Steve McQueen once had a famous feud with his horse

A cowboy is only as good as his horse. But what if his horse is a bit sassy?

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What's a cowboy without his horse? Some days on the Wanted: Dead or Alive set, Steve McQueen wished he could've found out. McQueen played the role of Josh Randall in the hit '60s Western.

The horse he used on the show, Ringo, had an acting resume that was just as impressive as McQueen's. Ringo and McQueen were partners-in-crime in the Western series, but according to McQueen, he and his horse had some beef in real-life.

In a 1958 interview with Richmond Times-Dispatch, McQueen described Ringo as "a crazy horse" and talked about the relationship between the two.

"Ringo has a tendency to bite me," he said. "When I'm not watching, he'll lift up his foot very casually and step on my foot. Or he'll stand on my hat. Look at this scar he gave me in Phoenix."

According to the interview, McQueen had a large gash on his leg, and he showed it off to the interviewer at the time. Ringo had just as much sass as "The King of Cool" himself did, it seems.

"As soon as I get in the studio, there he is, glaring at me," he said. "It's a big joke with the crew. They put up signs, 'Hope you make it, Steve. Good luck!' I don't walk behind him anymore because I know he's going to try to kick me."

Even with their love-hate relationship, McQueen said he wouldn't have had it any other way. A cowboy is only as good as his horse, and his horse was just as gritty as McQueen.

"I said 'I want a real fresh horse, one with some fire.' I sure got one,'" he said. "They've now asked me if I want another horse. I've told them 'Don't take that horse. He's crazy but I like him!'"

Ringo and McQueen were doing something right together. Wanted: Dead or Alive became one of the most well-known Westerns of its time. 

"They're trying to make me a big hero because of these ratings," he said. "I'm no hero, I'm just trying to stay alive in this world."

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12 Comments

cperrynaples 12 months ago
Another story that might be interesting: McQueen faked an auto accident in order to do "The Magnificent Seven"! It was shot while WDOA was in production, and the only way he could get time off was to go on medical leave!
Runeshaper 12 months ago
"Ringo and McQueen" sounds like a good title for a TV show.
Patsy 12 months ago
Try proofreading and spell check.
Nala92129 12 months ago
ALl animals, in the entire history of Hollywood, have been used, abused & in many cases, maimed and killed. It makes me shake with rage!
MrsPhilHarris Nala92129 12 months ago
It is true that a lot of horses suffered dreadful injuries in the making of westerns. I would hope today an animal protection agency would be on the set.
Mblack 12 months ago
Ringo was a Lorne Greene song, from 1964.
LoveMETV22 12 months ago
Fun story. I wonder if Ringo ever met up with another sassy Hollywood Horse:

🐎🐴
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 12 months ago
NO, but which other MeTV Western star met Ed and almost punched Wilbur?
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 12 months ago
One western star that appeared on Mister Ed was Johnny Crawford, but then several MeTv celebrities appeared on the series.
cperrynaples LoveMETV22 12 months ago
Didn't know he did the show, and I couldn't see HIM punching Alan Young! It was Clint Eastwood from Rawhide!
LoveMETV22 cperrynaples 12 months ago
There were a number of celebrities that appeared on other shows MeTV broadcasts, that appeared on " Mr. Ed."
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