Horse Actors from the Big and Small Screen

Pepper9873Pepper9873 Member
All horse lovers enjoy any film or TV show that includes a horse, and often times are more curious about the horse actor(s) than the human ones. However, the rest of the world focuses more on the people, and the horses fall off the radar. So this discussion is geared to find out more about some of our favorite equine stars.

**Rules**
1: You must list the following.
*Horse's actual name
*Show(s) and/or Film(s) the horse was in.
*The name of the character(s) it played. If horse played in multiple shows or movies, put the title of the movie or show in parenthesis after the name.
*For film: the year the movie was released. For Shows: the year the show began and ended.
*What happened to the horse post production.
2: You must provide a picture of the horse. It can be any type of photo, i.e. production photo or screen shot, as long as it has the horse in it.
3: Fun facts or any extra information about the horse, or production of the film(s) or series the horse was in is great if you have it.
4: Check to make sure the horse you want to post hasn't already been posted.
5: Have fun!
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Comments

  • Horse's Name: Cass Ole
    Starred In: The Black Stallion (1979) The Black Stallion Returns (1983)
    Character Played: The Black
    Post Production: After both films, Cass Ole attended multiple fundraisers and special events. He won the Humane Society award for the prevention of cruelty to animals in 1980. He was present at President Reagan's inauguration. He retired to stud at his home ranch in Texas and sired over 130 foals. He was humanely euthanized in 1993 due to severe colic.
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    Fun Fact: During his seven year show career, Cass Ole won over 50 championships and 20 reserve championships.
  • Horse's Name: I Two Step Too
    Starred In: Seabiscuit (2003)
    Character Played: Seabiscuit
    Post Production: After filming, I Two Step Too spent the rest of his life at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington where he was a main attraction. In 2004, he had surgery to remove a nasal cavity tumor. The tumor continued to regenerate, and he was euthanized in 2005. He was 11 years old.
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    Fun Fact: Ten horses were used to play the role of Seabiscuit, but I Two Step Too was the featured horse in close ups and race scenes.
  • Horse's Name: Blanco
    Starred In: The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
    Character Played: Shadowfax
    Post Production: Blanco, an Andalusian gelding, was purchased from New Line Cinema in 2006 by Cynthia Royal, who specializes in liberty and bridleless riding. He participated with her in numerous shows, expos, clinics, and in DVDs showcasing Royal's training philosophies and techniques. He also had a number of other movie, TV, and commercial appearances, including the Hercules TV series and a Hercules movie, and an episode of Horse Medicine. In late December 2013, Blanco fell ill with an undiagnosed bowel and liver disorder. After three months of unsuccessful treatment, he was euthanized and died in Royal’s arms at a local animal hospital on April 6, 2014
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    Fun Fact: Blanco was also the only non-police horse ever granted access to The Mall in Washington D.C. – the location of numerous National monuments and the Smithsonian Museum – for an unprecedented photo and video shoot with Cynthia.
  • Awww, how sad to see that Blanco has passed. I had no idea. Such a beautiful horse. Thanks for sharing the information.
  • Cass Ole....I'm assuming that he was a Thoroughbred? Looks like he could be. Anybody know for sure?
  • Cass Ole was a pure Arab
  • Cass Ole....I'm assuming that he was a Thoroughbred? Looks like he could be. Anybody know for sure?
    He was a purebred Arabian. In that picture he doesn't look very Arabian, though.
  • Thanks! This one doesn't have such a pronounced dish face, so I wasn't sure.
  • Horse's Name: RJ Masterbug
    Starred In: Hidalgo (2004)
    Character Played: Hidalgo
    Fun Fact: RJ Masterbug; trained by world renowned movie-horse trainer: Rex Peterson, performs all across the country today. But when he is not touring and performing, RJ Masterbug works as a stud at Windrock Farms. (That's right! You can have your own baby Hidalgo!)
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    Photo provided by flickr.com (c)
  • edited July 2014
    Name: Finder
    Starred In (excluding bit-parts): Warhorse (2011), Seabiscuit (2003)
    Character Played: Warhorse, Seabiscuit
    Fun Fact: As equine actors go, Finder is something of a heavyweight, as he has acted in many a bit part and main part in movies... But his beginnings are humble, as he himself is an OTTB. Finder is a prime example of how devoted, charismatic, and willing-to-please OTTB's can become in the right hands.
    (Note: This picture of him was taken when he was dyed black with an organic hair dye for a movie)
    image
    Photo provided by Stewart Cook (c)
  • This picture looks unreal. The human looks like a little boy disguised as a man, or the horse was filmed separately and then superimposed on the scene so that he looks super-sized.
  • This picture looks unreal. The human looks like a little boy disguised as a man, or the horse was filmed separately and then superimposed on the scene so that he looks super-sized.
    Only when a horse rears up on its' hind legs like that do you get a true sense of scale between human and horse. This, I think, is both terrifying and mesmerizing... These huge, powerful creatures COULD kill us in a single blow: but they choose not too. They choose to let us become a part of them, to allow us to bond and work with them. And I think this is the true magic of those pictures.
  • Horse's Name: Hightower
    Starred In: Black Beauty (1994) The Horse Whisperer (1998) Runaway Bride (1999) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004)
    Characters Played: Ginger (Black Beauty) Pilgrim (The Horse Whisperer) Unnamed Wedding Horse (Runaway Bride) Unnamed Horse (Princess Diaries 2)
    Post Production: Though willing and eager to work, Hightower began showing signs of arthritis during production of the Princess Diaries. Owner and trainer Rex Peterson retired the horse to his Tehachapi ranch, where he passed away from natural causes in 2008.
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    Fun Fact: Julia Roberts loved working with Hightower so much, she wanted to buy him, but he was not for sale. In an interview after Hightower's passing, Rex was quoted "Hightower had a presence. When the camera rolled, he knew it was there."
  • edited July 2014
    Name: Bamboo Harvester
    Starred In: The Mr. Ed Show
    Character portrayal: Mr. Ed
    Fun Fact: Bamboo Harvester; a saddlebred/arabian cross and arguably the most famous equine actor in history, died in 1970 with no publicity at Snodgrass Farm in Oklahoma. And while he suffered from a myriad of health problems (the likely cause of his death), his "co-star" Alan Young gave the account that Bamboo Harvester died from an inadvertent tranquilizer administered when he was "in retirement". He said that he died in a stable in Burbank, California, and that "Mr. Ed was a heavy horse, and didn't always have the strength to get back up on his feet." The theory goes that Bamboo Harvester was trying to get up and, seeming in apparent distress, was given tranquilizer by one of his caregivers.... And he died within hours.
    In 1979 a different horse died in Oklahoma that was widely thought to be Bamboo Harvester, however, this horse was used to pose for still pictures in Mr. Ed's press skits. However, this horse was widely accepted to be Bamboo Harvester and thus, was reported as such when he died.
    Young said when the horse's death story came out in 1979, he knew it wasn't the real Mr. Ed, but hadn't the heart to "shatter the illusions" that the horse being memorialized wasn't Mr. Ed.
    image
    Photo curtosy of classictvbeuties.com
  • RachelRachel Member
    imagine what the public would of thought if they found out the way the REAL Mr Ed died :'(

    welp, this is the internet. Now we know
  • Name: Harbor Mist
    Starred In: Secretariat
    Character Portrayal: Secretariat
    Fun Fact: Harbor Mist, trained by Rex Peterson, is another example of an OTTB turned superstar of Hollywood. His pedigree is inconspicuous, with the only close "big" name in his pedigree being the ill-fated Alydar. And his performance on the track proved lackluster, with $40,049 in earnings and a race record of 51: 3-9-9. But he would still grow wings and rise into stardom.... And even if he didn't run fast enough to win a race, he was still able to keep up with a camera; and that's all that matters =)
    image
    Photo provided by Windrock Farms
  • I read a while back - when the movie Hidalgo came out - that Viggo Mortenson (who played Frank Hopkins) fell in love with one of the paint horses cast as Hidalgo and later bought him. He did the same thing to two of the horses he rode in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - just saying he had bonded with them and couldn't let them go.
  • Pepper9873Pepper9873 Member
    edited July 2014
    I read a while back - when the movie Hidalgo came out - that Viggo Mortenson (who played Frank Hopkins) fell in love with one of the paint horses cast as Hidalgo and later bought him. He did the same thing to two of the horses he rode in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - just saying he had bonded with them and couldn't let them go.
    If I remember correctly, the horse he brought from Hidalgo was named TJ, and the ones he bought for himself from LOTR were Kenny and Uraeus. He also purchased Arwen's horse (don't know the name right off the bat), but he purchased him for Liv Tyler's stunt double who had fallen in love with the horse.

    I know with the horse that played Brego, he wanted the connection between Aragron and Brego to be real, so he would often groom, bring him in, train with him, and even sleep in the stall with him. It's one of the many reasons why I like Viggo Mortenson.
  • I read a while back - when the movie Hidalgo came out - that Viggo Mortenson (who played Frank Hopkins) fell in love with one of the paint horses cast as Hidalgo and later bought him. He did the same thing to two of the horses he rode in the Lord of the Rings trilogy - just saying he had bonded with them and couldn't let them go.


    I know with the horse that played Brego, he wanted the connection between Aragron and Brego to be real, so he would often groom, bring him in, train with him, and even sleep in the stall with him. It's one of the many reasons why I like Viggo Mortenson.
    Viggo is a truly respectable person. He goes to any and all lengths to have fun and pursue his career. I think he'd be a great person to have as a friend.
  • Horse's Name: Uraeus
    Starred In: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
    Character Played: Brego
    Post Production: Viggo Mortenson bought Uraeus after production ended. It was assumed that he went to live at Mortenson's ranch in Idaho, but was later confirmed that he was still living in New Zealand with Kenny, who was another horse that Viggo purchased after production.
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    Fun Fact: Uraeus was an FEI dressage horse trained by international trainer Lockie Richards. When Lockie got a call asking for a stallion, he said that they could have Uraeus if the could load him onto the trailer.
  • So your telling me the horse that played Ginger in the movie Black Beauty is a male. My whole life is lie.
  • RachelRachel Member
    Thats what i thought too LOL
  • Lassie was a male also :(
  • RachelRachel Member
    wasnt that because the female collies lack the beautiful long thick coats that the males have?
  • yes and then when they come in heat they blow coat every 6 months or so.
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