The auction of Roy Rogers' beloved horse, Trigger, has fans bemoaning the lack of a permanent home for the horse that thrilled so many.
On June 15, 2010, news began to spread that Trigger, one of the most famous TV and movie horses of all time, would be auctioned off on July 14 or 15, 2010 to the highest bidder, and Roy Rogers fans aren't taking the news well.
Roy Rogers and Trigger
To cross-generations, Roy Rogers, the King of the Cowboys, and his beloved horse, Trigger, represented far more than mere silver screen entertainment. Roy's clean living and high standards for what he would, and wouldn't, portray in his movies, influenced millions. And Trigger, his trusted and talented, Palomino horse, was the apple of everyone's eye.
Roy's wife and onscreen partner, Dale Evans, known as the Queen of the West, rode her own special Buckskin, Buttermilk. And to keep everyone safe, their spirited dog, Bullet, stayed faithfully at their side through thick and thin. It was this onscreen and off screen bond with each other that sparked an extraordinary bond with Roy's and Dale's fans. Now fans feel the bond is being broken in an unhappy way.
Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet to be Auctioned
Anyone who is a fan of Roy and Dale know that Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet were all preserved through taxidermy and have ever since played a starring role in the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum. Countless fans have had the opportunity to stand next to these special animals to take photographs and reminisce about their childhoods and their love of Roy and Dale.
As of June 15, 2010, that possibility is no more. The word is out that Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet will be part of a much larger cache of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans memorabilia that will be auctioned by Christie's auction house on July 14 and 15, 2010.
When the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson, Missouri closed its doors on December 12, 2009, it was universally believed that someday it would reopen and Roy's treasures would once again be shared with the world. That is not to be.
Fans Express Dismay at the Auction of Trigger
Roy and Dales fans have taken to the web to express their beliefs that the famous horse, and Roy himself, is being disrespected by the auction. Some of the comments from online readers at Luxist include:
- Dan - "The entire Roy Rogers collection should be in the Smithsonian."
- spectacular bid - "Roy must be rolling over in his grave."
- RLG4675 “ Its too bad when our past and history is sold off, a sorry day. Part of the Greatest Generation lost. Truly heartbreaking, whats next?"
As the news spreads, lifelong fans are heartbroken that Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet are being separated, and perhaps located somewhere in the world where Roy never intended for them to be. High Noon Western Americana who is coordinating the auction with Christies puts a positive spin on the sale with this quote from the company's website:
"While it is true that the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum (Branson, MO) has closed, much to the disappointment of not only the Rogers family but of all his millions of fans, the dispersal of these artifacts will spread the joy, memories and cowboy heritage from inside its walls out into the hearts and homes of people all over the world.
Fans may disagree with that portrayal.
It's the Thought that Matters
For Roy's and Dales millions of fans, the issue may not be so much about where Trigger, Buttermilk and Bullet end up, its about how they will be respected in their new homes. Its about how fans imagine that Roy himself would feel about this. Its about the public loss of something so privately precious.