Discussion Questions: Seabiscuit
1. Discuss the role of sporting events in American culture. Why do Americans create heroes in sports stars?
2. Discuss what you know about the Great Depression. What did it encompass?
3. Horse racing is called “the sport of kings.” Why do you think it has this name? What are the historical reasons for the phrase?
4. In the 1930s, Seabiscuit was one of the most famous animals alive. What was the Seabiscuit phenomenon? Why was this horse so famous?
5. How did Seabiscuit embody the classic American story?
6. Seabiscuit, despite racing in “the sport of kings,” was a “blue collar” horse. What does this mean?
7. Champion and thoroughbred horses have distinctive appearances, shapes and carriage. How did Seabiscuit defy the appearances of the traditional champion?
8. Three men played important roles in the life and legend of Seabiscuit: Tom Smith, Charles Howard, and Red Pollard. What did each of these men do for Seabiscuit? How did they contribute to Seabiscuit’s phenomenal success?
9. Tom Smith, Seabiscuit’s trainer, sensed that Seabiscuit was a moody animal. How did Smith help improve Seabiscuit’s moods?
10. Seabiscuit was an extremely unusual race horse. What made him so unusual?
11. Charles Howard, Seabiscuit’s owner, was his greatest supporter and promoter. Why was Seabiscuit’s success so important to Howard?
12. Discuss the great contest between Seabiscuit and his rival, War Admiral. How did this race reflect the rivalry between the horses’ owners?
13. Ridgewood Ranch is where Seabiscuit would go to recover from his injuries and where he eventually retired. Red Pollard also recuperated at Ridgewood Ranch. Why was the ranch known as the “home for long shot dreams?”
14. Why is this a good movie for this time period?