Pinned Duke's Movie Horses

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    There are 109 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by kkaterinabella_007.

    • Jessie, Honeybee, and others,

      John Wayne – Hollywood’s Greatest Cowboy – WARHorses

      Here's a link to a site where I found some other info tonight while trying to find an article I read many years ago, about Cochise, the horse that JW rode in El Dorado.

      I noticed that someone had already posted some info on Zip Cochise (I had never heard him called anything, but Cochise.) and the man who actually owned him.

      I read many years ago that the producer and director, Howard Hawks owned, Cochise and wanted JW to ride his horse in the movie.

      I don't remember the full story, but I do remember something about how it took great strength for JW to back the horse up in the scene where he meets Bart Jason and returns his money.

      I see that Quirt has also posted something about this same scene. "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 Asner's ranch."

      I agree with those who say that Cochise was way too small of a horse for JW.

      I had often wondered how Cochise's owner convinced JW to ride his horse. I didn't know that the owner was also the director and producer of the movie. - You learn something new every day, or at least you should.

      One last note. In El Dorado, Josephine (Joey) also rides an appy.

      Here's the part of the article (Telling of JW's horses) that I found to be interesting!!!

      "In the 1930s Wayne was paired with a majestic white parade horse with a long, flowing mane and tail. The horse was called Duke, after the actor’s nickname. “It was kind of an inside joke,” Mitchum says.
      During the 40’s and 50’s The Duke’s favorite mount was a large bay named Banner, supplied by the Fat Jones stables. “He was intelligent and had an instinct for this business,” Wayne once said of Banner.

      In such films as Tall in the Saddle and The Conqueror, Wayne rode a stallion named Steel, one of the most famous horses of his era.
      Occasionally Wayne would take the reins of Cocaine, the stunt horse used by Chuck Roberson, who was Wayne’s double in more than 30 movies.

      In El Dorado The Duke rode Zip Cochise, an Appaloosa that was so small, Wayne appeared to be riding a pony.

      Then there are the horses Dollor and Dollar which have confused movie buffs at infinitum. Dollor, with an “o”, had a much wider blaze on his face and different stockings on his legs than Dollar, with an “a”. Wayne rode Dollor (o) in the charging scene in True Grit. Wayne rode Dollar (a) in the sequel, Rooster Cogburn, as well as in his final film, The Shootist."
    • From what I’ve read, Hawks wanted Duke to ride Cochise because the horse was trained to back. Not all horses know how to do this.

      My grandpa had a horse who could back but none of his other horses could.

      The command is to pull back on the reins while you tap the horse’s sides with your heals.

      You’ll see Duke do this in the scene where they back out of the ranch.

      "I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please."
    • tinker wrote:

      I hope this is the right thread to ask this question.

      In True Grit, it looks like the horse that jumps the fence at the end is not the very young Dollor. Its a different horse I am pretty sure. Similar chestnut. I saw something the other day where Harry Carey Jr said the horse that Ben Johnson rode in the gallops being chased by the Indians was not Steel but a stunt horse called Bingo that was a spectacular galloper and jumper and it did all the fast work. You can see in Rio Grande that the horse Ben Johnson is galloping on is not the one he gets to lie on the ground. I think it is Steel lying on the ground and Bingo galloping.

      If Bingo was around in 1968 he would have been in his 20's but he would have been safe and reliable horse to do the jumping stunt and I am wondering if it was him they used to jump the fence. It looked very like him. He is also the horse that runs away from the Indians in Wagon master and jumps the post and rail fence although it is Steel that spins when you first see the Indians.

      The other thing I noticed watching the John Ford films all together recently was the same stunt horses seemed to be used in a number of films over a number of years. There is rather a plain black horse with a white strip that was one of the horses that reared up and dumped the new recruits in Fort Apache. The same horse had nearly a staring role in "She wore a yellow ribbon." It was the Bugler's horse and reared spectacularly in all the cavalry scenes. Even getting yelled at by Captain Brittles.

      He also reared in Rio Grande, in harness when the wagon was stolen by the Indians and throwing a couple of Indians in other scenes. I am also fairly certain Hank Worden rode him in 'The Searchers'

      There were also another couple of horses, dark sorrel horses with roman noses and light coloured manes. One of them, maybe both interchangeably, was used as the sidesaddle horse for Joanne Dru. John Wayne gives it a mighty wack on the rump when you first see it with the sidesaddle. The horses seem to be the "spare" roman riding team in Rio Grande that Jeff rode and one of them (both of them interchanging) were used for the galloping scene when Jeff rides to the fort and Tyree gets his gun. You can also see one as them as the horse a soldier falls off in the last cavalry charge.

      Does anyone know anything about these horses. They were clearly very reliable stunt horses. Were they the regulars from Fat Jones stable? I doubt they were local because they are in a number of films over a number of years and always used for actors or in the front rows of all the stunts.

      Also one more. Was the black thoroughbred that General Sheridan ( and Ben Johnson) rode in Rio Grande Misty that played Banner in My Friend Flicker, it looked like him.

      Thanks for any information


      The horse that laid down in Rio Grande wasn't Steel. He rode 5 horses in this movie(without the roman riding horses).

      1. Of course Steel
      2. Bingo
      3. The Horse that laid down (Cliff Lyons rode her/ him in the rest of the movie. The horses blaze is very similar to the one of Jack Williams horse Coco, but the leg markings are different).
      4. The horse he jumped over the fence (the same horse also jumped before they started the roman riding and in other scenes of the movie.)
      5. The horse in the church was again another one

      But I think you are right about the black rearing horse and the one that Joanne Dru and Claude Jarman rode. I also believe that most of the horses in these films belonged to Fat Jones.
    • New

      Okay, folks, I'm back and I have a question!!! I want to know what horse the Duke is riding in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon. This horse doesn't seem nearly as impressive as the horse that he usually rides!!!

      I just read somewhere that Ben Johnson is supposed to be riding Steel in parts of the movie, and "in the galloping scenes, a horse named Bingo!" Whichever horse Ben is riding is surely an impressive piece of horse flesh!!!

      I just noticed that in the scene where they are leaving Flint Colehill behind with 2 Companies of soldiers at the river, JW appears to be riding a different horse. The blaze on its face is different, and there's a white sock on the right rear leg. I'll have to watch the movie again to make sure, but was hoping that someone else would have some info!!!

      The post was edited 1 time, last by kkaterinabella_007 ().

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