Awards season is wrapping up, and that’s probably great news if you’re a celebrity horse owner. After all, late-night partying and getting out to the barn for an early morning ride probably don’t go hand-in-hand. While horses might be a status symbol for some, there are a few A-listers out there who rank their horses number one, and they’re using their high profiles to make a difference for horses everywhere.
Bo Derek rose to fame wearing a swimsuit, but these days, she’s just as well-known for wearing jeans and riding boots. The actress and model, who began her film career in the seventies, has always been a horsewoman. Today, she’s a horse owner, equine activist, and a member of the California Horse Racing Board. She even titled her 2002 memoir, Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned From Horses. Frequently a contributor to equine welfare conversations, Derek keeps Lusitanos at her ranch, which you can see in this tour with Derek and Oprah: http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Tour-Bo-Derek-and-John-Corbetts-Ranch-Video.
Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny on The Big Bang Theory, might not look like a riding advocate at first glance. But she’s proven she’s just as capable of getting dirty at the barn as the rest of us. In 2013, Cuoco’s riding life was the cover story for Equestrian, the magazine of the United States Equestrian Federation. She has plenty to say about how riding has grounded her life and suggests that anyone just thinking about horses get out there and take a riding lesson. In 2014, she rode alongside show-jumper Paris Sellon at the Longines Los Angeles Masters, to raise money for Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship. Her Q & A with Equestrian is available at their digital edition here: https://www.usef.org/digitalmagazine/2013/may_june/.
Richard Gere has been riding in the movies for decades, and he and his wife are breed advocates for the Appaloosa. Gere purchased his first horse, an Appaloosa, in the early nineties. Later, he added to the Appy herd when his wife’s mare came along. The Gere family became supporters of the Chief Joseph Foundation, which promotes Native American Nez Perce culture through the preservation of the Appaloosa. These spotted horses remain an integral part of the Nez Perce culture, and the Chief Joseph Foundation’s breeding program supports their community outreach, including Special Olympics and hippotherapy programs. More information on the Chief Joseph Foundation is available here: http://www.sworddragon.com/chiefjosephfdn/cjf.html.
If you would like to see a more extensive list of celebrities who own horses, check out:
Celebrities with horses — they might just be dedicated equestrians who give back to the community, and to horses.