Cowboys and Indians-Happy Trails April 2009
DIED: Hightower,26. One of the most famous and talented trick horses ever to grace the silver screen, Hightower appeared in dozens of films during his long career, most notably as Pilgrim in Robert Redford’s The Horse Whisperer (1998). He was the steed of choice for actress Julia Roberts, who bonded with him during the filming of The Runaway Bride (1999) and famously insisted that the charismatic quarter horse be shipped back from his California corral to an East Coast location for post-production re-shoots. Owned and trained by Hollywood Horse Trainer, Rex Peterson, Hightower also appeared in Winter People (1989) opposite Kurt Russell and Kelly McGillis, in Simpatico (1999) with Jeff Bridges and Nick Nolte, and in writer-director Caroline Thompson’s 1994 adaptation of Black Beauty. “Hightower had a heart as big as the great outdoors”, said veteran trainer and USDF Silver Medalist Cari Swanson, “and he will be remembered as one of the most intelligent and noble equine actors of our day.” In Tehachapi, California, October 30.