When it comes down to it, celebrities are people just like anybody else. They all have human likes and dislikes. So of course some stars are especially fond of horses, but some of the names on this list might still surprise you.
Here are 10 celebrities who are passionate horse lovers.
#1 – Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx was given his horse, Cheetah, for his birthday several years ago. When he accepted a role in the award-winning 2012 movie Django Unchained, he insisted Quentin Tarantino find a role for Cheetah. Though Foxx is a skilled rider, he admits to being terrified while galloping bareback at 28-miles-per-hour while hanging off Cheetah and brandishing a gun.
#2 – Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen is a huge horse lover who has bought 3 of the horses he worked with on set. He purchased Eurayus after filming The Lord of the Rings and had this to say for an article in HorseNation:
“I just developed a real good friendship with him…He kind of came into the movie similar to the way I did. You know, didn’t have much preparation and was just thrown in and had to swim basically. And it was rough on him and it took awhile for us to kind of get in sync and for him to be comfortable around the set. So we got to be close and I wanted to stay in touch with him.”
Mortensen also bought a gelding he rode in the beginning of The Two Towers and the stallion he rode in Hidalgo.
#3 – Madonna
Madonna started riding when she was in her 40s while married to British film director Guy Ritchie. On her 47th birthday in 2005, she was thrown off her horse and broke 8 bones in her body. It took 6 months for her to recover well enough to get back in the saddle. She has 2 horses and can be spotted riding in the Hamptons. She even rode down the streets of Manhattan once with David Letterman.
#4 – Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp’s riding talents have been displayed in The Man Who Cried, The Lone Ranger, Dead Man, and Sleepy Hollow. Depp was almost trampled when his saddle slipped during the filming of The Lone Ranger. He adopted the one-eyed horse he rode in Sleepy Hollow to save him from being put down.
#5 – Richard Gere
Richard Gere owns a ranch in upstate New York where he rides with his family. He’s especially fond of Appaloosas and is highly involved in the Chief Joseph Foundation, which promotes the preservation of Nez Perce culture through community activities involving Appaloosas. Gere has ridden horses in several films including Sommersby, First Knight, and I’m Not There.
#6 – Julia Roberts
Like her Runaway Bride costar, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts is a huge fan of horses. She’s been barrel racing since childhood and she has a ranch in New Mexico. She also traveled to Mongolia to host and film a documentary called Wild Horses of Mongolia, during which she lived with nomadic people to study their relationship with the wild horses.
#7 – David Letterman
Since retiring from late night television, David Letterman has become an active rancher and conservationist in Montana. He’s appeared several times riding down the streets of New York City with stars like Madonna and Harrison Ford and joked with the Hollywood Reporter about doing a show set in Montana called “Comedians on Horses Getting Coffee.”
#8 – Kaley Cuoco
Best known as Penny in “The Big Bang Theory,” Kaley Cuoco competes in the jumper circuit, often using a pseudonym to hide from the crowds. She plasters Instagram with photos of her horses and it’s rumored that she met her current boyfriend, professional Grand Prix rider Karl Cook, bonding over their shared love of horses.
#9 – Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus fell in love with horses growing up on her father’s Nashville estate and brought that passion to Los Angeles. She purchased the $5 million Hidden Hills Equestrian Estate outside of LA in May 2015. Her property includes a 6,500 square foot home, a one-acre riding arena, two paddocks, and a ten-stall barn.
#10 – Patrick Swayze
OK, so Patrick Swayze has been gone for a while, but his passion for horses was too great not to include him. He loved Arabians and regularly showed them near his New Mexico home, but even that wasn’t enough for him, so he earned his pilot’s license so he could fly to shows. He married a horse-crazed wife and ran his own breeding program started by his stallion Tammen.