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Series / Wildfire

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Wildfire 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 or could until LionsgateTV decided to make all the videos private. The full series is available for free on Hulu.

Unrelated to the 1986 animated 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
  • Sex with the Ex: Happens a number of times. Jean has a one-night stand with her ex-husband, which costs her the relationship with the nice and rich videogame developer Charlie. Kerry sleeps with Gillian in order to get Kris, his client and girlfriend, a spot at a breeders' race. Dani learns about it and uses it to blackmail Gillian into selling her shares of the farm, or Dani tells Matt. She eventually fesses up, but only after their relationship ends due to Matt sleeping with Kris.
  • Shout-Out: The title comes from a Michael Martin Murphy song about a pony.
  • Team Mom: Jean.
  • Team Dad: Pablo.
  • 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.