Friday Flicks: The Movie Olympics

HN film critic Amanda Ronan pits the champions of some of the greatest horse movies of all time against one another in “an epic battle for Gold.”

From Amanda:

The Movie Olympics:  A place where some of the greatest (and not so great) characters meet pixel to pixel in an epic battle for Gold.

First, let’s talk about eventing.

Name:  Charlie (last name unknown) and Sylvester Stallone of Sylvester

Home Country:  USA

Why She’s On The List:  Aided by the musings of a drunkard, ex-cavalry man and riding an ex-broncho she rescued from the stockyard, this ‘git er dun’ girl made it to the top tiers of the sport with just a few months training.  The Olympics should be no big deal.

Why She Could Win:  She curses like a sailor and will take down anyone who gets in her way.  The little known fact that her horse, Sylvester, is actually real life The Gray Goose helps a little too.

Why She Could Lose:  Charlie’s got a lot on her mind.  Family drama, boyfriend troubles, and her trainer’s drinking problem could all add up to one giant distraction.

Name:  Sarah Brown and Arizona Pie of International Velvet

Home Country:  USA (currently riding for Great Britain)

Why She’s On The List:  This team of horse and rider both have pedigrees stemming back to the controversial but influential win of Sarah’s aunt, Velvet Brown, in the Grand National steeplechase aboard The Pie, Arizona Pie’s sire.

Why She Could Win:  Dedication is Sarah’s middle name.  British Olympic team trainer Captain Johnson puts her through her paces and doesn’t sugar coat anything.  I think she’ll hold under pressure or he might eat her Hannibal Lecter style.

Why She Could Lose:  Sarah has a tendency to be cocky.  Overconfidence could make her sloppy.  …and she never did get that new saddle she asked her Uncle for.

Name:  Sonora Webster Carver and Lightning of Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken

Home Country:  USA

Why She’s On The List:  With no formal training in eventing, Sonora is a wild card that will have to rely purely on guts.  Don’t count her out, though, because this girl loves to work a crowd.  Water hazards and sizable drops should be a breeze for this pair.

Why She Could Win:  She’s high-spirited, gung ho and always walks away with a big smile.  She also tamed Lightning herself, forming a lifelong partnership that could be hard to beat.

Why She Could Lose:  The lack of formal training could be worrisome and she is legally blind.

My personal hope is that Charlie and Sylvester come out on top.  They hail from my home state of Texas and I can’t help but love an underdog.  My husband has planted his feet firmly in the Sonora and Lightning camp, although personally I think he’s just hoping she’ll do the whole event in a wet swimsuit.

Who do you think will finish with the Gold in our Movie Olympics Eventing competition?


Now let’s talk about dressage.

Name:  Dana (last name unknown) and Unnamed Horse of Dark Horse

Home Country:  USA

Why She’s On The Team:  Dana is a comeback kid and, let’s face it, the Friesian breed is hot right now.

Why She Could Win:  Dana’s mother, who trained Unnamed Horse, stated, “Dana could ride before she could walk,” and her trainer added, “She doesn’t need to learn, she just needs to remember.”  She proved her mother and trainer right, when she won a prestigious dressage competition after riding/training for a mere two weeks after years of being out of the saddle.

Why She Could Lose:  Her previous injuries could come back to haunt her both physically and mentally.  Dana has a history of losing her cool under pressure.

Name:  Annie Garrett and Tolo of The Long Shot

Home Country:  USA

Why She’s On The List:  She has classical training and is currently a working student for Mary Lou O’Brian, a trainer known for her superb trot/canter transitions.

Why She Could Win:  This year may be Annie’s time to shine.  She has a strong bond with Tolo and a ‘Can’t Lose’ attitude…literally…she can’t lose or she’ll be homeless and penniless…again.

Why She Could Lose:  Annie has been living under the cloud of her deceased younger sister’s “37 Blue Ribbons” her whole life.  She also had a near career ending knee injury recently and Tolo is totally blind.

Name: Freddie (last name unknown) and Gaius of The Equestrian

Home Country: Great Britain

Why He’s On The Team:  What little we’ve seen of this team looks awesome.  The pair is trained by Stef Eardley with added help from Carl Hester.

Why He Could Win:  Black stallion.  Hot Guy.  Need I say more?

Why He Could Lose:  Apparently this pair has problems with vanity and ambition.  Horse Junkies United recently reported, “…thesplinteredbondsofloyaltyandtrustmustbereformedthroughredemptionandforgiveness.”  Sounds ominous.

Regardless, my bet is on Freddie and Gaius for Gold.  Do you agree?

My husband had no comment, as he was still pondering Sonora’s swimsuit.


Next week we will wrap up our HN Movie Olympics with Show Jumping and the Pentathlon.  Stay tuned…

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