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SEABISCUIT

About The Horses and Jockeys
Even while filmmakers were hard at work filling the roles of Seabiscuit's twolegged actors, they were highly concerned with making sure that the best horses available would be slotted for the equine rolls—for all of the scenes involving the illustrious racehorse and his competitors scripted to take place in locations that varied from racetrack to horse farm to open countryside. 

Rusty Hendrickson, a renowned motion picture horse wrangler responsible for spectacular horse sequences in dozens of films like Dances with Wolves and The Patriot, was brought on board by the filmmakers to secure and train the horses that would be used in the filming. 

The Montana native had previously worked with all three of the leading actors— with Tobey Maguire on Ride with the Devil, Chris Cooper in The Horse Whisperer and Jeff Bridges on Hendrickson's first film, Heaven's Gate. Seabiscuit proved to be a different kind of project for the motion picture veteran who was used to working on Westerns and he welcomed the challenge of working with racehorses. 

"We knew that we were going to be putting real jockeys on these horses,” explains Kathleen Kennedy. "We knew that we had to make sure that the horses were sound and we knew that they would have to be running many, many different races in order to tell the story, so we came to the conclusion pretty early that we would buy these horses and we would create our own racing stable.” 

Hendrickson worked with the company to purchase more than 50 horses from around the country to participate in the film's numerous racing scenes. For the safety of the horses, any set of horses grouped for a particular race could only run a few takes and the animals were limited to racing only every other day. To make this rotating schedule possible, the production needed Thoroughbreds in a variety of colors. For the sake of not only the animals but the jockeys riding them, it was imperative that the horses were able- bodied and sound. Each horse was brought on only after it passed a thorough examination by the production's veterinarian. 

"Rusty did a marvelous job securing all the horses,” says Hall of Fame jockey and Seabiscuit race designer, Chris McCarron, who worked closely with Hendrickson throughout the production. "These horses have played an immeasurable role in our success.” 

There was, of course, one particular horse role that required particular attention. Director Ross observes, "A Seabiscuit comes along once in a century. Here was a horse that had amazing character and intelligence and a very idiosyncratic personality. He used to sleep much of the day—but he was also very fierce, very competitive. And he could be playful or lazy.” 

Seabiscuit was a one-of-kind horse and the filmmakers never imagined they could find his twin. Instead, they sought several horses that could embody a variety of traits that, when subjected to the magic of movie making, would emerge on the screen as a single horse. 

"When you pick a horse,” explains Hendrickson, "you don't know what his capabilities are. So we have several horses to cover the different personality traits of Seabiscuit.” 

Hendrickson went looking for horses that resembled Seabiscuit, a thankfully unremarkable bay horse. "He was not particularly attractive,” Hendrickson continues. "He was a small horse, about 15 hands, weighing about 1,150 pounds. He was a bright blood bay with dark points and no white markings. It was lucky for us that he was a very ordinary looking horse.” 

Seabiscuit's looks, however, were the only ordinary thing about him. In order to portray this strange and special horse, over the course of seven years of his life, the production needed a wide variety of horses: they needed a horse that would stand still; a horse that could angrily rear; a horse th

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