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Smoke Signals Monthly eMagazine

 

A Chara and China Poblana in costume

The Smartest Horse in the World

From your editor: Linda Kohn Sherwood

Most of us have heard about the museum closing. Many of us have been to one or another of the auctions set to disperse the collection. Now that the final auction is coming up this week, it makes me think. What was the organic appeal and reaction to Roy and Dale from within us all? We've talked in our press releases about what good people Roy and Dale were. Their legacy certainly reflects their moral values and how they influenced all of us children of the 40s-50s (more or less). And, of course, Roy loved his children, but he also loved his horse!

I was at dinner last night with my sister-in-law, talking about our relationships with our animals: our horses, our dogs, our cats. Roy's most loyal companion was Trigger! Here was a horse who listened to his every word! Who among us can say we have someone like that! Trigger carried Roy everywhere, danced with him, bowed with him and ran with him. And Roy fell in love the minute he rode him for the first time. Trigger was then called Golden Cloud (after the manager of the California ranch where he was born, a man by the name of Roy F Cloud). He had an easy lope and a calm and willing attitude. I think it was Smiley Burnette, Roy's sidekick in the film Under Western Star", when Smiley commented, "Roy, as quick as that horse of yours is, you ought to call him Trigger." Roy liked the suggestion and began calling Golden Cloud by his new name of Trigger from then on.

From the beginning, Roy openly and unapologetically loved this horse and wanted to own him so he could not only ride him in more movies, but take him out on personal appearances, too. So he bought Trigger from Hudkins Stables of Hollywood, California, one of the stables that provided horses for use in the movie industry.

Trigger was ridden by Roy in every one of his motion pictures, finding his own fame in the process. It seems like there wasn't a child in the world during that time that didn't instantly recognize the name Trigger. He was a cowboy's best friend, a high rearing, fast running superhero that could shoot a gun and untie ropes, but still allow the weakest and most timid of children to sit safely on his magnificent back. Trigger became officially known as "The Smartest Horse In The Movies" and he belonged to the "King Of The Cowboys" himself, Roy Rogers. In our hearts we children knew that Trigger loved us, and dreamed that up on his back we could be a cowboy (or cowgirl) hero, too. Trigger brought sunshine into the lives of people worldwide, particularly children, with the brilliance of his golden coat and with his bravery and brains on movie and television screens. He brought encouragement and hope to people in a very personal way when he walked quietly up stairs or rode in elevators to visit those who needed him most while they were in hospitals or shelters. As much as we love and remember his owner and best pal Roy Rogers, we also love and remember Trigger, "The Smartest Horse In The Movies."

Roy also loved his dog, Bullet. Did you all know that Bullet was the family's real dog? He was the German Shepherd that lived with Roy, Dale and the kids. So, Roy simply made him a part of the television series, The Roy Rogers Show, from 1951-1957. This man was so connected to his animals!

When Trigger got on in years, Roy purchased another horse to give the original Trigger a break. The second "other Trigger" was a registered Tennessee Walking Horse with the registered name of Allen's Gold Zephyr, but Roy called him Trigger Jr.

When Trigger died at age 33, Roy was heartbroken, just like any of us who lose our favorite companion horse or dog. It was too painful to bury him so Roy had him mounted and placed in the museum so all of us could continue dreaming of jumping onto his back and riding off into the sunset!

And now Roy's favorite animals Trigger, and Trigger Jr, Bullet and Dale's horse, Buttermilk, will be sold. Hopefully they will go to someone else who will love and care for him and his legacy. And further certify the importance of animals in our lives! They will be sold this Tuesday at 5 pm or Wednesday at 10 am at Christie's in New York. May they all live on!

You are welcome to see the catalog on line at the following link or sign up to watch the auction live through Christie's website:

LINK FOR CATALOG (click here)

 

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