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They rode paint horses ... some of the time ...
or most of the time ... or a few times ...


Over the years, folks have sent lots of e-mails asking about paint horses. And when some glimpse a paint in a western, they tend to think it's the same ol' horse used by cowboy x, y and z. In most cases, that isn't true. This webpage is a quick summary of folks ridin' paint horses. Do not assume that because someone is shown below, that they rode this particular horse exclusively ... or that they were the owner of that horse. Go to the individual Trusty Steeds sections on Jack Randall, Bill Elliott, Johnny Mack Brown, etc. for more details on who rode what hoss.


Lucky/Tex


(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above and below are left and right side views of Lucky/Tex. Above is a crop/blowup from a Range Busters still and below is a crop/blowup from a Jack Randall lobby card.


(Courtesy of Les Adams)


No question that one of the busiest paint horses was Lucky/Tex which was ridden by a bunch of B-western folks including:

Tim Holt in the Harry Carey Sr. oater THE LAW WEST OF TOMBSTONE (RKO, 1938).
Jack Randall in some of his Monograms.
Bob Steele in a film or two.
Raymond Hatton in some of the Rough Riders and Johnny Mack Brown oaters.
John 'Dusty' King in some of Monogram's Range Busters.
Jimmy Wakely acquired Lucky circa 1945 and rode him in his early Monogram westerns.

Examples below:



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Bob Steele guards Claire Rochelle and his paint horse Lucky/Tex in a crop from a lobby card from EL DIABLO RIDES (Metropolitan, 1939).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is the title lobby card to PIONEER DAYS (Monogram, 1940), one of the later Jack Randall westerns and the first Randall that was produced by Harry S. Webb. Randall is atop Lucky/Tex.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are Range Busters' Ray 'Crash' Corrigan and John 'Dusty' King on Lucky/Tex. King rode Lucky/Tex most of the time - see photo farther down this page for an exception. Corrigan rode a bunch of different white horses during his Range Busters adventures. In the above photo, his white steed is Silver (Silver Chief) - see the Trusty Steeds section on that horse.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above left is Evelyn Finley with the final three members of the Range Busters taking a break on their trusty steeds during the filming of COWBOY COMMANDOS (Monogram, 1943). Finley appears to be riding Lucky/Tex. From left to right are Finley, Max Terhune, Ray Corrigan and Dennis Moore.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above - Johnny Mack Brown is atop Reno/Rebel and saddle pal Raymond Hatton is riding Lucky/Tex during their series at Monogram Pictures.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is the title lobby card from WEST OF THE ALAMO (Monogram, 1946).  On the right, Jimmy Wakely is ridin' his paint horse Lucky/Tex.  Sidekick Lee 'Lasses' White is shown on the left side.



(Image courtesy of Les Adams)

Above is a tidbit from the pressbook for Jimmy Wakely's OKLAHOMA BLUES (Monogram, 1948) with the announcement that his paint horse 'Lucky' was given away on the QUEEN FOR A DAY radio show, and Wakely had gotten a new mount, a sorrel named 'Sonny' (not 'Sunny').


And more paint horses and their riders.



(Tablet cover courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from left to right are Monogram's Rough Riders - Buck Jones, Tim McCoy and Raymond Hatton. Note that Hatton's paint is not Lucky/Tex.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, Tom Keene on his un-named paint horse that he rode during his early 1930s RKO series. In those RKO films, he also rode a black or dark brown hoss named Flash. You can spot Keene on this paint in SON OF THE BORDER (RKO, 1933), SCARLET RIVER (RKO, 1933) and his last at RKO, CROSSFIRE (RKO, 1933).



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above is John Preston, with "Dynamite, the Wonder Horse" and "Captain, the King of Dogs" during his two mid 1930s starring roles as "Morton of the Mounted".



(Courtesy of Ed Phillips)

Above, Bill Elliott rode the overo paint Dice in the serial THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK (Columbia, 1938). 'Dice' was owned and trained by Ralph McCutcheon. The real name of the steed was 'Pair O'Dice' and was ridden by John Carroll in the chapterplay ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937), by Jennifer Jones in DUEL IN THE SUN, by Russell Wade in the independently produced SUNDOWN RIDERS (Film Enterprises, 1948) and the horse even showed up in TARZAN'S DESERT MYSTERY (Sol Lesser/RKO, 1943). Dice also had a large role in the Blondie and Dagwood comedy IT'S A GREAT LIFE (Columbia, 1943), and he does a routine with Dub 'Cannonball' Taylor in COWBOY CANTEEN (Columbia, 1944). Jack Mathis confirms in his book Valley Of The Cliffhangers that McCutcheon's 'Pair O'Dice' was the pinto 'El Rey' in ZORRO RIDES AGAIN.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Johnny Mack Brown most often rode a white horse during his Universal serials and a palomino in his westerns. As with most everything, there were exceptions. Above is Johnny Mack on a paint in VALLEY OF THE LAWLESS (Supreme, 1936), one of his series for producer A. William Hackel. Some folks have asked if this horse was trainer Ralph McCutcheon's Dice (Pair O'Dice) or Diablo which was ridden by Duncan Renaldo, TV's Cisco Kid. The answer is Nope!



(From Old Corral image collection)

Above are the unmasked Bob Livingston on Silver Chief (portraying the Lone Ranger's horse Silver) and Chief Thunder Cloud on Sunny (portraying Tonto's horse Scout) in a scene from THE LONE RANGER RIDES AGAIN (1939). Thunder Cloud owned this paint as well as Smoke/Smoky that was ridden by Dick Foran in his Warner westerns.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above, Universal cowboy hero Bob Baker rode a paint named Apache in his own series of the late 1930s as well as when he was the second lead to Johnny Mack Brown.  Minard Coons knew Baker and adds the following tidbit --- "Bob Baker told me that he sold Apache to Montie Montana.  Seems Apache was not a gentle horse and Monte was the only one who could ride him." Walt Weed (Bob Baker's son) and I communicated during December 1999, and Walt confirmed that his dad sold Apache to Montie Montana.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

In the front row are Sons of the Pioneers member Bob Nolan (on the paint hoss), Iris Meredith and Charles Starrett in a lobby card from BLAZING SIX SHOOTERS (Columbia, 1940). In the back row are several other members of the Sons of the Pioneers - Lloyd Perryman (far left), Tim Spencer is behind Nolan, two unidentifieds are behind Iris and Starrett, and Hugh Farr is on the far right.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

There's always exceptions! Above are Max Terhune (on Banjo) Ray 'Crash' Corrigan (on Silver/Silver Chief) and John 'Dusty' King on an unknown paint, not Lucky/Tex. Scene still is from Range Busters #7, WRANGLER'S ROOST (Monogram, 1941). When Corrigan exited the series, King was elevated to the lead role ... and he rode a white horse in four Range Busters.



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above - Elliott on the "original Sonny" and this photo is from his first series at Republic Pictures in 1943-1944. His sidekick was George 'Gabby' Hayes who rode several horses (by the names of Eddie, Calico and Blossom).  Am unsure which hoss Gabby is riding in the above pic.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above from L-to-R are Hoot Gibson on Rusty, Betty Miles atop her steed Sonny and Ken Maynard on Tarzan II in one of the early entries in Monogram's Trail Blazers series (prior to Bob Steele joining the group). The story goes that Betty acquired Sonny from Bill Elliott. Betty's horse was easy to spot --- had two long white socks on the rightside, two short white socks on the left, and a small white spot on the forehead. Betty had this horse in the early 1940s, and rode it in Tom Keene's 1941-1942 Monogram series.



(From Old Corral image collection)

Singin' cowboy Eddie Dean used 4 steeds during his brief starring career at PRC/Eagle Lion and his first horse was War Paint. Above - Dean on War Paint alongside his first sidekick, Emmett 'Pappy' Lynn in a scene from THE CARAVAN TRAIL (PRC, 1946).



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Above from L-to-R are Russell Hayden, Shirley Patterson (later, Shawn Smith) and Bob Wills of Texas Playboys fame, in a scene from Hayden's THE VIGILANTES RIDE (Columbia, 1944). Hayden is riding 'Copper' which has a smaller white face blaze than his earlier mount 'Banjo'. The paint that Wills rode when he was sidekicking with Hayden is horse trainer Ralph McCutcheon's Diablo, which in later years, became the primary mount used by Duncan Renaldo in his Cisco Kid films at United Artists as well as the Cisco Kid TV program. Diablo was also ridden by Tex Harding in the Durango Kid films; by Gene Autry in THE STRAWBERRY ROAN (Columbia, 1948); and by George J. Lewis in Autry's THE BIG SOMBRERO (Columbia, 1949). This horse is relatively easy to identify - check the long, dark streak behind the left eye.



(Courtesy of Minard Coons)

Above - Duncan Renaldo riding Ralph McCutcheon's paint Diablo. As mentioned above, Ralph McCutcheon was also the owner of the overo paint Dice (Pair O'Dice) which was ridden by John Carroll in the serial ZORRO RIDES AGAIN (Republic, 1937), Bill Elliott in THE GREAT ADVENTURES OF WILD BILL HICKOK (Columbia, 1938), other films. As the Cisco Kid, Duncan Renaldo rodes this horse in films including THE GAY AMIGO (United Artists, 1949) and THE DARING CABELLERO (United Artists, 1949). But in SATAN'S CRADLE (United Artists, 1949), Renaldo rode a lookalike. He also rode this horse (and others) in the Cisco TV show. Wanta see Diablo and a Diablo double? Pop a Cisco Kid TV show in your VHS machine or DVD player, and view the opening titles and credits. Renaldo and Carrillo ride down a hill and pull up as the announcer blares "Here's Romance!". Renaldo is riding this Diablo (with that long, dark streak behind the left eye). A few seconds later, Cisco and Pancho are galloping on a dusty trail - and Renaldo is riding a double. YouTube has the opening of the CK TV show showing Renaldo with the different horses: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VZgBl-t7vY



(Courtesy of Les Adams)

Tex Williams rode a palomino and a paint. When Williams rode the palomino, Universal used stock footage from their Johnny Mack Brown films. When riding the paint, Universal added liberal doses of action culled from the 1937-1939 Bob Baker adventures when Baker rode his paint horse Apache. The above title lobby card is from Williams' SOUTH OF SANTE FE (1949).



(Courtesy of Larry Welch)

Al 'Fuzzy' St. John rode a brown horse with a long and wide face blaze in his Lone Rider and Buster Crabbe oaters at PRC. After the Buster Crabbe series concluded, Fuzzy went to work with Lash LaRue. Above are Fuzzy (on an unidentified paint) and Lash LaRue in a lobby card from DEAD MAN'S GOLD (Western Adventure, 1948).


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