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William Boyd, Hopalong Cassidy, Topper ... and King Nappy!



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - a lobby card from NORTH OF THE RIO GRANDE (Paramount, 1937).


William 'Bill' Boyd's range mount during his Hopalong Cassidy days at Paramount, United Artists and his own TV series was named Topper.  The story is that Boyd's wife, Grace Bradley Boyd, selected the horse's name because she liked the TOPPER books (or films) that were authored by Thorne Smith.

Most western movie fans assume that all these heroes owned their own horse(s). In Boyd's case, that came a bit later in his Hopalong Cassidy career. In his early Hoppy adventures, Boyd rode various rental mounts from local stables. For example, he rode White Hoss #1, "the horse with a mottled face and many names", in PARTNERS OF THE PLAINS (Paramount, 1938) and CASSIDY OF BAR 20 (Paramount, 1938).




(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
 
(Courtesy of Minard Coons)



(Courtesy of Les Adams)
Left is an interesting tidbit from the pressbook for RENEGADE TRAIL (Paramount, 1939), which notes that Boyd's regular snow-white charger, King Nappy, was injured and replaced by Topper, one of the doubles.


Right is the marker for Hoppy's horse Topper, who is buried at the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park in Calabasas, California. The park is called S.O.P.H.I.E. (Save Our Pets' History in Eternity).
(Courtesy of Dale Crawford and Jim Sorensen)



(From Old Corral image collection)

In some of the later films, Boyd changed his range costume to a light hat and outfit as shown above in this scene from the 1948 FALSE PARADISE.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

A smiling William "Hopalong Cassidy" Boyd and Topper entertain the crowd.  A notation on the back of the photo identifies this appearance as "Western Ways, Tucson, Az.", but no date is included (probably early 1950s when Boyd's Hoppy TV show was popular).



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