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Horse Biographies
     Michael Landon selected a beautiful Paint horse for his new mount, in the show he is called Cochise, named after the famous Indian.  He stood 15. 3 hands high and weighed 1,150 pounds.  Michael rode Cochise the first six years of Bonanza, who had two stunt Paint horses double him, the first season, in June-July 1959 at Sand Harbor and Tahoe Meadows, and the second Paint double used in the fourth season at Truckee and Iverson Ranch in 1962, fifth season again at Iverson Ranch in 1963, and seventh season at Red Rock Canyon, California in 1965.

     During the sixth year in October 1964, a deranged intruder broke into the Fat Jones Stable when everyone was asleep and stabbed the Paint and a few of the others horses very badly.  Some of the other horses the vet was able to save, but the Paint and the others had to be euthanized. Michael was very saddened by this and put out a reward, but the authorities never apprehended the killer.  Lorne Greene was also shaken and said if this had happened to Buck, he didn't know what he would do if anything happened to his horse.

     The replacement was a Paint horse stunt double the stable rented for Michael to ride immediately after his first mount was killed.  His first appearance was filmed in "The Far, Far Better Thing", that went into production a few days after the incident at Fat Jones, in October 1964.  Michael and his stuntmen rode him in various filmed cuts through the last episode made for season twelve, "An Earthquake Called Callahan" in January 1971, with Hal Burton horseback doubling Michael at Idyllwild.  After the season wrapped, the stable sold the horse to another party in 1971.

     By the seventh season, the stories centering on Joe began shifting outdoors and stronger and highly-trained stunt Paint horses had to be used, where in the first six years, his first Paint, called Cochise would just do simple chores at Paramount Studios and locally in Southern California.  The seventh and eighth seasons had more rugged outdoor shots at Lake Tahoe and Lone Pine and other locales, so two more riding Paints selected by Michael along with the stunt Paint was selected and ridden by Bob Miles doubling Joe in long shots, and Mike would do his close-ups on his riding Paint.  This is something that stuntmen and actors work out before filming, and they go to the stable and choose the Paint horses for the scenes called for in the scripts, every season.

     At the start of the ninth season, Michael would continue to ride the Paint horse stunt double (Paint # 5) for selected riding shots, while one of the riding Paints he used the previous eighth season would do his riding in other shows.  A new riding Paint was added to the roster of Paint horses for stock footage at Lake Tahoe and Truckee that September and October of 1967.  This Paint horse was selected by Michael who would ride him in many shows.  Hal Burton would also ride him for any necessary stunts in a bit part for Michael.  This horse would alternate with the other Paint horses through the end of the eleventh season in 1969-70.

     By the start of season twelve, the Fat Jones Stables sold many horses, including all the Paint horses since the era of TV-Westerns was fading away, and the show's new format didn't require that many Paint horses to be used anymore. Michael selected two Paints for seasons twelve, thirteen, and fourteen of the series to do his filmed shots on.  One riding Paint was used for bit parts in just a few shows in seasons twelve and fourteen.  The second was a stunt horse he and Hal Burton would ride for all the outdoor shots locally and at distant film sites.

     While filming "Bushwhacked!" at Patagonia, Arizona in 1971, Michael and Hal would select a very strong and large Paint to pull him on a travey in a few filmed shots.  Michael and his stuntmen would ride many other horses for all 14 years, including stunt horses and casting horses, whatever the script would call for in the series.  The stunt Paints are used to double the riding Paints because they are not trained and capable of performing such wild and dangerous feats in a series.  The safety of the riding horse and actor is a paramount safety issue and doubling them with stunt horses ensures the horse and actor's life in many filmed scenes, especially in the rugged outdoors where it's very easy for a riding horse and it's actor to get injured or killed.
Paint Horse # 1
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: One through Six

     This was the first Paint horse that Michael selected to ride from April 1959 through October 1964.  He would be ridden in literally every filmed shot, since the stories didn't call for any fancy riding shots for the horse to perform those years of the series.  He was doubled the first season by a stunt Paint horse who was dapple gray and white in coloration at Sand Harbor and Tahoe Meadows, Lake Tahoe, Nevada in 1959.  His second Paint double was used and rode by Bob Miles in the fourth season at Truckee and Iverson Ranch in 1962, fifth season at Iverson Ranch in 1963, and seventh season at Red Rock Canyon, California in 1965.
Click to See Paint Horse # 1

Paint Horse # 2
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: One

     This was the first stunt Paint used on the series, only the first year at Lake Tahoe, who would double Michael's riding Paint horse.  He was dapple gray and white in coloration and rode by both Michael and his stuntman Bob Miles filming stock footage at Sand Harbor and Tahoe Meadows at Lake Tahoe in June-July of 1959 while filming one's "The Henry Comstock Story", also with some live-action horseback shots at San Bernadino National Forest, California.
Click to See Paint Horse # 2

Paint Horse # 3
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: Four through Seven

     This stunt Paint was used specifically for the very rugged riding shots at Gooseneck Meadow, at Truckee in June of 1962 for stock footage purposes only, ridden by either Michael or his stuntman Bob Miles.  He would double the first horse called Cochise at the meadow and had a strong resemblance to him.  This stunt Paint had a black head with a white stripe running down the middle of his face and a good balance of black and white patterns running down his back to just above the legs, which were all white.  His tail was half-white with the lower half of it all-black, coming down off his all-white rump.

     He was also in four's "The Beginning" and "My Brother's Keeper" doubling Cochise at Iverson Ranch in some filmed cuts with Bob Miles riding him doubling Joe.  He makes another appearance in five's "Calamity Over The Comstock" with Bob Miles riding him, doubling Joe at the opening, riding the stunt Paint down the hill and comes to a halt.  This stunt Paint horse makes his last appearance doubling Mike's riding horse in the beginning of seven's "Ride the Wind" at Red Rock Canyon, with Bob Miles doubling Joe on him.
Click to See Paint Horse # 3

Paint Horse # 4
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: Five

     This Paint horse stunt double was used in only one episode, five's "Marie, My Love", in a bit part by Michael's stuntman, Bob Miles, doubling Joe, as the horse runs in and falls down on his side, with Bob taking the fall in the Joe costume.  His head was all-black, with a narrow white blaze running down his face.  His throat, neck and chest continued the black patterns down from his black face.  His mid-section was mainly white with black markings on the front and rear hind quarters, with a black tail.
Click to See Paint Horse # 4

Paint Horse # 5
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: Six through Twelve

     Michael rented this Paint horse that was a stunt double to replace the first mount that was named Cochise on the series, since he was fatally wounded at the stable in October 1964.  This new Paint was a contrast to the first horse, since he was mostly black, with fewer patterns of white, and all-black tail with a few round markings on his rump.  The horse would alternate between other riding Paints and the stunt Paints over the next 6 years through January 1971.

     The first episode he appears in is six's "The Far, Far Better Thing", made in October 1964 and used through the end of season twelve in "An Earthquake Called Callahan" doing stock footage at Idyllwild, California in January 1971.  Hal Burton would double Joe on the horse for many outdoor shots.  After completion of season twelve, this Paint horse went back to Fat Jones and was sold off by the stable to another party.
Click to See Paint Horse # 5

Paint Horse # 6
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: Six

     This riding paint horse was used in only a few of the last episodes filmed at the end of the sixth season.  Michael can be seen on him in one scene in six's "The Jonah" on Stage 16 and in six's "The Spotlight" at Golden Oak Ranch and the Western Street at Paramount Studios.  He had a fairly good amount of black and white patterns, white mane, with a black head and white blaze running down the middle of his face.  From his black head, runs a large black streak running down his entire neck to chest, and down to the middle of his front legs.  The rest of his front legs all-white down to the hooves.  His rear section had black patterns on each side of the upper legs and thighs.  His rump, all white, with a completely black tail.
Click to See Paint Horse # 6

Paint Horse # 7
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: Eight and Nine

     This stunt Paint was ridden by Bob Miles doubling Joe in all the long shots for eight's two-part episode "The Pursued" at Lone Pine, California.  This stunt Paint had a more abundance of black patterns running down his back, stopping just above the legs.  His head was black with a white patch between the eyes.  His tail was almost all white, with a dash of black at the lower end of it.  His rump was all white and his rear legs had streaks of black on them running down from his partially black and white hind quarters.  The last time he was used on the series, was in nine's "Sense of Duty", with Hal Burton riding him at Red Rock Canyon, horseback doubling Joe in the first act, in a few bit parts doing long shots.
Click to See Paint Horse # 7

Paint Horse # 8
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: Seven and Eight

     This riding Paint was rode by Michael in seasons seven and season eight.  He was a riding horse who bore a strong resemblance to the original Paint horse called Cochise, very flashy in appearance.  Michael rides him in the newly filmed opening credits at Nevada Beach in 1965 and he can be seen in various episodes including "All Ye His Saints", "Shining in Spain", "The Dublin Lad", "Something Hurt, Something Wild", "The Bridegroom", and in other bit parts from 1965-1967.
Click to See Paint Horse # 8

Paint Horse # 9
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: Eight and Nine

     This riding paint was another one used for selected episodes of season eight and in most of season nine of the series.  He was darker in tone, white stripe running down his face, with an all-white tail, and was doubled in season nine by a stunt Paint at Lake Tahoe and Truckee in September and October 1967.  He can be seen in episodes such as "The Wormwood Cup", "Showdown At Tahoe", "Desperate Passage", "Check Rein", and various other episodes from these seasons.
Click to See Paint Horse # 9

Paint Horse # 10
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: Nine through Eleven

     This new riding Paint was introduced on the series during the outdoor filming at Lake Tahoe and Truckee in September 1967 for almost every outdoor riding shot, and all the stock footage filmed.  Michael would alternate this new Paint with the others the ninth year and use him through the eleventh year in 1969-70.  His second stuntman Hal Burton would ride him in bit parts in 1968-69, since the horse was an excellent runner and very strong and agile.

     He was a larger size horse, with black and white patterns that were very flashy and vivid.  His tail was all-white and the last one-third of it was black, a two-tone tail.  He can be seen in many shows from seasons nine through eleven including; "Kingdom Of Fear", "Different Pines, Same Wind", "Salute To Yesterday", "A World Full Of Cannibals", "Catch As Catch Can", "A Ride In The Sun", and the horse shares some of his screentime with Paint # 5 in "Danger Road".
Click to See Paint Horse # 10

Paint Horse # 11
Type: Riding Horse
Seasons Used: Twelve through Fourteen

     This riding Paint was selected by Michael for filming in seasons twelve, thirteen, and fourteen.  This would be one of the few last Paint horses Michael would ride on the series, seen most prominently in season 14.  His tail was black, except where it leaves the rump and had round markings on both sides of the rump above his tail.  He's easy to see in any of the above seasons that Michael rode him from 1970 to 1972.

     This riding Paint is seen in bit parts in twelve's "Thornton's Account", in one scene with Joe and Ben taking a break along the trail and few others, just simple riding shots.  In fourteen's "Forever" he does a bit part with Michael riding him up to Alice's grave at Brown's Meadow, and then rides out of frame.  Michael rides him in fourteen's "Stallion" at the Red Hills and Brown's Meadow, before and after riding the stallion in the story.
Click to See Paint Horse # 11

Paint Horse # 12
Type: Stunt and Riding Paint
Seasons Used: Twelve through Fourteen

     This stunt and riding Paint was selected by Michael and Hal Burton for seasons twelve, thirteen, and fourteen for all the local and distant riding shots.  He would double the above horse in the shows he did bit parts in.  His tail was mostly all-white with a dash of black.  A distinctive black marking ran down his right leg, where his left leg was all-white.  This horse was Michael's main mount the last three seasons of the series for local and distant filming.  Hal Burton would double him in many shows on it.
Click to See Paint Horse # 12

Paint Horse # 13
Type: Stunt Horse
Seasons Used: Thirteen

     This stunt Paint was used only in a few filmed shots in thirteen's "Bushwhacked!" filmed at Patagonia, Arizona.  He's a much larger paint who had the task of pulling a heavy wooden travey carrying Joe to the rancher's spread at the start of the show, where the above Paint was used for other filmed shots in this show.  He had a large, black pattern spreading from the middle of the rump to the upper left thigh.  A good balance of black and white color patterns, spreading from the middle rump to the left upper thigh on his left side, along with his all-white right rear hind quarter and leg and a white streak in his shoulder fur along his right side, spreading down the shoulder all the way to his midsection.
Click to See Paint Horse # 13

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