was an ABC Family television series that ran from 2005 to 2009.
Centered on the racing stable of Raintree in Northern California (and their next-door neighbors, the powerful, wealthy Davis Racing Farm), Wildfire
tells the story of Kris Furillo (Genevieve Cortese), a troubled teen who, while in a juvenile detention center, learns to ride horses through an outreach program and develops a special bond with the Thoroughbred stallion Wildfire. After she is released, Pablo Betart (Greg Serano), head trainer at Raintree, offers her a job as a ranch hand. Raintree is owned by Jean Ritter (Nana Visitor
), the stubborn, compassionate single mother in charge of running the farm. Helping her are sons Matt (Micah Alberti) and Todd (Andrew Hoeft), both of whom are extremely equine savvy. Matt is best friends with Ken Davis Jr. (known as Junior) (Ryan Sypek) and his younger sister Dani (Nicole Tubiola).
The show spans four years and details the troubles and travails of a struggling family racing farm. Running themes are Matt and Junior's constant competition over Kris, Raintree's monetary troubles and Dani's efforts to get out from under her father's thumb, as well as Wildfire's rehabilitation and transformation into a champion racehorse.
Although never strong in the ratings, Wildfire
maintained a steady and loyal audience for its four-year run, mostly in the form of horse-crazy girls. The first three seasons are available on DVD, and all four can be found on YouTube
until LionsgateTV decided to make all the videos private. The full series is available for free on Hulu
Unrelated to the Hanna-Barbera series
, which also features an unusual horse.
This Show Provides Examples of:
- All Girls Like Ponies: natch.
- Cool Horse: Lots of them, but mainly Wildfire.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Everything works out for the best, but there are a lot of ups and downs before they get there.
- Everyone Can See It: When Matt sees his mother kissing Pablo, Dani remarks breezily, "Oh honey, everyone knows."
- Fiery Redhead: Jean.
- Heel-Face Turn: Dani.
- Hidden Depths: Junior is neither so stupid nor so vapid as he wants people to think.
- Last Minute Hookup: Pablo and Jean.
- Love Dodecahedron: Oh my God.
- Mama Bear: Don't mess with Jean's kids. Any of them.
- Opposing Sports Team: Davis Farms.
- Poor Communication Kills: Often employed by Dani. Not that Matt and junior being constantly moonstruck over Kris need much help to get distracted.
- Rich Bitch: Dani
- Shout-Out: The title comes from a Michael Martin Murphy song about a pony.
- Team Mom: Jean.
- Team Dad: Pablo.
- Trapped by Mountain Lions: Kris's genuinely interesting journey and relationship with Wildfire constantly gets sidelined and interrupted by various shenanigans that mean nothing to the series as a whole, such as the Love Dodecahedron, Matt's gambling problem in Season 1, Junior's club in Season 2, and Dani's search for her mother in Season 1.
- True Companions: As far as Jean Ritter is concerned, Kris is her daughter. Period. Jean and Pablo later remark that they're the closest thing Kris has to parents. Also, it doesn't seem to matter what happens - Jean, Pablo, Kris, Junior, Matt and Dani always come through when it counts for each other.
- Unrequited Love: Pablo for Jean. It gets requited... eventually. Also Matt for Kris.
- Will They or Won't They?: Kris/Junior They Do; Kris/Matt they don't; Pablo/Jean They Do; Matt/Dani They Do
- You Might Remember Me from...: Nana Visitor again, who until then was known primarily for her role as Kira Nerys.