New WTIU Documentary Explores the Story of Horses in Indiana

Photo courtesy WTIU

Which state is home to some of the most famous racing horses in history and has an equine industry that contributes over $2 billion to the gross domestic product of that state? You may be surprised to learn that it’s not Kentucky, but its neighbor to the north—Indiana.

A new documentary from WTIU Public Television explores the Hoosier state’s rich history with horses and horse racing. Horsepower: Indiana’s Equine Industry premieres Monday, December 2 at 8 p.m. on WTIU and Facebook Live (

A stalwart in Indiana, Standardbred racing dates back to the mid-1800s, with events occurring at many county fairs across the state. In exploring this tradition, Horsepower: Indiana’s Equine Industry looks into the Hoosier experiences which have produced celebrity racing horses such as Dan Patch and Single G. The documentary also covers Standardbred, Thoroughbred, and Quarter Horse races that have retained massive popularity today at venues like the tracks at Indiana Grand and Hoosier Park.

In addition to racing, the film presents a comprehensive overview of the equine industry. The role of work horses is explored, particularly as they are used by the Indiana Amish population, who depend on them. The program also looks at Quarter Horses, which are the preferred breed for most equine competitions and shows.

Finally, the documentary helps viewers understand the broader economic and cultural impact of the equine industry on the Hoosier state, including the multimillion-dollar business of the 7,000 race horse breeders across the state. The film also highlights programs and services created by Purdue University and Saint Mary of the Woods College that help to further the advancement of the equine industry.

Watch a trailer and learn more about the program at Following the premiere on WTIU and Facebook Live, Horsepower: Indiana’s Equine Industry will be available to watch on this website from December 3 through January 3, 2020. DVD and BluRay copies of the program will be available for the public to purchase starting in April 2020 from

Horsepower: Indiana’s Equine Industry is made possible with production support from Smithville.