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(From Old Corral image collection)



(From Old Corral image collection)

Bill Elliott (above) rode a black named Thunder in the Republic Red Ryder films of the mid 1940s.


(From Old Corral image collection)

Above, Allan Lane with the black Thunder during his days as Republic's Red Ryder.  Is this the same horse that Elliott owned and used when he was Red Ryder?  Appears that the answer is 'yes'.


(Courtesy of Betty Richards (maiden name: Betty Hartzell))

After the Red Ryder series concluded, Allan Lane became 'Rocky' Lane and rode Black Jack in a lengthy series at Republic Pictures. Black Jack was Lane's earlier mount 'Thunder' in the Red Ryder westerns.


Thunder and Black Jack Were the Same Horse

Lynn and Shery Jespersen are horse breeders and fans of the Morgan horse. Shery sent the following tidbit to me: "Wild Bill Elliot purchased the Morgan, Andy Pershing 8390, from his breeder C. G. Stevenson.  He was the horse THUNDER in the Red Ryder movies ... " from The Morgan Horse (official Morgan Breed Journal and magazine), February 1945, page 27.

Susan Graf authored an article on several Morgan horses including Thunder. A pdf of that article was available for download, but the website is no longer working (www.2wfmorganclub.com). I kept the article and following are the details on Thunder:

"The famous black horse, Thunder, who was known the world over as the mount of "Wild Bill" Elliott in the Red Rider [sic] movies was the Morgan stallion, ANNDY PERSHING 8390. He was later owned by film star Allan Lane. [Information from Morgan Horse Directory, Northern California Morgan Horse Club, 1969, p.3

Anndy Pershing was bred by C. G. Stevenson of Des Moines, Iowa and was foaled in 1940. His sire was General Pershing (Successful by St. L x Black Dolly), and his dam was Ann Barlett (Barney Hudson x Miga by Winterset)

Anndy Pershing was the sire of 11 Morgans who were foaled from 1943 to 1957. The Morgan Horse Register Volume VI shows that Anndy Pershing had transfers to the following owners: C. G. Stevenson. C. G. and Beatrice Stevenson, Horseshoe Cattle Co. (1941), Mrs. Anna K. Zeitler (1942), Berman Stock Farm, Inc. (1943), Bill Elliott (1943), and Allan Lane (1946)."


The archives at the American Morgan Horse Association website has more info on "Anndy Pershing", the horse known as "Thunder" and "Black Jack" which was ridden (and owned) by Bill Elliott and Allan Lane: http://www.morganhorse.com/about_morgan/photos/morgan-photo-archive/937/



(From Old Corral image collection)

In all 23 Red Ryder features that were churned out by Republic, Robert 'Bobby' Blake played Little Beaver and rode Papoose.  Above is Blake with Bill Elliott.



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