Saturday, July 10, 2010

Christie's Horses Around With "Trigger"

the New York Auctioneers have placed cowboy singer/actor Roy Roger's famous stuffed horse 'Trigger' up for sale.

The golden palamino, originally named 'Golden Cloud', was foaled July 4, 1934 on a ranch co-owned by Bing Crosby. In 1937, the horse, standing 15 hands high and registered with the Palomino Horse Association and Stud Book Registry, was sold to Hudkins Stables, a Hollywood provider of animals.

Golden Cloud's early acting resume included playing the horse of 'Maid Marian' in the 1938 feature "The Adventures of Robin Hood" with actress Olivia de Havilland famously riding Golden Cloud side saddle.

Casting horses For the film "Under Western Stars", star Roy Rogers fell in love with Golden Cloud and purchased the palomino for $2,500.

"He would turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change", said Rogers at the time, re-naming the horse 'Trigger', as he was "quick on the trigger".

Rogers never used reins, a whip or spurs on the horse as Trigger had been previously trained to respond to simple touch and hand movements.

"He seemed to know when people were watching him," said Rogers. "He recognized applause and just ate it up like a ham!"

As Trigger's career progressed in show business, he became known as "The Smartest Horse in the Movies," performing 100 recognizable tricks including counting, doing the hula, untying ropes, shooting a gun, knocking on doors and walking on his hind quarters.

The horse was outfitted with an Edward H. Bohlin gold/silver saddle and became the focus of the movie "My Pal Trigger".
Trigger also appeared in the Republic Films sequel "Trigger, Jr", all of Roy Rogers 188 movies and the "Roy Rogers Show" 1951 to 1957, spawning his own fan club.

April 21, 1949, both Rogers and Trigger left their foot/hoof prints in the sidewalk @ Hollywood's Grauman's Chinese Theater.

In 1953, Trigger won the 'P.A.T.S.Y.' award (animal equivalent of the Oscars) for the comedy/western feature "Son of Paleface", upstaging actor Bob Hope.

July 3, 1965 at the Rogers ranch in Hidden Valley, California, at the age of 30, Trigger died of old age.
Reluctant to "put him in the ground," Rogers, inspired by the taxidermy animals on display in the Smithsonian, decided to have Trigger mounted in his iconic rearing position, ghoulishly putting him on display at the Roy Rogers - Dale Evans Museum, in Victorville, California.

The starting price for the stuffed and mounted Trigger starts at $100,000.

The book "An Illustrated History Of Trigger" by author Lee Pando is the definitive look at the celebrity golden palamino.

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek "Trigger"...