Submitted by veni harlan June 19th, 2010
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert

A part America’s childhood is on the auction block: “Trigger.”

His original name was Golden Cloud and he was born on a ranch in San Diego, California in either 1934. His first movie was in 1938 Maid Marion’s (Olivia de Havilland) horse in The Adventures of Robin Hood. In this same year, Roy rogers changed his name to Trigger for their first movie together, Under Western Stars. Rogers eventually purchased his co-star for $2,500 in the late 1930s (roughly equivalent to $30,000 today).

“He would turn on a dime and give you 9 cents change.” ‚ÄîRoy Rogers

Trigger became known as “The Smartest Horse in the Movies” performing some 100 recognizable tricks: counting, doing the hula, untying ropes, shooting a gun, knocking on doors, and walking on his hind quarters. The horse was outfitted with an exquisite Edward H. Bohlin gold and silver saddle and was even the focus of the movie My Pal Trigger. His hoof print is in front of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood and he was lauded with many awards. Roy and Trigger also raised millions in the sale of war bonds during WWII.

Trigger died peacefully in 1965 and was mounted in his famous lavade position. Along with Dale’s buckskin horse “Buttermilk” and “Bullet the Wonder Dog,” Trigger graced the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans museum in Branson, Missouri until its closure in 2009.

This American icon will be auctioned off by Christie’s on July 14, 2010 and is expected to go for between $100-200,000. I hope he finds a loving home.

Happy trails Trigger!

9 Responses to “Trigger”

  1. Allee Willis

    I cannot believe that someone could actually own Trigger now. I also can’t believe that he’s not worth more than $100-200,000. Not that I have the coin to do it but I sure would love him riding the range around my place.

    Are Buttermilk and Bullet up for auction too? I sure wish they could stay together as a family. If anything they all should be mounted on Roy and Dale’s graves.

  2. veni harlan

    yeah! trigger says thanks for the award!

    yes, i believe buttermilk and bullet are also on the block. probably lots of cool western americana kitsch‚Ķ love that stuff‚Ķ i still think they should’ve donated trigger to the smithsonian. he could go right next to the ruby slippers!

    • Allee Willis

      I was in Nudies a zillion times. Even shot a story there I wrote for the Valentines Day 1989 issue of Details Magazine where I had a regular column in the 80’s. I had an all girls pajama party with a contest called “Win A Dream Date With Fabian”. My good friend, Cassandra Peterson a.k.a. Elvira, won it. 100 women voted for her to win after she told her story. In 1974, when she was a lounge performer in Vegas and Fabian was in the main room, they were engaged and he broke up with her in front of her parents. So she wanted a revenge date. Especially because the rest of the prize was that I was going to write the story of the date as the lead Valentine’s Day story in Details. One of the places they went on the date was to Nudies where Fabian took Elvira to ride on a plastic horse. You can see it here:

      • k2dtw

        WOW…Win a Dream Date with FABIAN…this is so incredible.. Who would of thought you could top Tab…smile What a PARTY!!!..
        This is the best sweet/funny Valentine’s Day article… Fabian & Elvira on a Dream Date…
        I’m dying, as a kid I had pictures of “dreamy” Fabian and Kookie on my bedroom wall…smile
        I’m trying to remember a TV documentary style article I saw on Nudie Cohn, and the history of all his great work??.. They have a picture of the beautiful Nudie Trailer, going into the auction..

  3. k2dtw

    This article has a few of the auction results…
    I was moved by these quotes from the article…..

    Elkies, the auctioneer, said it was the “most colorful, emotional and sentimental” sale she had experienced in her 20 years at Christie’s.

    At the end of the auction, the audience broke out spontaneously in a rendition of the Roy Rogers theme song “Happy Trails.”

    OMG…I cry at card tricks…I would have been a wreck….