Horses are often used in commercials, movies and television. The U.S. Department of Agriculture oversees the ethical treatment of horses in Hollywood. The Animal Welfare Act of 1966 regulates the treatment of animals in exhibition, which includes commercials, movies and television. PETA activists keep a close reign on Hollywood’s treatment of horses. Generally, horses are treated well in Hollywood; however, PETA reports cases of mistreatment from time to time. The U.S. Department of Agriculture takes legal action when necessary.
Commercials: The famous Budweiser Clydesdales have appeared in commercials since 1933. However, the historical icons will not be appearing in commercials during the 2014 Christmas season. Anheuser-Busch has several teams of Clydesdales that travel and appear in commercials. The traveling teams stop each night at local stables. Dodge Durango, Ford Mustang and other automobile commercials have featured horses.
Movies: There have been many movies featuring horse actors over the years. The 2003 movie, Seabiscuit, is based on an undersized, thoroughbred, race horse. National Velvet produced in 1944, starred Elizabeth Taylor, as a 12-year old girl that won a horse race; however, was disqualified due to age. In the 2004 movie set in 1891, distance rider, Frank Hopkins and Hidalgo, his mustang, are challenged to a 3,000 mile survival race across the desert. The antics of a jealous young girl and her stallion, Black Beauty, are showcased in the 1946 movie, by the same name.
Television: Mr. Ed may be one of the most famous series to place the spotlight on a horse. In the 1960’s television series, Mr. Ed portrayed a talking horse along with his owner, Wilbur Post. Mr. Ed was portrayed by a gelding palomino by the name of Bamboo Harvester. Bonanza, The Rifleman, Death Valley, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and countless other western television series employed horse actors.
*Photo courtesy of Bonanza by Truss, Bob and Jan too at Flickr’s Creative Commons.