Last week, Roy Rogers’s horse Trigger, and Bullet “The Wonder Dog” were bought at Christie’s auction by RFD-TV. They will be on set behind Roy Jr as he introduces the network’s Saturday morning reruns of Roy’s 188 films, all of which featured Trigger.
Trigger (1934-1965) was a 15 hand high Palomino who could count, do the hula, untie ropes, shoot a gun, knock on doors and walk on his hind quarters. He went for $266,500.
Bullet, lot 231, and Buttermilk, lot 230 (1941-1972). Buttermilk was Dale’s horse, who was sold to a private buyer for only $25,000, below the $30,000-40,000 estimate.
Bullet, who was in the movies and on the TV show, as well as being the family pet, was great at biting guns out of bad guys’ hands, and untying Roy. He went for $35,000, estimated at $10,000-15,000.
There will be more reports on the clothing and other memorabilia in the auction. Almost everything (except poor Buttermilk) went well above estimate.
Cathy Elkies, the auctioneer, said it was the “most colorful, emotional and sentimental” sale she had experienced in her 20 years at Christie’s.
At the end of the auction, the audience broke out spontaneously in a rendition of the Roy Rogers theme song “Happy Trails.”
Snelling Johnson. Happy Trails Roy and Trigger.. Large bronze, 1981. Estimate: $1500-2500. Selling price: $17, 500.