Disney Movie News

Secretariat movie star sought


(August 6 2009)
– 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 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 distinguished owner. “I am delighted Disney is embracing the challenge of finding the best representative for my handsome colt.”

Mark Ciardi, Randall Wallace, Secretariat's exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney and actress Diane Lane in the Belmont paddock.

Mark Ciardi, Randall Wallace, Secretariat's exercise rider Jimmy Gaffney and actress Diane Lane in the Belmont paddock.


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