Molly McMule's Horse Tales - 1001 Stall Stories

"And the winner is… The Black Stallion!!!"

"There goes Desi again. Prancing and neighing all over the pasture pretending she's been awarded an Oscar and showing off. Ever since she heard about Cass Ole, the Arabian that became a movie star, she's been dreaming about becoming one too," said Fern.

"She's such a ham," noted Ginny, enjoying the antics as much as the rest of the barn mates. "But we'll have to stop her fantasy because it's time for dinner. Maybe we can get her interested in telling us the story before bedtime."

So, after dinner, all the horses were comfortable and ready for the evening chats, Fern asked Desi, "just who was 'Cass Ole'?"

Desi had heard some children visiting the farm talking about a book they read. It was all about how Cass Ole was selected to play the part of the Black Stallion in the movie with the same name.

She began by telling them that the stallion was a fictitious desert horse, a really free spirit. The story was about the horse and the boy who loved him, and their adventures.

"Well", said Desi, "when they decided to make a movie about the book, the director knew that it would take a very special horse to play the part and they began searching all over the United States, Canada and Europe. They finally found Cass at a farm in Texas, but there were a still few things not quite right!"

"So tell us, what was wrong", asked Ginny. "After such a long search, you would have thought they found the perfect 'star'."

"They almost did but black is a rare color and foals are usually a mouse-gray. The owners called him Mickey Mouse because of his fuzzy baby coat which seemed to have a dark color underneath - but he had four white socks and a star."

"He began his show biz career winning ribbons right away, and by the time he was a two-year-old, he was sold. His new owner was an eleven year old riding student, Francesca and the pair won 750 awards."

"When the producers decided to film the story, they decided Cass would be perfect and they would just have to dye his white markings black," Desi explained.

Beau snickered at the thought of women's hair dye being used, "but that's just what happened", Desi sassed. "And he also had two stunt doubles that had to be dyed to match!"

Dreamily, Desi went on talking about how exciting it must have been to be the main 'attraction' and that Cass had to travel to Canada and Italy to shoot his scenes. It was hard work, but Cass was a good actor. He learned quickly and seemed to enjoy the filming.

"After the first movie, 'The Black Stallion', was such a success, a second film, "The Black Stallion Returns," was made," Desi said. "Both were very successful and Cass Ole made personal appearances all over the country. However that was the end of his film career, but he was still so famous that he was invited to appear in President Ronald Reagan's first inaugural parade."

"So, it would seem that one horse became a real 'star', Beau quipped. "But what are chances of that happening?"

But Desi had still more to say, "How about all the horses that were in all those cowboy movies - like Trigger, Buttermilk, Silver, Scout, Tony, and, and…well there were lots of them."

Meanwhile, the other horses stood by, quietly chuckling and watching. Molly suggests that for more information about famous horses, read "From Mustangs to Movie Stars - Five True Horse Legends of our Time" by Laurel Van Der Linde. You might even be able to catch a showing of the movies on some of the TV movie channels.