& Rancho Maria
Comments & Info & Photos
From: Pam Taxara
Date: November 2001
I lived at Rancho Maria in Saugus, California from 1968-1972.
Fury AKA Beauty on RAWHIDE
Ralph's Ranch in 1971 Domino behind fence
The ranch foreman at that time
was a friend of Ralph McCutcheon's, Bob Brown.
Together Bob and I took care of the stock at
the ranch, including Billy the Bull
(brahma bull used in movies), a burro Ralph
called "Burro" and doubles used
for Fury. Ralph told me Chuck Conners rode
Domino in the Rifleman TV series. There were
signed picures in the ranch house we lived in
showing Domino and Mr. Conners as well as
another photo of Gregory Peck on one of Ralph's
horses. We also cared for King Cotton and Cali
(California). Ralph cautioned visitors about
Cotton and Cali ...they would nip if given a
chance. If I remember right, Fury passed on
just before we moved to the ranch, then Cotton,
and Cali. The stallions were buried side by
side at the ranch. We buried them with dignity
and with carrots.
Photo of Domino in 1971 age 34
Domino (age 30 then) was always the sweetest horse.
He would practically purr when I groomed him, and
had the softest, most gentle gait I have ever ridden.
Bob was killed at the ranch by a bull sometime before
1978. Ralph was not well then, his wife Mary
had already passed on after being ill for many years.
Comments & Info
from: Jesse Wayne
Date: July 2002
When I doubled Mickey Rooney on Beauty for a Rawhide TV
series episode, Ralph McCutchen brought "Beau" as the
circus trick horse. In the scenes I did a few mounts,
stood on his back, tripped and fell down a hill.
Beau was perfect to work with and all the shots were one take.
Later, Ralph gave Beau instructions something like,
"Run back twenty paces, take a left, come back here
and paw the ground three times." We all watched as
Beau did just that. He was beautiful.
Ralph's Ranch - Van Nuys
Comments & Info
From: Duane Harlow
Date: November 2003
I had the luck to be alive in the 40's and 50's and play on all of the wagons and buckboards at Ralph McCutcheons ranch in Van Nuys, Calif. I got to brush down the horses and clean the stalls (fun) and clean the tac. I lived just 2 blocks away and your site has brought back many good and sometimes funny memories. I used to watch Ralph work Beauty in the front arena without haulter or rains. It was beautiful to watch. I've never been able to get the ranch out of my system. I believe Ivan was the forman back then and I would do odd jobs for him. I had to walk past the back arena everyday on my way to school (Sepulvada Elem.) and many times I would be late because I had to give all the horses a treat. Well thanks for the site and the good mem's.
Comments & Info
From: Michael Russell
Date: April 2011
Ralph's original ranch was on the corner of Parthenia and Cedros in Panorama City, CA. Way before he bought the ranch in Saugus. I lived right across the street from the ranch and worked feeding and mucking stalls when the wranglers and foremen were out of town. Otherwise we just hung around there every day. One of the wranglers built an apartment building across the street from the ranch around 1963. He named the apartments the Candy Peg Apartments, after his two daughters. Beauty (Butte) aka Fury was a pleasant and great horse. Domino was the Texan's horse with Rory Calhoun as the star. Many short clips were filmed at the ranch and myself and Mike Panessa ran a see saw, which simulated a bucking horse for Clint Eastwood and Claude Atkins one day. Great memories as this boy from Montana found a place to stay out of trouble at Ralph McCutcheons ranch during the 60's. I'm retired now and happy on my ranch in Montana and share memories of driving Ralph's movie utility truck down Van Nuys Blvd on cruise nite.... maybe I shouldnt of told that... but I sure had fun.
Michael Russell in Helena, Montana
FAME , established 1997.