Fat Jones stable - Hollywood Horses
COMMENTS & INFO from: Nancy Sue
- December 2008 -
You asked for some Fat Jones Stables info. I stayed there with Ben & Carol Johnson. Uncle Ben's line was that when he first brought horses out to California for Howard Hughes's movie called "The Outlaw" he saw a pretty girl sitting on the fence, that was Auntie Carol, the rest became history. Whenever I showed up, "Fat" would hand me a ream of paper and lots of sharpened pencils to sketch the horses there. I used to ride a little red mare that was branded with Quien Sabe brands from shoulder to hip. She was marked like Man o'War, and was my favorite to ride. I also rode Peanuts a bay horse. Worked with Cochise (who was killed), as well a riding Dunny Waggoner (Lorne Green's Bonanza horse) leading the fretful Chubby (who if separated from Dunny would throw fits). Soldier, Goldie, Buster (a pinto that was given to Johnny Jones), Blue (that belonged to Jimmy Cagney), Mexico (Rober Culp's horse on Trackdown), Blanco (did a painting of him) Black Diamond and Steel. I have pictures of Blanco, Black Diamond and Steel. I was the only person on the place that could turn my back on Black Diamond. And did it in front of Uncle Ben, that's how I got the reputation. Then I also got to ride Zane the brahma, that was used in the movie Greatest Story Ever Told. All in all, my memories of Fat Jones Stables were and are wonderful.
Here are more updates of some Hollywood horses from Nancysu Herron She is a neice of Fat Jones. He was owner of the Movie Horse Stables.
May 10, 2011 -My horse "Rowdy" (had a Warner Brothers/7 Arts contract)and stayed during horseshows at Uncle Ben & Aunt Carol's (Johnson) place in Sylmar. On one occassion, Rowdy was put behing a "static line" next to Uncle Ben's Blackie, and they had Doug McClure's buckskin Half Brother running in the pasture. He kicked Annie Whitehorn (Ben's niece) in the belt buckle that day and exhonorated Rowdy. I grew up off and on at Fat Jones Stable, and got to see and photograph Steel, Blanco, Black Diamond, Cochise, Chubby, Dunny Waggoner, (Bonanza horses), Inky & 101 (Wild Bill Hickock) Goldie (Tonka and My Friend Flicka). It's good to see all these horses being honored.
December 2, 2008 - "Ben Johnson's black horses" I knew "Blackie" very well, his registered name was Davis Leo a Quarter Horse. When doing the pedigree on him for Ben Miller (cousin & Uncle Ben Johnson look-alike), we discovered that Blackie's paternal granddam was owned and ridden by Doug Whitehorn (brother-in-law to Ben Miller). She was a really good roping horse as was Blackie. The best shot of him working with Uncle Ben Johnson was in the Bonanza episode Top Hand, where they roped another horse. Blackie could really move. He didn't like it when I visited with my horse Rowdy, and we got a laugh out of Blackie charging the fence and Rowdy just looking at him as if he was nuts. I also owned Blackjack Bar (BJ) that was to be sold to Uncle Ben, but I got him first, and yes, he was a good match for old Blackie.
May 10, 2011 - "Steel" Steel was a liver chestnut with three white feet, left for and both hind. I have two black & white pix of him taken in 1957 when he was 22! October 18, 2011 "sorrel stallion steel" Steel was an unregistered Quarter/Thoroughbred cross that Uncle Ben Johnson rode in Rio Grande, Yellow Ribbon, and Wagonmaster. Clark Gable rode him in Across the Wide Missouri and King and Four Queens. I have two pictures of the old guy taken when he was 22/23 in 1958. The stable was located at Sherman Way and Tajunga. Black Diamond and Blanco had their pictures taken that day as well, I was "camera happy". I have Steel's pedigree at home (at school right now as a teacher) he came off the Pitchfork ranch. Randolph Scott also rode him.
October 25, 2011 - Buckshot - Wild Bill Hickock Buckshot's real name was Inky, Grandpa (Fat Jones) bought him from a circus where he was a "rosinback". He was ridden by a lady in "Across the Wide Missouri, and a Joel McCrea movie. Was Jimmy Stewart's horse in "Broken Arrow" before going on to Wild Bill Hickock. He was one of my favorites to be around.
October 18, 2011 - Flicka horse double, Goldie Goldie was used to double Wahana (Flicka) during the series and was injured by Black Diamond in the movie "Tonka". He later went on to double the other horse, note the black mark down his face covering up his blaze. December 2, 2008 MY Friend Flicka"Johnny Washbrook was my next-door neighbor in Toronto. I lived at 307 Brookdale Ave, and he lived two doors down. My family moved to Glendale in 1952, and was pleasantly surprised when I first saw My Friend Flicka and Johnny's name. His brother Donnie used to have a radio program in the 1950s.
December 2, 2008 - Bite the Bullit horses" The grey horse was not an Appaloosa, but a registered Quarter Horse named Grey Lark, belonging to Ben Johnson. He wasn't tripped, and the double horse for him fell on cue.