Horse racing isn’t just a sport, it is an entire story about the human and horse bond that has been present for thousands of years.

Being a sport rich with tradition, there are countless stories where the impossible happened. From underdogs becoming champions to the emotional connection between the horse and the owner, this make is the perfect topic for a movie.

Over the years, we’ve seen many movies related to horse racing, about some of the TwinSpires Kentucky Derby Winners, like Secretariat and Seabiscuit. Most of them have captured our souls and taken them for a ride of our lifetime.

The Heart of a Champion is a movie just like that. It is a family drama available on Amazon Prime about a 14-year-old girl named Charlotte, or Charlie, and her passion for horse riding.

So, let’s go more in-depth into the story of the movie and find out whether or not it should be on your watch list.

Heart of a Champion Review

  • Release date: 21 February 2023
  • Genre: Drama
  • Runtime 86 minutes
  • Director Brad Keller
  • Starring: Casper Van Dien, YaYa Gosselin, Edward Furlong, Carson Cunningham, Major Dodge Jr.
  • IMDb: 8.8/10

The Story of the Heart of a Champion

Heart of a Champion on Amazon Prime is like finding a diamond in a dusty thrift store – a rare gem of a family movie with a surprising and inspiring storyline. 

It follows the journey of an honest man navigating through a broken world while also showcasing the bond between a girl and her horse. 

The movie is packed with entertaining twists and turns and boasts impressive production values, but what really steals the show are the experienced actors who bring raw believability to their flawed and realistic characters. 

Heart of a Champion has a strong moral compass, emphasizing values like honesty, perseverance, purity, honor, and forgiveness.

The movie kicks off with breathtaking aerial shots of scenic rural landscapes and stirring instrumental music. We see a pickup truck towing a horse trailer, followed by a girl galloping on horseback through lush woods. As it turns out, it’s the active imagination of 14-year-old Charlie, whose daydreams are abruptly interrupted when her teacher calls on her in class.

Charlie and her mom, Beth, pay a visit to the school office, where the principal praises Charlie’s good grades but points out her tendency to daydream. Beth shares with the principal the difficult family situation of separation and divorce. Later, she talks to Charlie about the importance of paying attention in class.

Heart of a Champion is a heartwarming and inspiring movie that proves even in the midst of life’s challenges, there’s always hope for redemption and growth.


Heart of a Champion doesn’t just talk the talk – it walks the walk when it comes to production value. From the camera work to the sound design to the scene settings, everything is almost flawlessly Grade A.

The only exception is the barrel racing speeds of the two main competitors – the winner’s scene where the girl wins the state competition is slower than the loser’s, which is a bit like watching a turtle outrun a snail.

Some might argue that the script falls prey to stereotyping characters. There’s the quirky one, the self-absorbed father, the overly serious mother, the mean girl bullies, the good kids telling white lies, the caring romantic interest, and the wise mentor. 

But let’s face it, stereotypes exist for a reason – they’re often true to life. And the actors in Heart of a Champion bring their A-game, delivering performances that are nothing short of believable.

Final Words

Overall, this is a casual horse-riding drama, that is not only great for people that are interested in the sport but for any other that wants a movie with a strong moral worldview. 

It showcases all the problems that we as humans face in our everyday lives, which actually don’t matter that much if you free your mind. In the case of Heart of a Champion, the girl is using horse riding as a ticket out of this world.

The movie has a favorable 71% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. So, grab some popcorn and tune into Heart of a Champion. It is a great movie that you won’t regret watching.