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Photos of Movie Horses Below
Preview--This is the fun stuff made of history and memories, well before we discovered Miniatures, but our beginnings with the horses of our childhood. Hard to believe it is the same life! We will tell the story in pictures--as we have time to construct it. Standby!
Motion Picture & TV Equines
Frank Klump, Candy & Peggy's father, was an animal trainer & wrangler for TV and motion pictures . . . who worked with so many greats . . . We only wish that Dad was still with us to help recount the stories himself. Frank taught countless actors how to stay aboard a horse. One of the most memorable for him was Elvis while filming, Love Me Tender.
He worked with so many fine horsemen . . . here are just a few . . .
Les Hilton: Mister Ed (he could swish his tail on cue) & Francis the Talking Mule
Kenny Lee: the drunk horse in Cat Ballew, the same horse that Robert Redford rode in Jerimah Johnson. Also trained the horse in TV's National Velvet
Glenn Randall: Roy Rodgers horses, charriot horses in Ben Hur, . . .
And of course, Ralph . . .
In the 1950's, Frank, along with colleagues such as Hank Cowl, branched out beyond handling horses for the entertainment industry, to include all manner of farm animals as well as wild North American animals, that you frequently saw in productions from Walt Disney or Lassie, for example. Frank & Hank handled and trained the Siamese cat in the original, That Darn't Cat. They also handled the loose horse in the field in The Russians are Coming. Both Candy and Peggy never missed an opportunity to go to work with their father, or Ralph!
Ralph McCutcheon, horse trainer & owner of numerous horse personalities on TV and in motion pictures, including the original Black Beauty who later became Fury, and many, many more . . . Peggy & Candy grew up riding Ralph's horses. We lived across the street from his ranch located in the Panorama City/Van Nuys area of the San Fernando Valley. Ralph was the best man at our parents wedding in 1948.
Early Dressage in CA
As children, we usually rode bareback. Once in a while, we actually used a Western saddle, assuming we had the power to lift it high enough to reach the horse's back. Peggy wanted to ride 'English' from a very early age. When she was tiny, maybe 6 or 7, Ralph put a racing saddle on a dear horse named Rowdy who Peg loved, and plunked her up there, so that she could ride 'English' for a few minutes. I guess that was the beginning of her journey toward dressage.
Rowdy was a bay horse who was often driven in a team (a wheeler, I think). Peg said she always felt safest on a horse and I think that feeling started with that big bay guardian. If you have seen the picture, Big Country, you have seen Rowdy--running flat out while Chuck Connor's character did tricks on him to torment Gregory Peck's character and impress his lady friend, Carol Baker. Now, if I could recall which stunt man did the riding. . . Bill Catching, Ben Johnson . . . or?
Peg pursued riding as a serious avocation as a teenager taking English lessons; then dressage lessons from a former German calavryman and the rest is her journey with horses which she will tell, at some point, soon I hope. Not being the show girl of the family, my path with riding was far less public. I loved the learning and the beautifully moving horses nevertheless. What will follow are some of my adventures.
Driving trip from CA to Saratoga Springs, New York in 1970 to the American Dressage Institute . . . pictures, too.
The Warmbloods we raised in the 1970's . . . Anglo-Trahehners by Halifax & Virgil.
LAX in the early 1970's when one of the first batchs of Warmbloods came off the Luftansa jet, including Susan Davidage's second Trahehner stallion, Virgil.
And much more!
About the photos: These pictures have been in our family for decades and represent a fraction of the photos that we once had. Many are snap shots. Some of them may have come from other sources. Credit will be noted if known. Photographer, Emerson Hall, often took professional pictures of Ralph's horses.
About the info: These stories are based upon our collective experience and stories recounted by family members and friends, many described here. The information is represented to the best of our knowledge.