Ten Famous Horse Riders
Those who love their horses know that the bond between human and equine is a beautiful thing. Horses have stolen the hearts of people throughout history, and continue to do so today. In fact, plenty of famous people have formed deep attachments to horses and are very open about how this has enhanced their lives. Here are eight of the most famous people who have loved and ridden horses in the past and present.
You know Johnny Depp from his immersive roles in blockbusters like Pirates of the Caribbean and Edward Scissorhands , but you probably didn’t know that he is an avid horseman. After bonding with his horse Goldeneye while filming Sleepy Hollow , he adopted the horse when he heard rumors that it might be put down after filming. Depp has also purchased a ranch in Nashville where he can keep and ride his horses, and foregoes stuntmen when horsemanship is required in his roles in movies such as The Long Ranger and The Man Who Cried.
A lover of horses since he was a child, the original Captain Kirk learned to ride while working on the film
Alexander the Great. He began purchasing horses, which led him to buying a farm in Lexington, Kentucky where he and his wife could keep and ride their growing stable of horses. Along with the many other hats he wears in Hollywood, Shatner hosts a Hollywood Charity Horse Show in California and continues to show and train horses on a regular basis.
Elizabeth Taylor was given a pony as a pet when she was a young girl growing up in England, and her love for the animals has never waned since. She has gravitated toward roles featuring horses, such as the well-received National Velvet , and actually received the horse from the movie as a gift after filming wrapped. An avid horse-racing fan, Taylor attended hundreds of races throughout Europe and the United States and once presented the trophy for the Beaumont Stakes.
Cyrus gained popularity on the Disney show Hannah Montana and has continued to remain in the limelight through her pop career. She paid $5 million for an equestrian estate where she can keep and ride her horses which reminds her of her childhood growing up on her father’s horse ranch in Tennessee.
You’d think that, as the leader of England during World War II, Winston Churchill might not have time to cultivate a love for horses. You couldn’t be more wrong, though, as this great man was an avid lover of horses and an accomplished equestrian. After the war concluded, Churchill helped return millions of stranded horses to their homes overseas. The leader rode more than any other Prime Minister in history and enjoyed owning a racehorse in his later retirement years. He’s even known for the quote, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
This Pretty Woman’s New Mexico ranch is complete with plenty of horses, which she and her family enjoy racing around plastic barrels as she used to do as a child. One of the ways she bonded with her co-star Richard Gere in Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride was through their shared love of horses. Roberts even traveled to Mongolia to host a documentary about the nomadic people’s deep bond with their horses called Wild Horses of Mongolia.
One of the ways popular actor and singer Jamie Foxx landed the role in Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained was by telling the director that he had his own horse and would love to use him for the role. The horse, Cheetah, was a birthday gift and spurred Foxx’s ongoing love for horses. Though he’s still terrified of galloping his horse bareback, Foxx continues to enjoy riding and pampering his equine friend.
Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans were not only legendary for their Hollywood careers—they were also famous horse-lovers. For his first movie, Under Western Stars, Rogers was offered the choice of renting five different horses. He bonded so well with his chosen steed Trigger that he purchased the golden palomino after filming. The horse got along extremely well with his wife’s horse Buttermilk, and the two equines developed a passionate following of their own. Throughout his life, Rogers owned many horses and was proficient in everything from trick riding to polo playing and everything in between. He wrote extensively on the subject of horses and has many famous equine quotes to his name including, “There will never be a time when the old horse is not superior to any auto every made.”
Though she didn’t take up riding until she was in her 40s, Madonna quickly fell in love with horses and now is an avid horsewoman. Though she had a riding accident when she was 47 in which she broke eight bones, her love of riding never waned and she continues to enjoy riding in the Hamptons. Madonna has written an album with a horse theme, performed concerts with horse themes, has appeared on magazine covers in full equestrian gear, and has appeared on horseback with David Letterman when she was a guest on his show.
Though he may be one of the most notorious criminals in history, Jesse James enjoys a mystique that remains to this day. The bank robber relied on his horses to commit his crimes, and treasured his horses—especially his favorite Red Fox—for their speed and stamina. After retiring from a life of crime, James continued to raise and train thoroughbreds and got involved with horse racing.The love of horses is a universal theme, and many famous people have fallen under the spell of these special animals. Though the above ten may be notorious for reasons other than their equestrian abilities, their bond with horses undoubtedly makes them happier and more well-rounded individuals.