A 1935 novel by Enid Bagnold
about a 14-year-old girl called Velvet
Brown and her horse
, which she wants to enter in the Grand National
. She ends up having to disguise herself as a jockey
and ride to victory herself.
It became a classic and beautiful film in 1944* starring Elizabeth Taylor, on a horse called Pie (real name King Charles, a grandson of the champion racehorse Man O' War). It also starred Mickey Rooney as the Irish stablehand Mi Taylor (sic), and a young Angela Lansbury as Velvet's older sister, and was directed by Clarence Brown. Its two Oscars were for editing (particularly the steeplechase scene), and for best supporting actress, Anne Revere as Mrs Brown. Elizabeth Taylor was eleven years old, and it was this film, her fourth, that really made her a star.
It also became a television series in 1960 with Lori Martin as Velvet, and Blaze King as King, her horse. Produced by MGM, it was shown on NBC. This was mainly set around a farm, as you can't win the Grand National in every episode. It made Blaze King briefly the most famous horse on television. Lori Martin was not of course as beautiful as Elizabeth Taylor, but she was a pretty and charming child, with a bold spirit and a good heart, and I have fond memories of the series.
A 1978 sequel film called International Velvet was made with Tatum O'Neal as Velvet's niece Sarah, in a quest to become an Olympic equestrian.
Images and memorabilia of the TV series at http://members.tripod.com/~horsefame/Nvelvet.html
* Date varies. I gather it was made in 1944, released in 1945.
Content rescue needed! horse racing
are just nodeshells (and other variations like horseracing
don't exist); as is velvet
, whose Webster has vanished into the void. Tatum O'Neal