Wonder Horse, Put Into Solitary Confinement After Being Deemed ‘A Killer,’ Changed His Fortunes With Grand Hollywood Entry Once

Published 05/22/2023, 5:07 PM EDT

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Rex the Wonder Horse became famous after starring in a slew of movies throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Born in the mid-1910s, he came to be known as the ‘killer horse’ after a mysterious incident that killed a student. The early years of Hollywood, while relatively new still went about doing every scene without the help of any special effects, which meant hiring live animals for scenes if need be.

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Be it, Toto, from Wizard of Oz, or Rex from No Man’s Law, the industry has given a spotlight to many star animals. Rex was no ordinary horse; he was the kind that equestrians might’ve feared had they known about him.

From killer stallion to Hollywood, Rex had quite a journey

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In the book Hollywood Hoofbeats: The Fascinating Story of Horses in Movies and Television, Rex’s history from his birth has been uncovered. Citing the book, Horsey Hooves reported in 2022 that as a year-old colt, Rex wasn’t kept in the best of conditions. He faced abuse and the Colorado Detention Center eventually bought him.

But the story behind how he came to be known as a killer stallion involves a student from a boys’ school in Golden, Colorado. One fine day, when the student took Rex for a ride, he didn’t return on time. Suspicions arose, and hours later when they searched the area, the student’s body was found. Not able to find any other reason behind his death, people came to the only derivation that Rex killed him.

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Rex was soon put in solitary confinement where he spent two years. But soon after he was spotted by a Hollywood horse trainer post which, Rex’s fortune took a wild turn.

Reversal of fortune for Rex

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Jack ‘Swede’ Lindell, who would eventually be his trainer, found him in a school. Noting an unusual behavior in Rex, of trying to bite the whip, whenever he felt its slash on his skin, Lindell realized that Rex would look dramatic in front of the camera. He felt that shooting such a motion would look great onscreen. After a few years of training, Rex starred in the movie The King of the Wild Horses which was the beginning of his rise to stardom.

To name a few movies where Rex played a role are Lightning Romance, Black Cyclone, The Devil Horse. Rex had an aggressive attitude throughout his career, but he managed to evade the infamous tag name by virtue of his stardom in movies. His last known film was King of the Sierras in 1938, and with that, a glorious career as an equine star came to an end.

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Watch This Story: Derek Jeter’s Wife Hannah Jeter Once Bagged a Six-Figure Deal to Feature Alongside a Talking Horse in a Weird Commercial

Be it the story of Rex and his adventures or Steven Spielberg paying tribute to the horses lost in World Wars by making War Horse, horses have had a unique connection with Hollywood forever.

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Written by:

Tanmay Roy

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Tanmay Roy is a sports writer at EssentiallySports specializing in his coverage of the Olympics and other major American sporting events. His passion for sports was ignited by the early achievements of Michael Phelps, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe. As a writer for EssentiallySports, Tanmay's articles have been recognized as Editor's Picks, showcasing his ability to craft engaging and thought-provoking stories.
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Edited by:

Jahnabi Choudhury

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