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"Francine Frensky, Olympic Rider"
Season/Series: 2
Number in season: 5B
Original Airdate: United States October 24, 1997[1]
Canada November 28, 1997[2]
Germany January 30, 2002[3]
Written by: Kathy Waugh
Storyboard by: Denis Banville
"Arthur's Underwear"
"Buster Baxter, Cat Saver"
Read transcript

"Francine Frensky, Olympic Rider" is the second half of the fifth episode in the second season of Arthur.


Francine dreams of being an Olympic equestrian (horse rider), but her dream starts to turn sour when Catherine outshines her at riding lessons.


Francine really wishes to ride her very own horse. She saves enough money by herself for equestrian lessons. She is devastated when her parents say no, despite agreeing to take her if she earned the money. Because the lessons are only available during the time when both Oliver and Laverne are away at work, they suggest Catherine, who is available. Neither sister wants to go with each other but their parents bribe Catherine into going by paying for her lessons.

At first, Catherine hates going to the riding lessons and Francine is the more interested one. It doesn't take long before Catherine becomes more knowing and experienced. She has a small crush on Stanley the instructor, a young teenager close to her age. Francine's dreams were much more difficult then she thought, while Catherine is a natural talent. Francine eventually succeeds, but is nowhere near the same level as her sister. Because Catherine has become much more experienced, he offers a job that includes free lessons to Catherine but not Francine. Jealous of her sister's success, Francine rips up a picture of a horse that she previously hung on the wall. She announces at dinner that she is quitting the lessons.

She appears to be happy, but does not want to talk about it. She skips a riding lesson and says that she is going to have fun with her friends. But when she sees her friends: Arthur, Buster, and The Brain they are bored and keep asking each other what to do. D.W. says that if they aren't doing anything then Mom suggested that D.W. plays a Horse game where "Arthur is the horse who dies of thirst". The three boys decide that it is much more fun to do chores, and decide to fold Arthur's socks. Francine agrees to play "Horsey" with D.W. but D.W. then says that it isn't just a simple game of "Horsey". It is a game about horses that run wild and free in the desert. She keeps describing it to Francine, who loves the description but is very sad that she quit the riding lessons. She breaks down and yells at D.W. to stop.

Later, Catherine departs for another lesson. Francine says, "Aren't you going to ask me if I want to come today?" Catherine says "No." and shuts the door. But then she opens the door and says "Hey, Francine, I was just thinking ..." and then they both go, but Francine is still stubborn. Stanley and Catherine talk with each other, and Stanley says that Francine will never get better unless she gets back on a horse. Catherine decides to give Francine extra lessons so that Francine can catch up. Francine then says "YOU, teach ME?!?!" but then changes her mind after quickly recalling D.W.'s beautiful description of horses; she then agrees half a second later.

At the end of the day, Francine gives another picture of a horse to Catherine. Catherine says that if she saves her money from babysitting for the next three years, they can buy a horse of their own, which they can share with each other; Francine likes the idea, saying that the horse could live in the garage's storage bin, which she says is sort of like a stall.

Catherine then says they could call the horse Stanley. But Francine hates the name, saying that she would never ride a horse named Stanley in the Olympics. But then Catherine says that she agrees, because the money for the horse is most of her money. Catherine says "Who says that you can ride in The Olympics?!"

They then start a pillow fight with each other; Oliver overhears the sisters having fun and quietly shuts the door.






Episode connections

Cultural references

  • In the introduction, Muffy hums Song of Joy, which is part of Beethoven's ninth symphony.


  • When the announcer makes the announcement to Muffy that she thought Francine was too bossy Francine's parents are seen sitting right behind her but in the next shot when the gang cheer for Catherine Francine's parents have mysteriously disappeared.

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