Just when you thought Amanda Ronan had run out of melodramatic horse movies, voila! And if the movie itself is even half as entertaining as this review, it’s worth a watch.
In the west there lives a mustang,
as swift and wild as the wind.
With a heart so bold,
she can mend a restless spirit.
That magnificent creature is
the horse named Flicka.
In Flicka: Country Pride (2012), we’re introduced to teenager Kelly, our down and out (because her dad died tragically) yet obviously awesome equestrian protagonist, her mom Lindy, owner of Cherry Creek Farms, and the new stable manager, Toby, played by Clint Black.
Then we’re introduced to Toby’s horse, Flicka. Watch carefully, because in the next five seconds Flicka will careen out of the trailer, lose her halter for this magnificent shot…
…and then she puts it back on. Magic!
Judging by the dumbfounded look on Kelly’s face, and despite the fact that the animal just plowed over a ranch hand escaping the trailer, we can all tell she’s in love. She’s “horsey blinded.” Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, Horse Nation.
The plot thickens when we meet the antagonist rich girl, Stephanie Meyers (no relation to the Twilight author I presume). Stephanie is after Kelly’s man, Briggs, and is obviously intimidated by Kelly’s mad jumping skills. Toby says it best when he says, “she’s about as friendly as a sack of snakes.” That’s not the only bad news. Kelly finds out that the barn is headed towards bankruptcy and could be sold in the near future.
There’s one ray of sunshine, though. If the barn’s eventing team places well at Regionals, the barn could attract more paying customers. So, Kelly has an idea. The idea’s name is Flicka.
They begin training immediately.
And just a few days later, they make the team!
Mom is amazed. Briggs is “stoked.” Stephanie…not so stoked or amazed. In fact she’s downright perturbed. At the charity dance, Stephanie pushes Kelly face first into the table of pies! That nasty little (expletive).
Stephanie’s anger comes to a head when she knocks a rail down in a training session and then Kelly “scuffs her boot.” We discover that the death of Kelly’s father was really hard on Stephanie. Huh?!? Stephanie then storms up to the team trainer, Paige, and says that it’s either Kelly or her.
Then there’s a school hallway catfight about Briggs. Boom. Now you done it, girlfriend. And nothing says showdown like a XC derby. “Loser leaves Briggs alone.” Oh, this movie be gettin’ cray cray!
Mid-race, Stephanie (black pants) kicks Kelly (burgundy pants) in the knee, causing Kelly to lose a stirrup!
They head for the final jump!
Stephanie pulls ahead. Oh no! But then, Bentley balks at the creek jump and Stephanie eats dirt! Stephanie has a tantrum because she lost (what else did you expect?) and quits the team. And guess who else is a turn-coat?!? Paige! The flippin’ trainer! Turns out her and the Meyers family were secretly building an alternate stable just waiting to rip the rug out from Kelly and her mother.
Kelly and Briggs have days to put a new team together. First, they recruit an Argentinian girl who’s “a little wild.” Then they find a stable boy “who can ride anything.” Sounds like an eventing team made in heaven! Now all they need is a trainer. Why not a cattle drivin’, ropin’ cowboy! Oh, Toby…
(Musical montage of training.) Go Team!!
Will the new Cherry Creek Farms team win Regionals? Will Kelly beat Stephanie? Basically what I’m saying is…will GOOD destroy EVIL!?! Hold on to your sticky britches folks, because you’ll just have to watch and see!
When I started this movie, I imagined it was going to be a classic in The Derby Stallion sense, meaning it’s a stinky movie but good for laughs. But this little movie was surprisingly good! Sure, the plot was predictable. Sure, there were a lot of fake horse sound effects and mistakes that only we dedicated equestrians would notice…like I’m sorry but Flicka was most likely not a Mustang. But the acting wasn’t half bad and the riding was not only tolerable, but pretty darn enjoyable to watch. The Regionals show coverage even had a helmet cam!
I give Flicka: Country Pride 3 Golden Horseshoes.