MUSIC

[Silver]

“a fiery horse with the speed of light ......Out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse silver”

The Lone Ranger with Silver

[The bow]

One of the most popular horses of all the western heroes. During the run of the television series few people realize that 2 different white Stallions filled the role of the wonder horse, Silver. Clayton Moore, who portrayed the Lone Ranger in the majority of the television shows, indicated they were Morabs, part Morgan and part Arabian. Wranglers and owners of the Silvers though have stated Silver#1 had Tennessee Walking Horse in his breeding and Silver#2 was half Arabian and half Saddle Bred

[Clayton and Silver#1]

Silver#1 was personally picked by Clayton from the ranch stock at the Hugh Hooker horse ranch in the San Fernando Valley in 1949 for use on the show just prior to the series launch. Hugh Hooker was the father of stuntman Buddy Joe Hooker. The white stallion Clayton decided on was a very large mount that stood a strong 17+ hands tall and presented a very majestic image. This white horse, whose true name was "White Cloud", was said to be 12 years old at the time, well trained and gentle.

The actual ownership of Silver#1 is a little confusing but thanks to writer/author Ken Beck and his recent interviews with Bill Ward, it appears the Hooker horse ranch owned "White Cloud" initially but sold him to Bill Ward who was starting Studio Stables shortly after the series got rolling. Bill Ward was Clayton's stand in and stunt double as well as one of the shows wranglers early in the TV series (1949 through 1954). Silver#1 did not know many tricks but did have an impressive high rear and would stand still for anyone due to his gentle nature.

The second Silver(Silver#2) of the TV series was actually purchased personally in about 1949 by George W. Trendle (the owner of the Lone Ranger show at that time). Who Trendle bought Silver#2 from was also until recently a complete enigma. One source claims Trendle bought the horse from an unidentified horse breeder on the east coast. Ken Beck, though, has recently discovered a source indicating that Silver #2 was actually foaled on a farm in 1945 near Danville, Iowa and named "Tarzen's White Banner". At age four, the horse was sold to a gentleman named Charles Van Dyke of Peoria, Illinois who then sold the stallion to George W. Trendle in late 1949. Trendle immediately renamed the horse "Hi-Yo Silver" which he had registered. Trendle previously owned another white stallion purchased in 1940 (and an extravagant silver laden saddle) for the public appearances of the radio Lone Ranger during the peak radio era of the 1940's.

[Silver#1][Silver#1][Silver#2]

In 1952 Trendle's "Hi-Yo Silver" was shipped to California during the TV filming seasons to take over the role of Silver from Silver#1 while John Hart stepped into the TV role. Then during the non-filming season was based back in Michigan, to use for Lone Ranger public appearance tours and promotions. Silver#2 was trained by the well known trainer and handler, Glenn Randall, who also trained Roy Roger's horse, Trigger. Glenn also stabled the horse during the filming season. Silver#2 was the opposite of #1 in temperment being high strung as well as being a stallion and some had trouble riding him. He was well known on the set to 'react' and get skittish if he heard camera motors running.

When Clayton returned to the show the following year, they continued the use of Silver#2 almost exclusively bringing old number 1 back usually only for scenes requiring a gentle, more obedient horse . Silver#2 was not quite as large as #1 but still weighed in at an impressive 1250 pounds and was the horse Clayton always went on the road with for publicity tours. Silver#2 was the only Silver that Clayton Moore toured with. A third white horse was "rented" from the Spahn Ranch for the episodes featuring "Dan Reid", the Lone Ranger's nephew. Dan's horse, per the story line, was named "Victor" and sired by Silver.

[Silver#2]

When Mr.Trendle sold the Lone Ranger Show production rights to Jack Wrather in 1954 he initially neglected to reveal that he personally owned the current Silver of the TV series and also the silver-laden saddle and tack, and they were not included in the $3,000,000 prospective deal. Trendle wanted an additional $25,000 to close the deal and he would then include the horse and saddle. The two discussed flipping a coin to see if Wrather would pay the extra money. Wrather suggested they split the difference instead, Trendle agreed and Wrather got Silver#2 and saddle.

[Silver#1][Silver#1][Silver#1]

Clayton did a lot of riding scenes with close ups and trick mounts and always did the 'rearing' of Silver. In his autobiography, he shared that only one time did Silver fall performing this risky riding stunt. It was during a evening public appearance at a fairground in No. Carolina, performing on grass "wet" from dew that resulted in Silver#2 slipping and falling. Silver was fine but the fall put Clayton on crutches for a couple of weeks with an injured knee.

[Silver#2][Silver#1][Silver#2]

Always forming a magnificent image together, some came to believe that Clayton owned Silver. Actually he never owned either of the two Silvers. Clayton did work out Silver #1 often on his own and on the trails around his residence while living in Tarzana and would go on tour with Silver#2 but the horse he actually owned was a buckskin named "Buck".

A few of the urban myths about Silver:

Some sources say Clayton's first Silver from the Hooker Ranch is the same white horse that Thomas Mitchell rode in "Gone With The Wind". The truth is: the white horse in Gone With The Wind was actually "Silver Chief" from the Hudkin Brothers Stables. Silver Chief had portrayed Silver in the 1938 and 1940 Republic Serials, "The Lone Ranger" and "The Lone Ranger Rides Again". Thus, it was a "Silver" but not Clayton's TV "Silver"

[Silver Chief]

Silver Chief portraying Silver in 1940 Republic Serial. Bob Livingston as the Lone ranger

Another partially true myth is that Silver's real name was Traveler and he was disturbed by the sound of camera motors and would act up if he heard them. Truth is: There was a horse from Studio Stables that was a stand-in stunt and chase double for Silver, named "Traveler", used on the Lone Ranger show but it was Silver#2 that had the 'camera reactions. Traveler would always be riden by his owner Bill Ward in the Lone Ranger costume in scenes involving stunts, chases and jumps. Whenever a fleeing outlaw had to be knocked from his galloping horse by the Ranger leaping off Silver at full gallop, this almost always was Bill Ward leaping from Traveler. Traveler wouldn't let just anybody ride him and Clayton never rode Traveler in the run of the show.

Another circulating rumor is after the series ended Silver#1 became the white horse that the USC Trojan mascot rode at USC football games. Truth is: USC Trojan horse, "Traveler" was in fact Silver's stunt and chase double from the TV show after he was retired from film making.

[Traveler]

Silver's stunt-double, Traveler, with Tommy Trojan in 1961 - USC's mascots in action

Also partially true is the fact that the radio Lone Ranger, Brace Beemer, actually owned a white stallion named Silver. Truth is: Brace's horse was actually named "Silver's Pride" but he did prefer to do promotions with his Silver's Pride rather than the white horse "Hero" (By the way, the very first horse to ever portray Silver in public on July 30, 1933) that the radio station rented to represent "Silver". Around the Beemer household the white mount was referred to as "Pride" but to the many fans of the Lone Ranger, this was "Silver".

[Silver's Pride]

Brace Beemer as the Lone Ranger astride his horse, Silver's Pride 1941

The very first horse to portray Silver - July 1933

Since January 1933, radio station WXYZ had been broadcasting "The Lone Ranger" and the success and popularity of the radio show was overwhelming. The Detroit Department of Recreation was holding it's school field day in July of that year at Belle Isle in Detroit and it was announced that the Lone Ranger with his mighty steed, Silver would appear live and in person. Brace Beemer was the narrator for the radio show at that time and was going to portray The Ranger and a rented trained horse named "Hero" owned by Carl A. Romig was filling the role of Silver. Preparation was for an anticipated 20,000 fans but on the eventful day 70,000 showed up to get a glimpse of their masked hero and Silver. Police on the scene even enlisted the help of the "Lone Ranger" himself to to try and maintain some crowd control and order.

[Hero]

Brace Beemer as the Lone Ranger with Silver (Hero) at the first live appearance ever of both horse and masked man, July 1933

Where did Silver go?

Silver#1 was pretty much retired after a brief stand-in appearance for Silver#2 in the 1956 movie 'The Lone Ranger' with Clayton Moore. He was sold to the Ace Hudkin's stables and being fairly old, was only used for close ups and head shots. Bobby Herron, stuntman and stepson of Ace Hudkin tells Ken Beck in Ken's book that "He (Silver#1) loved to get you against the wall and lean on you--not hurt you but lean on you so you couldn't get out. The horse had a sense of humor."

Wayne Burson, a horse wrangler/stuntman that appeared in several westerns in the 40's and 50's and Silver#2's wrangler at the time, began boarding Silver#2 and Scout in 1956. Silver#2 was retired in 1962 to live out his life with Wayne and his wife Louise on their ranch. Silver #2 died of old age in 1974 at the age of 29. Brace Beemer's "Silver's Pride" lived to be 29 also, passing in 1966 in Michigan on the Beemer's farm.

On a final note of interest, in a 1976 People magazine interview, Jay Silverheels who played Tonto, was good naturedly remarking on his special skills with fast horses. He recalled in the interview that Silver actually was somewhat of a slow running horse "and as the two companions galloped off into the sunset at the end of many a show, Scout had to be reined in lest he leave the masked rider in that traditional cloud of dust.".....I wonder which Silver Jay was referring to?


Many thanks to the many people that contributed valuable information to my research.
Special Thanks to Ken Beck for sharing information from his latest book "The Encyclopedia of TV Pets" going to bookstores in March of 2002

 


Additional Lone Ranger pages on this site

Links to Cowboy and Special Horse Web Sites

  • Amazing Horse and Rider - You MUST See This..Winning Reining competition WITHOUT reins.

  • American Cowboys - The best western and cowboy resources website around.

  • CowboyPal - Extensive web site featuring Silver Screen Cowboys of the 30's, 40's and 50's.

  • Equine Heroes - Stories and pictures of both real and fictional famous horses, ponies, donkeys, mules

  • Horse Fame - Historic facts about famous TV and Movie horses - Good information on many other famous equine

  • The Old Corral - One of the most informative and massive B-Western web sites by Chuck Anderson


Information Resources for History of the many Silvers
  • Writer/Author Ken Beck, Nashville, Tennessee, Interviews with Bill Ward and Louise Burson Thomas

  • Anita Messenger on Morgan History List. - SILVER, the Lone Ranger's horse. According to historian Paul Bettes, Alexander, Arkansas

  • September 1971 American Horseman - an article on the American Albino (a breed based on a Morgan broodmare band and a single white stallion who was said to be part Arab) claims at least one of the Silvers as a member of their breed. Article with a photo of Silver held by "Mrs Brace Beemer, the Radio Lone Ranger's widow".

  • Saginaw News - Sunday, Oct 2, 1983: Silver's Pride providence from Bob Beemer, Brace's son.

  • The Detroit Press

  • George W. Trendle letter, dated Feb 18, 1953 to Evelyn Wilson/General Mills, Inc

  • University of Southern California Alumni Association.

  • Bridges, Herb. The Filming of Gone with the Wind. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1984.

  • Collector's Reference & Value Guide to the Lone Ranger by Lee J. Felbinger, Lee Felbinger (Paperback - January 1998)

  • Who Was That Masked Man? : The Story of the Lone Ranger - by David, Rothel

  • People Magazine - Jan, 1976

  • ... I Was That Masked Man" (c) 1996 Clayton Moore, Published by Taylor Publications

  • Leonard Maltin interview with Dawn Moore Gerrity (c) 2001 (Clayton Moore's daughter)

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This is a fan site related to the character of The Lone Ranger and to the actors who portrayed The Lone Ranger on radio, television and in movies. The character as well as names and images of the character of The Lone Ranger, are owned by Golden Books and are Trademarked and Copyrighted 1997 by GBPC, a subsidiary of Golden Books Family Entertainment. "I Was That Masked Man" (c) 1996 Clayton Moore, Published by Taylor Publications, Inc.All rights reserved.



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