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Synopsis: The BACKYARD RACEHORSE describes Janet’s methods of conditioning horses naturally and economically at home or off-track. FROM START TO WIN lets you experience the training process firsthand through Janet’s camera. An approach using no medication. Just a lot of common sense and respect for the horse. In about 200 days, being ridden only twice a week, “Major” has his first race and you’re there every step of the way. Through the scheduling, the problems, the setbacks, and the triumph of winning. See how much work you can do on your farm or in your environment with no racetrack!


Equestrian Education





Run Time

86 minutes


Janet Del Castillo (Herself)
Lois Schwartz (Herself)

Directed by

Janet Del Castillo

Director's Bio

Janet Del Castillo, director and author of the training manual BACKYARD RACEHORSE, will be your tour guide and seminar leader. Her involvement in the racing industry has spanned over thirty years. Her practical innovative experience will make your trip unforgettable, fact-filled, and fun. Del Castillo was seven years old when she decided she wanted to work with horses. “I’ve always loved horses,” said Del Castillo. When she was a little girl she had an orange wooden horse, which she still owns. When Del Castillo was 11 years old “her sister (Mary Lynn) got mad at her and cut the horse in half,” said Sally Del Castillo, Del Castillo’s daughter-in-law, “Janet kept it and glued it back together because she loved it so much.” When Del Castillo was 19 years old, she entered into the Peace Corps because she was raised to think about other people over herself. Of the 70 people that signed up, she was one of 35 who made it passed the strict screening process. The Peace Corps taught her to be a strong person when she was living in a rural area without medical care, electricity, running water and communication to other areas of the world. These challenges helped her become the horse trainer she is. “She’s probably the strongest woman I know,” said Nando Del Castillo, Del Castillio’s son, “she was tough as nails and still able to be an amazing mother.”

Official selection

EQUUS Film Festival - USA

Country of Origin


Official Website


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