Trigger Slept Here
Every town has in it’s history the famous and the infamous. West Rockhill is no different. We have had famous residents and visitors to our area. Some are locally famous and others globally. One of our more famous visitors was non other than Trigger and Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers visited West Rockhill many times. He was said to have visited the Grand View Hospital Lawn Fete as well, as coming to see a good friend. When Roy Rogers was participating in the Philadelphia Rodeos, and traveling onward to Madison Square Garden for personal appearances he would stop to visit his good friend William Hill at the farm on Cathill Road. Trigger would of course accompany him and would be stabled in the barn ( picture below ). William Hill was the owner of the Hill Farm. William Hill meet Roy Rogers through a mutual friend who made rodeo costumes.There have been many questions about where Trigger was born and raised, and what farm Roy Rogers purchased him from. Every town wants to embrace Trigger as their own. West Rockhill is no different. We at the West Rockhill Historical Society have done some research to try to clear up the many legends surrounding Trigger. Trigger is thought to have been born in 1932, but there is no proof of this as he was not registered with any horse association. Trigger first appeared in the movie "The Adventures of Robin Hood” starring Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn. Although at the time he was know as Golden Cloud. His next adventure took him to the movie set of a western called “Under the Western Sky” starring a new cowboy called Roy Rogers. Roy Rogers immediately fell in love with Golden Cloud. Roy’s side kick in the movie Smiley Burnette commented that as quick as Golden Cloud was he should be named Trigger. And so an icon was born. The movie became an instant success and the crowds fell in love with both Roy Rogers and Trigger. In the months after the movie premiered Roy contacted the Hudkins Stables in San Diego, Californian and requested if it was possible to purchase Trigger. The Hudkin's stables rented out animals for the movie industry and this is where Trigger came from, according to the existing invoice. The purchase price was $2500. At this time Roy Rogers made only $75 a week, but he loved Trigger and realized that the horse had helped make him a star, and so the life of Roy Rogers and Trigger began. Trigger and Roy stared in 88 movies, 100 episodes of the Roy Rogers show, and countless personal appearances and rodeos. Roy Rogers became concerned at the difficult schedule that was required of Trigger and began to look for another horse that could serve as a double for Trigger. So as not to upset his young fans Roy Rogers never spoke of using doubles, he wished for them to believe they were meeting the one and only Trigger. Roy Rogers bought many palominos that served as double’s for Trigger. Roy Rogers did in fact buy a palomino horse from the Hill Farm in West Rockhill. Whether he used this horse as one of the many doubles for Trigger we will never know, but in essence every palomino horse Roy Rogers owned could have stood in for Trigger at one time or another. Trigger died in 1965 at the age of 33. Trigger was stuffed and on display at the Roy Rogers museum until 2001 when he was put up for auction and sold for $250,000 to a Nebraska cable TV network. So this is the historical truth about where Trigger came from.