|REX the star horse in old western movies.
The picture of Rex looks to be at Vasquez Rocks in Agua Dulce, California (earthquake shifting area) History from 1932- Earl Haley, owner of movie horse Rex, a black stallion and Lady, a white mare, acquired a young buckskin called Marque. Haley took the 3 horses to Arizona his native state and made a picture call "Wild Horse Stampede" for Columbia studio. The 2 horses Rex and Marque had a few brawls so they were kept far apart. The 2 stallions were fighting was over Lady. The horses worked on the movie together under watchful eyes of cowboys to keep them from hurting one another. Haley explained that Lady still is infatuated with Rex, but that she used the younger Marque to make Rex jealous. Think it worked. A wise Lady mare. Typical hollywood triangle.
Hightower, was owned by movie wrangler and horse trainer Rex Peterson of Tehachapi, California. Hightower's most prominent roles were as Pilgrim in "The Horse Whisperer,"Ginger in "Black Beauty,"and Julia Roberts' getaway horse in "Runaway Bride". Peterson retired him after filming "Princess Diaries II". Hightower was an unregistered Thoroughbred. He was never registered by the ranch that Peterson aquired him. Bred from a Thoroughbred stallion out of a Quarter Horse mare (even though Thoroughbred-Quarter Horse crosses are allowed in the AQHA registry). Peterson aquired Hightower (a 2 year old) and trained him as his ranch horse. A couple of months later, Rex got a call from a movie production company that needed a wrangler and a horse. The sorrel gelding took the test and won the job. Perfection came after each movie Hightower worked 24 years, did everything without argument that Peterson asked of him.
Petrine Mitchum had contacted Horse Fame gathering leads for information for a possible documentary movie that ended up as her book "Hollywood Hoofbeats" she related to me in July 2000 that she met Rex Peterson and had gotten to ride Hightower and was very impressed. Her words: "Today I went riding with Rex Peterson, the current #1 movie horse trainer who was Glenn Randall's protoge. What a great experience. I rode Hightower, his most famous horse, straight up the highest mountain I've ever ridden."
Hightower died of natural causes and was found laying in the pasture in California October 30, 2008, at the age of 26.
|(below) Old Fooler, star of The Rounders.
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