Pinned Duke's Movie Horses

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    There are 110 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by BJ_FA.

    • Raymond,

      As I have shared in a post in a different thread, the horse from True Grit was living up in Southern Oregon as recently as 2 years ago. I'm going up there in a few weeks, and can check to see if the horse is still around and see what other information I can dig up.

    • Hi!
      The appaloosa JW rode in El Dorado belonged to Howard Hawks. Beautiful mount, wasn't it! Yet I think JW didn't much care for Cochise, at one point he said Hawks had no sense for horse flesh. Personally, he liked the horse he rode during the late forties and early fifties, "Banner" was in a lot of westerns with him. I once saw an autographed picture JW gave to his horse wrangler of many films, enscribing it with "Find me another Banner!"

      Chester, give our regards to JW's horse - wasn't it called Dollor?

    • Originally posted by chester7777@Mar 8 2003, 02:42 AM

      As I have shared in a post in a different thread, the horse from True Grit was living up in Southern Oregon as recently as 2 years ago.  I'm going up there in a few weeks, and can check to see if the horse is still around and see what other information I can dig up.


      Hey Chester,

      Did you ever findout anything about Dollor? Did you get the chance to go up to Oregon?

      Just wondering. :cowboy:
      Kevin - Moderator/Administrator
      Official JWMB online store
    • Boys, I am spankin new around these parts. It was June of 1962 and it just so happened that Liberty Valance was playing the week of my birthday. That is all I wanted for my birthday, to see old Duke and Jimmy on the big screen, and I have never forgotten him, Jimmy or that classic in 41 years. Now there is a great deal about everything that I don't know, beit Duke or anything else in life, except horses. I read with keen interest a story of old Beau still being alive a few years ago and that really caught my interest! True Grit was filmed in 1968 and if Beau had been a colt, say a four year old and new to movies and True Grit was his first film, that would have made him foaled in 1964. If he was still alive two or three years ago that would have made him 36 or 37 years old. Most horses live to be 27 to 30 before their organs shut down. Their are exceptions to the rule, their always is. Duke stated in an interview that the Walker he was riding in True Grit, in his own words... Just blew up! and he was replaced. You couldn't twirl a winchester and have the first Beau stand in his tracks. The second Beau has the blaze and stockings, but he is more red, while the first horse shows a roan cast to him. Duke only admitted to owning one horse in his name. A little Quarter Horse that the papers were in the name of John Wayne. Duke was a good rider. He didn't love horses, but he didn't hate them either. The horse Cochise from El Dorado was owned by Howard Hawks. Duke said that it took a lot of arm muscle to back him out of Ed Asners ranch. Banner was the horse at Republic that Duke rode the longest. Alamo was in The Alamo and his main mount in McLintock. Of course Dollor came along with Big Jake and except for the mule in Cahill U.S. Marshall, Duke never climbed aboard another horse, just ol Dollor. Now to my question. In The Searchers, The Horse Soldiers and Liberty Valance you see Duke mounted on a tall, very fast sorrel horse with a blaze with a tiny red spot in it. Duke only rode him in the three John Ford films and for no one else. It's like pappy Ford instructed Duke to ride this one special mount. The running insert where Duke rides and fires as he attacks the Indian village is one of the fastest galloping inserts ever filmed with a major star. Clint Eastwood never in his career rode that fast.I want to know the name of that horse and I have wanted to know for years. The Searchers is one of the greatest films of the Twentieth Century and I don't know the name of the horse that the greatest western star rode! He looks to have Thoroughbred blood in him and he was truly magnificent! Well old Quirt is your latest addition to a board that means a great deal to me. I will read every word typed for Duke and Jimmy Stewart are my two all time favorites and westerns in general are my cup of tea. Thank you for your time!
    • Quirt Evans,

      I want to welcome you to the John Wayne Messageboard, the best in all John Wayne information in the world. Thanks for signing up and being a part of a great group of people.

      I'm sorry, I don't have the info you requested, but I know someone will have an answer for you very soon. I am interested myself, and sure we'll learn something new.

      Make yourself at home and feel free to look over everything.

      Cheers, Hondo B)

      "When you come slam bang up against trouble, it never looks half as bad if you face up to it"
      - John Wayne quote
    • Quirt,

      WOW! That was some first post! I really enjoyed it, and would have to say you are off to a great start here.

      What part of the country do you call home? My family and I hail from California.

      I don't have an answer to your question, either, but I just had to welcome you to the board, and couldn't leave such an awesome post unanswered.

      I look forward to seeing you around these parts in the future!

      Chester :cowboy:
    • About the horse in Searchers:

      When in Monument Valley, I met one of the representatives of the Navajo nation. She was a kid around the time of Cheyenne Autumn and was actually used as an extra. She told me that JW once had a grill-fest down in the valley for all the indians, and that he sometimes visited her father because (and here comes the part that's interesting for the horse-question) they used to rent horses from him. Now for western productions they would often rent the horses just where they could find them in the area, but certainly for the stars they would use trained "film-horses", used to shouting/shooting, etc. So I guess JW's mount would still have to be a special one imported from Tinseltown, but I thought this bit of info might be interesting as well.

      BTW, true, good old Dollor passed away some time ago, I forgot I read that somewhere. But before that, the JW birthplace in Winterset used to ask for donations because they planned to use the horse there permanently.
    • I want to thank you Hondo,Chester and itdo for your warm welcome and concern.The Searchers sorrel gelding was by far the fastest horse Duke ever swung his leg over.He had to have been contracted out because you can clearly see actor John Dehner mounted on him in a forgotten cavalry film from the 50's entitled Revolt at Fort Laramie.I believe John Ford liked this horse and that is why Duke rode him in thoses three films.After all if pappy picks your horse,you don't say no.He could have outrun the original white Duke from the 30's,Banner,Alamo or Dollor.He had flat track blue blood in him.The only horse that stood a chance of beating him,and on a good day could have was Steel.Duke only used Steel in Tall in the saddle and The Conqueror.Ben Johnson used him in She wore a yellow ribbon,Rio Grande and King Kong.Every one fought to ride Steel.Randy Scott,Joel McCrea,Greg Peck,Clark Gable.Hank Fonda was the last to use him in Warlock.Dollor was a huge horse.He was 5 foot 6 inches at the shoulder and weighed over 1200 lbs.Cochise was too small for Duke,but Howard Hawks wanted to show off his appy and that is the only appy Duke ever rode.Duke was a horseman for sure and for real.Not many men at age 64 could ride like Duke did in The Cowboys.Chuck Roberson doubled Duke for 27 years and owned a fall horse name of Cocaine that doubled for Dollor.Duke was on Cocaine for that John Ford special that Andy Devine was in.Duke broke his shoulder when his saddle slipped filming The Undefeated.Come to think of it,Clint broke his shoulder when his dapple grey slipped during filming Pale Rider.These things happen.In fact during a hospital stay in his last months Duke took a stroll through the ward and asked a girl what happened to her.The little girl said that she was hurt by a horse and Duke said that he understood,and knew what she meant.Duke truly was tall in the saddle and rode with a light hand on the reins,he didn't saw and jaw and jerk at their mouth.He use to complain that when others rode Banner at Republic that when he got him back,he had to reschool him because other actors bumped at his mouth and made him toss his head.I love John Wayne and I have studied him and his westerns.I don't know anything about airplanes,I have never led a charge in battle or roped wild animals in Africa,but I know actors on horseback and I never get tired of watching old Duke over and over again.This message board fits me like a used pair of leather gloves.
    • Wow, Quirt! You sure have a way with a story. If you ever write a book, I will buy the first one. Welcome to the board and make yourself at home. I am looking foward to reading more of your posts. Thanks for all that info on Duke's horses. It is an area I was rather light on. I learn something all the time here. Dukefan1
      "I couldn't go to sleep at night if the director didn't call 'cut'. "
    • hi quirt,

      i thought that i had seen duke on a horse that was just too small for him and after reading your insightful post i found out that i didn't dream it. thanks for the info and i agree with you duke had a gentle hand with his horses and they did what he wanted from them. keep it coming

      cheers smokey
      " its not all black and white, but different shades of grey"
    • I am new here, and am always interesting in John Wayne's horses. Regarding True Grit:
      Beau I noticed, is two horses. In a couple of scenes, he has a large wide blaze, almost a bald face. In others, a bit more narrow blaze. One has a left front sorrel leg, the other has a right front sorrel leg. Then of course at the end, when he is on his new horse that can "jump a four rail fence". That one is a completely different horse, until he turns it to make the jump. Then they cut away, and it appears to be the wide blazed horse again. So it appears to be a total of 3 horses. (Altho again, at the end, after Beau has died, they make no pretense to say this "new horse" is Beau. So I guess basically they are showing 2 horses as Beau. Does anyone have a clue what the heck I am talking about. (I don't know if I have said it well).

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