Horses That Old Western Stars of B-Films and Their Sidekicks Rode
ROY ROGERS' HORSE, TRIGGER
Trigger first appeared in the film, The Adventures of Robin Hood in 1938 starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland under the name, Golden Cloud. He was Miss de Havilland's horse in the film. Roy Rogers bought the Palomino stallion and renamed him Trigger.
Trigger was never bred as many think. Therefore, Trigger, Jr. was not his descendant. Roy rode Trigger in many of his films and in his television series. He is the most famous horse in film history.
Trigger died in 1965.
BUCK JONES' HORSE, SILVER
Silver made 73 films from 1922 until 1942 and was Buck Jones' horse in approximately 50 of those films.
Buck died in a tragic fire along with 491 others in the 1942 Coconut Grove fire in Boston. A party was being hosted at the club for Jones.
ALLEN ROCKY LANE'S HORSE, BLACK JACK
Black Jack was originally called Thunder and was ridden by Will Bill Elliott when Elliott was making films as Red Ryder. Lane would take over the part played by Elliott with the same horse.
When Lane became Rocky Lane, he bought the horse and renamed him Black Jack. They appeared in almost 100 films together.
DALE EVANS' HORSE, BUTTERMILK
Buttermilk lived from 1941 until 1972. He was a buckskin quarter horse and appeared with Dale in many of her films and throughout her television series.
Many sites on the internet list Dale's horse as Buttercup. Buttercup is a flower that will kill a horse if eaten.
GENE AUTRY'S HORSE, CHAMPION
Champion appeared in over 70 films with Gene from 1935 until 1953 as well as Gene's television series.
Champion had his own television series following Gene's titled, The Adventures of Champion in 1955.
However, there were three Champions. The first died in 1947. The third lived to be 42 and died in 1991.
REX ALLEN'S HORSE, KOKO
Koko performed in over 30 films as Allen's horse and Rex took him with him to his ranch when he retired.
Koko lived from 1940-1967.
PANCHO'S HORSE, LOCO
Loco only appeared in just two films with Pancho in 1949 and 1950, but continued to be his horse in the television series, The Cisco Kid from 1950-1956.
LONE RANGER'S HORSE, SILVER
Silver was in the only two films as the Lone Ranger's horse that can still be found. More were filmed on the back lots of Republic Pictures, but are not available. Silver would continue to be the Ranger's horse in the television series of the same name.
LASH LaRUE'S HORSE, BLACK DIAMOND/RUSH
I can not find the dates of the horse's birth, or death. However, I can tell you that LaRue's horse was Black Diamond and at a later date the name was changed to Rush.
JOHNNY MACK BROWN'S HORSES, SCOUT/RENO & REBEL
Johnny started out on a white steed called Scout. Later, he changed to a Palomino first named Reno and then changed to Rebel.
SMILEY BURNETTE'S HORSE, RING EYE
Smiley made over 62 films with Gene Autry. He left Gene to make 56 films with the Durango Kid and came back for Autry's final six films. He also spent time with Roy Rogers and Sunset Carson. His horse through all this went through three name changes; Black-eyed Nellie, Ring-eyed Nellie and finally just Ring Eye.
TOM MIX'S HORSE, TONY
Tony made his debut with Tom Mix in 1917 and they would make 181 films together. Tony did his own tricks and was referred to as, The Wonder Horse.
Tony was the most famous horse in the world until Trigger came along. Tony was born in 1899 and died on October 12, 1942.
TEX RITTER'S HORSE, WHITE FLASH
White Flash appeared in 20 films with Tex. In Tex's later films, they used different white horses and still referred to them as White Flash, but the real White Flash was too old to play the part. He was put to sleep in 1961.
WILD BILL ELLIOTT'S HORSE, THUNDER
Will Bill played Red Ryder in the 40's with his black horse, Thunder. Later, Allan Lane would ride the same horse when he took over the role of Red Ryder. Later, when Allen became Rocky Lane, he changed the horse's name to Black Jack.
SUNSET CARSON' HORSE, CACTUS
Cactus was actually Buck Jones' horse, Silver. Jones died in a tragic fire and Carson decided to change the name from Silver to Cactus.
The two made dozens of films together in the 40's before Sunset was fired for showing up at the studio drunk with an under-aged girl. He would never gain back his popularity.
BOB STEELE'S HORSE, BROWNIE
Bob actually used dozens of horses of different colors. Brownie was just one of many. Others were Flambow, Boy, Shiek and Sacks. Brownie may have been his favorite. One can only guess.
DURANGO KID'S HORSE, RAIDER
When dressed in disguise as the Durango Kid, he rode a white horse named Raider. When out of disguise as Charles Starrett his brown horse was Bullet.
There were two horses playing Raider. One was the real Raider; the other was backup, El Granito.
Raider made 20 films from 1940 to 1952.
HOPALONG CASSIDY'S HORSE, TOPPER
Hoppy's original horse, King Nappy was injured in 1939 and replaced by his double, Topper. Topper would be with Cassidy throughout his film and television career until 1954.
WHIP WILSON'S HORSE, SILVER BULLET
Whip's horse, Silver Bullet was later shortened to Bullet and then changed to Rocket because Roy Rogers had a dog in his films named Bullet.
Whip and Bullet only lasted three years as a western film cowboy.
GABBY HAYES'S HORSES
Gabby didn't even learn to ride until age 40. In his films, he rode three horses including Calico pictured here, Eddie and Blossom.
Gabby Hayes was the most famous sidekick in western film history. Since he did not ride that much, his horses were never that famous.
ANDY DEVINE'S HORSE, JOKER
I never could find a photo of Andy on a horse in his western films and to tell you the truth, I don't remember ever seeing him on horseback in any of the films that I watched.
This is a picture of his horse, Joker in the television series, Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. This article is about horses ridden by stars and sidekicks in the old B westerns, but since Andy was a major part of that genre, I could not leave him out.
KEN MAYNARD'S HORSE, TARZAN
There were as many as 4 backups for the real Tarzan who was a trick horse and called Wonder Horse by Ken.
He worked with Ken during the 20's and 30's in films and into the 40's in a circus tour.
TIM HOLT'S HORSES
Tim rode Duke prior to his entering the military. When he returned to pictures, he rode Shiek, Lightning, Steel and Sundance.
The horses pictured here are Duke and below, Steel.