Comments & Info from:
May 1998 Loretta
I noted you listed Fury as a possible horse in the Bonanza series for Adam Cartright's horse. Alas, it was not Fury, but a horse owned by Fat Jones, who owned the Fat Jones Movie Stable in North Hollywood, California. Fat owned all of the Bonanza horses, plus several others who were cast horses, such as the National Velvet horses and Black Diamond, who looked very similar to Fury but was trained by Les Hilton. I was fortunate to live directly across the street from Les and learned from him about horse training. Black Diamond was used as a wild stallion in many movie roles. He also was not the black horse Pernell Roberts rode, whose name escapes me for the moment. Hollywood had a love affair with black horses. Lassie also lived down the street from us, as did a circus and another carnival. My father owned a carnival and a set of pony tracks. His ponies were used in many of the movies and televison series. Another black horse I remember belonged to the Hudkins Bros. Movie Stables. He was paired with a white stallion and the duo were usually the "wild stallions" used in the horse fight scenes. There were several movies stables in the San Fernando Valley then which were located on Parthenia in Panorama City, California.
Fury lived in a shed row barn, with only three stalls and a tack room in it. The only other occupant of that barn was King Cotton, who was right next door to Fury. If my memory serves, Ralph kept the area in front of the barn roped off to a distance of about twenty feet. When I asked why, I was told it was because Fury was so mean. However, looking back, I don't believe this. I never saw any meanness on Fury's part and I think it was a convenient lie which kept people from bothering him while he rested. Fury suffered from heaves for most of his life. This is a disease similiar to asthema, and the name comes from the heaving action of the rib cage as the horse struggles for breath. It is triggered by dusty hay, so Fury's hay was always wet when he ate. This was before hay pellets were invented. These pellets were a real boon for horses with heaves, since the dust was decreased considerably.