Horse racing…the sport of kings, the thunder of hooves, the flutter of betting slips, and the thrill of the chase. It is a sport full of action, drama, and excitement.
It’s no wonder that horse racing has captured the imaginations of filmmakers and television producers alike. And when it comes to period dramas set in Britain, horse racing is a popular subject.
Considering that horse racing originated in Great Britain, there are many movies and TV series that highlight the beginnings of the sport and all the drama that comes with it.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best British period dramas about horse racing.
Peaky Blinders (2013- )
Peaky Blinders is mostly a crime story set in the early twentieth century, but it also contains some amazing horse racing scenes. You might need to read the beginners guide for betting horse racing terms to understand some of the conflicts of the second season.
The Shelby family enters a horse named Grace’s Secret in the Epsom Derby. The buildup to the race is fierce, and the race itself is breathtaking. Moreover, Tom Hardy’s character Alfie Solomons delivers some humorous comments on the sport of horse racing.
Horse racing is really a big thing in Peaky Blinders, which shows that the sport was very influential at that time.
We cannot make a list of the best British dramas and not mention War Horse and its portrayal of horse racing during wartime.
Steven Spielberg directed this film based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo, and it follows the story of a young lad named Albert and his horse Joey during World War I.
Now, while War Horse may not be a typical British period drama about horse racing, it does have some unforgettable scenes of Joey being trained as a racehorse before he’s shipped off to the military.
Watching Joey gallop across the countryside is enough to make anyone’s heart skip a beat, and the film’s message about the unbreakable bond between humans and animals is enough to make even the toughest of cowboys shed a tear.
Now we’re about to take a ride down memory lane with the 1991 British drama series, Trainer. Starring Mark Greenstreet as the young man who inherits a horse racing stable from his late father, this series follows his journey from novice to the seasoned trainer.
From the thrill of training his first horse to the cutthroat competition of rival trainers, Greenstreet’s character faces challenges at every turn.
And let’s not forget about the personal dramas, including a complicated love life and struggles with addiction – because what’s a good horse racing drama without a little bit of scandal?
While Trainer may not be as well-known as some of its contemporaries in the genre, it still holds up as a realistic and compelling portrayal of the horse racing industry.
And with strong performances from its talented cast, including Susannah York and Tim Woodward, Trainer is a hidden gem that any fan of the genre should add to their watchlist. So grab your riding boots and get ready for a wild ride with Trainer!
The Grand National (1965)
Okay, so The Grand National isn’t technically a television series, but it’s still a classic British period drama about horse racing.
The Grand National, set in the early twentieth century, follows the story of a family of bookmakers who are down on their luck and in dire need of a major victory. They develop a scheme to enroll a horse in the famed Grand National race, hoping to take home the prize money and turn their circumstances around.
On the other hand, there is a lot of competition. And, let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good underdog story?
These are some of the best British Dramas about horse racing. The sport originates from Britain so obviously had a big impact on the community, which is why it is featured in many movies and TV series.
Watching these series will ensure that you’ll get plenty of horse racing action surrounded by tons of drama.