Roy Rogers’ Trigger finds a new home

Ok, so he’s not technically an antique, seeing as he passed away in 1965, however following the July 15 Christie’s auction of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans memorabilia, Rogers’ horse Trigger can be classified as one expensive collectible after selling for $266,500.

First purchased by Rogers on a payment plan for $2,500 back in 1938, Rogers needed to select a horse for the film Under Western Stars. The horse then known as “Golden Cloud,” handled so well it was reported Rogers never looked at another.
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The horse starred in 188 movies and the Roy Rogers Show on NBC from 1951 to 1957. When he died in 1965 of old age, Rogers was reluctant to “put him in the ground” so he had Trigger mounted and put on display at the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum.

The mount was purchased July 15 by Patrick Gottsch, founder and operator of RFD-TV, a nationally-broadcast rural-themed TV network. Gottsch plans to display Trigger at RFD-TV’s corporate headquarters in Omaha.

Launched in 2000, RFD-TV initially reached 4 million homes through DISH satellite. RFD-TV now reaches 40 million homes through major cable systems, DISH and DIRECTV.

It seems Trigger is a good match for the channel’s television lineup as well. The station will air Roy Rogers movies starting in November with Rogers’ son Dusty and grandson Dustin as hosts of a regular program. ?

Trigger photo courtesy Christie’s.

— Eric Bradley

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