The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

Fun Autry Fact:

Gene tried to play the saxophone when he was a youngster. He finally gave up and turned successfully to the guitar.

Champion, World's Wonder Horse

Original Champion (b. circa 1926 – d. 1943)

  • Dark sorrel-colored
  • 3 stockings—right front leg solid
  • T-shaped blaze starting high on his forehead and extending over his muzzle
  • Appeared in films possibly as early as The Phantom Empire (1935), definitely in Tumbling Tumbleweeds (1935), last movie was Bells of Capistrano (1942)
  • First "official" screen Champion
  • First received screen credit in Melody Trail (1935)
  • Known as “Wonder Horse of the West”
  • Gelding
  • Had as many as four doubles
  • Died of an apparent heart attack while Gene was in the army
  • Highlights: could untie knots, roll over and play dead, bow, shake his head "yes" and "no," and come to Gene's whistle

Research assistance provided by author Petrine Mitchum.

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