Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Set in Northern California (though filmed in New Mexico), the weekly, 60-minute drama series Wildfire starred Genevieve Cortese as a troubled teenager sent to juvenile hall for her alleged participation in an auto theft. As a condition of her parole, Kris went to work at Raintree Horse Farm, run by the Ritter family, a once-prominent horse racing clan now fallen upon hard times. Written off as an outcast by society, Kris formed a strong bond with a horse named Wildfire, who had likewise been dismissed as a "loser." Through love and patience, Kris challenged conventional wisdom and trained Wildfire to be a winner, in so doing also bringing a new hope to the Ritters in their perennial cutthroat competition against a rival family of horse breeders, the Davises. Featured in the cast were Nana Visitor as Raintree's owner Jean Ritter; Micah Alberti as Jean's son Matt Ritter, who fell in love with Kris; Nicole Tubiola as the scheming and snobbish Danielle Davis, who went out of her way to discredit Kris in Matt's eyes; Ryan Sypek as Danielle's brother Junior Davis, who rather surprisingly became one of Kris' best friends; and Greg Serano as amiable horse trainer Pablo Betart. During the series' first season, Dennis Weaver was seen as Jean's venerable father Henry Ritter, a role that turned out to be the actor's TV swan song (he died in March of 2006, just as the second season commenced). Originally slated to air on the WB Network, Wildfire was deflected to the ABC Family cable channel, where its debut episode on June 20, 2005, posted the highest ratings of any premiere in the channel's history.
horse-ranch, ranch, ranch-hand, starting-over, teenagers