

 

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Viggo Mortensen

The star of the record-breaking Lord of the Rings films apparently became so enamoured with the horses Uraeus and Kenny on the set that he purchased the pair to take back home with him. And what’s more is that Mortensen has increased his horse obsession further by releasing a photographic book dedicated to horses titled The Horse Is Good.

 

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Nicole Kidman

The Australian actress is another film star who grew enamoured with the equine species after spending time on horse-related movies. The Baz Luhrmann epic Australia provided Nicole Kidman with the opportunity to learn to ride like a ranch hand. And she became so enthralled with the activity that soon after filming, she bought a rural cattle ranch with her husband Keith Urban.

 

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Johnny Depp

And finally, just to prove the enchanting command that horses can have over our Hollywood stars, there’s the beautiful story of Johnny Depp. Whilst filming the fantasy movie Sleepy Hollow, Depp learned that his horse in the film was due to be destroyed on the film’s completion. So Depp did the right thing and immediately purchased the horse and gave him a home!

 

About The Author

Simon Fitzjohn

Simon is a journalism tutor in London, who also just happens to be a movie fanatic, with a craving for the darker side of cinema. He has written two books, one on the horror films of director Bob Clark (2014) and the other on the history of the character Norman Bates (2015). His third book, on the work of British exploitation director Pete Walker, is due in 2017.