National Velvet is the story of a twelve-year girl, Velvet Brown, living in Sewels, in Sussex, England, who saves a horse from the knacker's yard and trains it for the Grand National steeplechase, aided by her father's hired hand, a young drifter, Mi Taylor. The fictional horse which Velvet Brown trained and rode in the National is called "Pie." When she discovers that the Latvian jockey hired to ride Pie doesn't believe he can win, she disguises herself as a male jockey and rides the horse to victory.

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