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[RC] Historical Horses - Ridecamp Guest

Please Reply to: Lianne Cantrall dcantrall105@xxxxxxx or ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Lianne Cantrall dcantrall105@xxxxxxx

Here is info I received from the Buffalo Bill Museum in Cody Wy.
I thought  many of you might  injoy this info. There are two
websites with interesting info and photos  of the Arab Buffalo
Bill rode in his Wild West Shows. 

Dear Ms. Cantrall,

William F. Cody spent his life around horses.  He had a number of
different kinds to serve a variety of purposes.  I'll try to
list some here, with some descriptions and sources.

Most of the horses Cody owned and rode for himself were not any
particular breed.  Not being a horsey person myself, I call them
"horse horses" or "plain old horses."  We know the names and
colors of most of the horses that Cody used.  Here is a list of
their names, colors, and dates we can link them to, as far as we
know.  We add to this list all the time by combing contemporary
newspaper articles for descriptions.

Prince (1853)
Brigham (1868)
Powder Face (1869) buckskin with black mane and tail
Tall Bull (1869) bay
Buckskin Joe (1869-72) a buckskin  died of old age in 1882
Old Charlie (1887-88) bay with blaze
Billy (died 1892)  white  (aka Old Billy)
Tucker (1889) white with gray dapples (in Rosa Bonheur painting)
Knickerbocker (1898) gray
Lancer (1898) sorrel
Duke (1898-early 1900s) chestnut with white blaze and white rear ankles
Old Pap (1901)
Old Eagle (1901)
Muson (1906) gray Arabian 
Prince (1904)
Bogard (1904)
Tony (1905)
Bill (aka Gray Bill)  gray or white
Alexis (1914) white
Isham (1913) white
McKinley (1917) brown

Possible: Columbus or Columbia, (1900 - 1912?) gray
               Smokey (1922)  modeled for GV Whitney statue

In 1896, a Chicago newspaper states that Cody owned a team of two
white Arabians to draw a carriage for the Wild West.  It also
states that he owned several teams of Clydesdales to use as
draft horses to pull wagons and other show equipment from the
train to the showgrounds.  The Arabians were killed by a
lightning strike while the Wild West was on tour in France in

Most of the other horses used in Buffalo Bill's Wild West were
mustangs and broncs.

After his first European tour (1887) Cody became interested in
Cleveland Bays.  He purchased a number of them and sent them to
his ranch in North Platte, Nebraska.  His studs were named
Proclaimer, Auctioneer, and Matchmaker.

The only Arabian that we know much about is Muson.  According to
what we know, Muson was "desert bred" and was imported to the
United States by Homer Davenport in 1906.  You can find
photographs of Muson with some information here:


and here there is some history about Davenport and the other
Arabian horses, including Muson, that he brought to this
country.  It includes some deeper information about Muson:


Buffalo Bill's favorite horse, according to his own accounts, was
Old Charlie.

I hope this answers your question.  Please let me know if I can
be of more help.

Best regards,

Juti A. Winchester, Ph.D. 
Ernest J. Goppert Curator 
Buffalo Bill Museum 
Buffalo Bill Historical Center 
720 Sheridan Avenue 
Cody, Wyoming 82414 
(307) 578-4050 


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