//The horse in “Hidalgo”

The horse in “Hidalgo”

The horse in the movie “Hidalgo”

“Hidalgo” is an American film from 2004, belonging to the adventure genre. It was directed by Joe Johnston and starring Viggo Mortensen, Zuleikha Robinson and Omar Sharif.

Summary of the movie Hidalgo


The film was based on a true story about the most important long distance horse race. Hidalgo is an epic adventure story. It is also an action film that tells the story of a man to recover his dignity.

This race, called the Ocean of Fire, was held every year for centuries. It was a test of survival of 3,000 miles through the Arabian desert. Which was a real challenge that only the best Arabian horses could overcome, the purest and noblest race, property of the powerful royal dynasties.

In 1890, a rich sheikh invited an American and his horse to participate for the first time in the race. Frank T. Hopkins was a cowboy. In turn an expedition rider belonging to the United States Cavalry Corps declared the best rider in the history of the West.

The sheikh wanted to test his pretensions. Facing the American horseman and his horse, Hidalgo, against the best Arabian horses and the best Bedouin riders. For Frank, in the Ocean of Fire, not only was his pride and honor at stake, but also his survival since both he and his horse were trying to make an impossible feat possible.


The producers of Hidalgo were delighted at the prospect of shooting the film. This film was characterized as a mixture of action, adventures and the story of a man’s journey towards his redemption. It should be noted that the setting of the story is an exciting horse race, but the genuine race is what a man does to forgive himself.


“Hidalgo” is a throwback to a more innocent time when heroes and their horses risked everything just because life was so damned boring in the slow lane.

The movie is a completely fictionalized version of the life of a real cowboy named Frank T. Hopkins; a moment’s research on the Web will suggest that an accurate portrait of his life would have been much more brief and very depressing.”

Roger Ebert: Chicago Sun-Times

The real man behind “Hidalgo”

Frank T. Hopkins Borned in August 11, 1865. Hopkins said he was born to a Lakota mother and European-American father, that he grew up in both cultures, and that he learned to ride and care for horses at an early age. Was an American professional horseman who at one time performed with the Ringling Brothers Circus. He was supposedly a legendary long-distance rider, who won 400 races but there is no evidence that support it. He was recognized by his contemporaries as supporting the preservation of the mustang.

In 1926 Hopkins was foreman of a construction crew, digging a subway tunnel in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

There is a marriage certificate that Hopkins signed in New York in 1929 where his age was put at 44 which, if true, would place his birth in 1885. However, the photograph shown, said to have been taken in 1905, seems to show the appearance of a middle-aged man.

Frank died on  November 5, 1951. His body is interred in Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens County, New York.







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