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Virginia's Run

Virginia's Run
Virginia's Run movie poster
Directed by Peter Markle
Written by Valarie Trapp & Peter Markle
Starring Lindze Letherman
Rachel Skarsten
Gabriel Byrne
Release date(s) March 2002
Running time 105 min.
Country United States
Language English

Virginia's Run is a 2002 Canadian-American independent family drama/coming of age film.


Virginia (Letherman) is a 13 year old girl living in Maine with her older sister Caroline (Skarsten) and her father Ford (Byrne). Her mother was killed 3 years earlier in a horse riding accident. Since then Ford has sold their horse, Twister, to a neighbor and forbidden his daughters to ride. Still, Virginia sneaks out at night to see him and we see her in the beginning of the movie delivering a foal in the middle of a terrible storm. Twister dies while giving birth and Virginia names the foal Stormy.

As the horse grows up, Virginia continues to sneak out to care for Stormy and ride him at night. The real owner of the horse, Blake (Robert Miranda) tries to train Stormy to race for his son Darrow (Kevin Zegers), who is also Caroline's boyfriend, but the horse doesn't get along well with him. Blake decides to sell Stormy and Virginia is heartbroken because she had always considered Stormy to be her own horse, ever since she delivered him. Eventually Ford is able to track down the person who bought Stormy and he buys him back to give to Virginia as a birthday present.

Meanwhile Virginia has started working with one of Blake's trainers named Jessie (Joanne Whalley). Virginia tells her how much she loves horses and how riding them is a way for her to remember her mom. So she tries to get Ford to understand that by not letting Virginia ride he is only crushing her spirit. He reluctantly changes his mind and eventually starts riding with Virginia and giving her lessons. He mentions that there is going to be a big race on Memorial Day and tells her he thinks she's ready.

One day, Virginia is out riding by herself and she comes across Darrow riding with his buddies. He challenges her to a race to the train tracks and Virginia barely makes it, missing the train by a few feet. That's when Darrow realizes that she is a better rider than he is and that he needs to do something if he's to prevent her from beating him in the big race. So, the night before the race, he and his buddies kidnap Stormy and hide him in an abandoned shack by a creek. When Virginia finds out that Stormy is missing she is distraught. Her father believes that Stormy has just escaped but she tells her sister that she believes Darrow stole him. Caroline thinks that she can find out what really happened by coming on to one of Darrow's friends. He spills the beans to her and she tells Virginia where to find Stormy. Without hesitating, she runs out the house to get him, even going as far as "borrowing" her father's old truck to get there in time. She finds Stormy and gets to the town square where the race is about to begin. At first they tell her that she can't race because she's a few minutes late but after the whole town starts chanting, "Let Virginia Ride! Let Virginia Ride!" she is allowed to participate.

She starts out a little behind but quickly catches up to the crowd. Darrow had been in the lead since the beginning but when he sees Virginia on his tail he resorts to cheating. At one point he knocks her off her horse and then he hides one of the trail marker flags so she'll get lost. When she can't figure out which way to go by looking at her map, Stormy knows she is lost and he tries to tell her which way to go. He turns out to be right and she easily catches up to Darrow again. It's neck and neck along the final stretch and, although she was the last one to start, she comes in first place.

Darrow's father Blake convinces the MC (who is just a pushover) to disqualify Virginia for some vague and unspecified violation and Darrow tries to accept the trophy. Virginia notices something in his pocket and tells Caroline to check it out. She sneaks up to him and pulls out in front of everybody the flag he had hid. He is summarily disqualified for cheating and Virginia accepts the trophy to a cheering crowd while two men from the audience toss the MC into a water trough.

At home Virginia and her family are seen having dinner with Jessie, Blake's former trainer. We find out that he has just fired her and Caroline has just broken up with Darrow. However, Virginia comments that they are happier than they have been in a long time. She walks outside to feed Stormy and thinks to herself that she could never have gotten through the race if it wasn't for her cherished memories of her mother.


  • Lindze Letherman as Virginia Lofton
  • Rachel Skarsten as Caroline Lofton
  • Gabriel Byrne as Ford Lofton
  • Joanne Whalley as Jessie Eastwood
  • Robert Miranda as Blake Raines
  • Kevin Zegers as Darrow Raines
  • Jeremy Akerman as Huntington Crane
  • Jocelyn Cunningham as Lydia

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