As the story goes, Hidalgo was considered a long shot to win the race because he was a Mustang, in a race of faster, stronger Arabians. Hidalgo appealed to a wealthy Sheik (Omar Sharif) who brought the horse and its legendary rider Frank T. Hopkins (Viggo Mortensen) from the United States halfway across the world to participate. Despite a potential claim for fame and fortune, Frank is participating for entirely personal reasons. Frank wants to help his half-blood Indian tribe buy back land from the U.S. government that they can use to raise their horses.
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