Does Your Horse Look Like Secretariat? Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses Sought for Disney Movie Casting Call

“I’m ready for my closeup…”

The possible implications of this press release could make a better movie than even the story of Secretariat the great racehorse Himself. I wonder if the filmmakers realize that every owner of a chestnut horse with a rounded rump absolutely believes that his or her horse is a dead ringer for Secretariat? In spite of a sway back or a calcified knee or wild white markings, they all believe their chestnuts are the second coming of Big Red. In fact, that’s why they wanted a chestnut in the first place!

If nothing else, this casting call will be great for the business of equine photographers, who should be offering a “Secretariat Casting Call Photo Package” special shoot during August.

NOTE: The press release does not say when the casting call ends, but the submission form specifies that the photos must be submitted before August 31. Besides, the horses will start getting winter coats right after that, so the time to photograph them is right now!(The following information was received today via press release from the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and is also posted on

In preparation for the shooting later this year of the upcoming Walt Disney Pictures’ movie Secretariat, Mayhem Pictures, the producers of the film, will conduct an open, online “casting call” for horses to portray the legendary 1973 Triple Crown winner.

Interested horse owners may email photographs of their equine, big-screen hopeful to [email protected]. Applicants must also complete an online Secretariat casting form at, where additional information about the casting call can also be found. All photographs will be personally reviewed by the lead wrangler for “Secretariat”, Rusty Hendrickson, who was also in charge of horse selection for such recent major motion pictures as Seabiscuit and Dreamer.

“The three main qualities I’m looking for in a horse to portray Secretariat are looks, temperament and soundness,” said Hendrickson. “A big flashy chestnut would obviously have an inherent advantage, but I’m going to need at least two main Secretariats and perhaps four stand-ins. I know that he was one of a kind, but we’ll do the best we can. A calm temperament is particularly key, especially when multiple takes are involved.

“But applicants need not feel that they must have an identical looking horse to be considered. We can do wonders with equine makeup for the white facial markings and the three white socks. Our horses need to be sound?but racing experience is not a necessity. And Secretariat’s short back and round hip are somewhat reminiscent of American Quarter Horses, so owners of that breed should also feel free to make submissions.”

“We feel we have a compelling story to tell in our movie, and we want the imagery to be as accurate as possible,” said Mark Ciardi, producer for Mayhem Pictures. “This Secretariat casting call will help us to find the very best Secretariats possible to portray the iconic chestnut champion.”

“The selection of the horses to portray Secretariat is a matter of great interest to me,” said Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner. “I am delighted Disney is embracing the challenge of finding the best representative for my handsome colt.”




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