As the annual Oscars circus highlights, human acting talent is something to be celebrated. However, we’ve all come across horses and ponies that perhaps embody popular movie characters much better, says Ploy Radford

1. Cruella de Vil (101 Dalmatians)

Never have the lyrics “Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil, if she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will” been more apt than when applied to that mare on the yard. Cruella de Horse, as you like to call her, hates all the other horses and is unrelenting in her mission to kick or bite any other horse within sight. In fact, she’s worse than that Disney villainess, as you’re pretty certain her attempts at grievous bodily harm have exceeded 101 by now.

2. James Bond (James Bond movies)

“The name’s Bond. James Bond.” Or probably Bucephalus III Lord of Horses given his owner’s pretensions. Irritatingly though, the tall, dark (bay) and handsome devil more than lives up to his name. He’s always away on missions (competitions) — which is sad for all his female fans — and aces even the most gruelling cross-country course effortlessly while still looking sleek.

3. Mother Abbess (The Sound of Music)

How do you solve a problem like Maria? Well, if Maria is a hapless newbie to the art of horsemanship, you stick her on the schoolmistress of the yard. This saint-like creature will patiently show her beginner rider the ropes and do everything asked of her when any other horse would have abandoned them on the arena floor. With the unwavering support of this mare, Maria will be climbing every mountain, or at least popping a tiny cross pole, eventually.

4. Vito Corleone (The Godfather)

A distinguished-looking chap with impeccable manners, this horse commands a lot of respect. Like R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Other horses in the field let him have first dibs at the best grass, the most sheltered areas and he’s always got his gang around him. You’re also pretty sure he’s responsible for most of the mischief that happens on the yard, clothing accessories that go missing then turn up torn and chewed, that time he and all his gang somehow escaped and were found at a neighbouring yard causing havoc…

5. Chewbacca (Star Wars)

He’s large, hairy and more than capable of kicking your limbs off, but he has an unswerving sense of loyalty and dedication to the forces of good. As such, you’re thankful you don’t need to look to a galaxy far far away to find one of these equine gentle giants. He may be no stunning thoroughbred but everyone loves him and his feathers.

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6. Minions (Despicable Me)

Commonly found causing very cute chaos in riding lessons for tiny children, the riding school Shetland ponies were born to play the role of Minions. They’re short, round, love apples and while happy to serve their diminutive riders, have little discipline and an evil streak wider than they are tall…