Hi-Yo Silver! Two White Thoroughbreds Star in Disney’s ‘The Lone Ranger’
Blazing Colours Farm, a Wellandport, Ontario-based equestrian center and breeding facility, announced today that two white thoroughbred horses bred at Blazing Colours Farm and sold to Walt Disney Productions in 2011 will be starring in Disney's new movie, “The Lone Ranger”. The movie, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, debuts in theaters on July 3, 2013.
April Wayenberg, founder and owner of Blazing Colours Farm, said that she was approached by one of the head “wranglers” for the movie in May of 2011. The wrangler, who was responsible for selecting and training the horses appearing in the film, did visit the Farm in person soon thereafter and made the decision to purchase the two white thoroughbreds born and raised at Blazing Colours Farm for use in “The Lone Ranger.”
The horses purchased were Cloud Ten (a 6 year old stallion) and White Pharaoh (a 4 year old gelding). “The two horses looked liked twins and most people could not tell them apart, so the wrangler thought they would make great body doubles for each other in the movie,” said April Wayenberg.
A total of 4 white horses were used during production of The Lone Ranger, including the two Canadian-bred horses from Ontario. Both horses were born and raised at Blazing Colours Farm and sired by the stallion Sato, who is also owned by Blazing Colours. Sato is famous in his own right, as he was immortalized as a Breyer horse model in 2010 due to the fact that he is a rare Palomino Pinto Thoroughbred and the first one ever born in the world. Both Sato and Cloud Ten were also photographed and featured in “Horses in Living Color”, a book published in 2010 by renowned equine photographer Barbara Livingston.
Cloud Ten made headlines in several newspapers when he was born in 2005 because he was the FIRST white Thoroughbred to ever be foaled on Canadian soil. At that time there were only about 20 white Thoroughbreds every registered by The Jockey Club out of a total of nearly 2.5 million Thoroughbreds on record, which made Cloud Ten quite a rarity.
Cloud Ten and White Pharaoh were chosen for the movie for their colour, size, temperament, athleticism and trainability, according to the Disney wrangler, all traits that Blazing Colours Farm is known for producing in their horses.
It All Began With a Strange Phone Call
Farm founder April Wayenberg recalls her first phone conversation with Disney's head wrangler.
“He told me his name, said he was interested in a couple of my horses but didn't tell me who he was or why he was calling,” says Wayenberg. “He asked me several questions about them which were normal and then he asked me whether their manes would grow long and if they had ever heard gunfire. At that point, I thought, this is sort of odd and I wondered if he might be off his rocker and just wasting my time, because of course their hair would grow, and why would he care about that anyway? And gunfire — what was that all about? But I was polite and answered all his questions, including the odd ones, because it's really impossible to tell a serious buyer from a ‘tire kicker' during one phone conversation. I had no idea he was shopping for horses to star in a movie, let alone a Disney movie, until a few conversations later, which then explained some of the odd questions at the beginning.”
Wayenberg said that Disney discovered Blazing Colours Farm and its white horses because White Pharaoh was being advertised for sale and the wrangler had seen a YouTube video of him that Wayenberg had produced. Cloud Ten was actually not for sale at the time, but was discussed because he also fit the bill of what the producers were looking for. White Pharaoh was purchased first and later an agreement was made to purchase Cloud Ten as well.
It's A Family Affair!
April Wayenberg noted that Cloud Ten had two sons, both of which are white, that were born and still reside at Blazing Colours Farm. The future plans for these two white stallions include becoming driving horses to be hired by the public to do weddings and other special events. They will be available for booking events starting in early 2014. Blazing Colours Farm also retained frozen semen from Cloud Ten to be used and sold after The Lone Ranger is released.
“Because we have frozen semen from Cloud Ten available, it's possible for anyone out there to have their very own offspring from “Silver” that starred in The Lone Ranger movie,” she says.
Was it difficult seeing here two horses leave the Farm?
“It was very tough,” says Wayenberg. “When you breed and raise a horse for a number of years they become part of the family. But at the same time it was tremendously exciting to know that they were going to be immortalized as part of movie history. I grew up watching The Lone Ranger and Mr. Ed, and I know the impact that movies and television can have on millions of people who watch them. So, for horses that I bred and raised and trained to be used in a remake of a movie on a scale like this is such an honor and something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
April says she is eagerly anticipating the movie's July 3 debut. “I will be there, that's for sure!” she says. “And I'm sure that everyone from Blazing Colours Farm will be going with me. We plan to make a big night of it.”