Trigger (1932–3 July 1965) was a 15.3 hands (63 in; 1.60 m) golden palomino, made famous in American Western films with his owner/rider, cowboy star Roy Rogers. He was originally named Golden Cloud. Many people mistakenly think Trigger was a Tennessee Walking Horse, but his sire was a Thoroughbred and his dam a grade (unregistered) mare who, like Trigger, was a palomino. Movie director William Witney, who directed Roy and Trigger in many of their movies, claimed a slightly different lineage, that his sire was a "registered" Palomino stallion (though neither Palomino registry existed at the time of Trigger's birth), and his dam was by a Thoroughbred and out of a "cold-blood" mare. Trigger, Jr, who was actually no relation to Trigger, was in fact, a registered Tennessee Walking Horse. Though Trigger remained a stallion his entire life, he was never bred and has no descendants.
Golden Cloud made his movie debut as the mount of Maid Marian, played by Olivia de Havilland in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). A short while later, when Roy was preparing to make his first movie, he was offered a choice of five rented "movie" horses to ride. He chose Golden Cloud. Roy bought him that same year, 1938, and renamed him Trigger for his quickness, not only of foot but of mind. Trigger had 150 trick cues and could walk 50 feet on his hind legs (according to sources close to Roy Rogers). They were said to have run out of places to cue Trigger.
Trigger was ridden by Rogers in many of his motion pictures, becoming much loved by the youthful audience that saw him on film and in Rogers' 1950s television series with his wife Dale Evans, who rode her trusty buckskin Quarter Horse Buttermilk.
Trigger became the most famous horse in film entertainment, even having his own Dell comic book recounting his exploits.
There was also a famous saying: "What a face, what a figure, two more legs and she'll look like Trigger."
After Trigger died in 1965, his hide was stretched over a plaster likeness and put on display at the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Victorville, California which was relocated to Branson, Missouri, and closed in late 2009. The taxidermy work was performed by Adolph Robert (Bud) Stasche of A. R. Stasche Taxidermy, Feasterville, Pennsylvania.
A 24 foot replica of Trigger was produced to sit a top the Roy Rogers Museum in Victorville, California. The 1,300 lb. replica could be seen from the freeway and served as a landmark until 2003 when the museum closed and moved to Branson, MO.
After the Branson museum closed, Bob Tinsley, a Victorville developer who had built Roy Rogers home in nearby Apple Valley, bought the fiberglass replica in April, 2010. Tinsley's plan is to make the statue a part of historic Apple Valley Village. He explained, "I just couldn't see letting him go anywhere else."
When the fiberglass replica of Trigger was being made, Rogers was approached by the owners of the Denver Broncos. Rogers allowed another statue to be made and then broke the mold. "Bucky the Bronco," Trigger's twin, stands above the south scoreboard of the Denver Broncos stadium.
Around rodeo circuits, especially Cheyenne Frontier Days, "Triggerette" became a nickname for a trusted assistant for the rodeo committee.
Trigger, a character played by Roger Lloyd Pack in the British sitcom Only Fools & Horses is named after Roy Rogers' Trigger because he apparently "looks like a horse".
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