In the heyday of the Western, the horses cowboys rode were as famous as their riders.
Hopalong Cassidy played by William Boyd rode a white Arabian stallion named Topper. Hopalong’s original horse was King Nappy, but when injured, Topper took over.
Clayton Moore played the part of “The Lone Ranger” in early TV. Many of us can remember his cry of “Hi Ho Silver, Away” as he rode away on his beautiful white stallion.
The sidekick of the Lone Ranger was Tonto played by Jay Silverheels, a Native American of the Mohawk tribe. His horse was well known too, Scout, a brown and white paint.
Roy Rogers and his wife, Dale Evans owned their own horses. (Many were provided by the movie studios). Roy’s horse was a palomino thoroughbred/quarter horse mix named Trigger. Dale’s mount was a buckskin quarter horse named Buttermilk. So as not to tire Trigger, Roy bought another horse he called Trigger Jr. to help with public appearances. Buttermilk was saved from an abusive owner and the slaughterhouse by a kind cattleman who tamed and trained him. Buttermilk was later purchased the the Rogers.
Gene Autry’s horse was Champion known as “The Wonder Horse of the West.” Champion was a sorrel gelding with a white blaze and white stockings. There were several Champions that served as stand-ins for some appearances.
Tom Mix and Tony were one of the first famous cowboy and horse partners in film. Tom bought Tony for $600 and dubbed him “The Wonder Horse.” Although sometimes refusing to perform, Tony mastered a number of tricks. Tony’s hoofprints can be seen in cement outside Grauman’s Theater with other stars. He lived to the ripe old age of 42.