Horses are a big part of any rodeo, and in the waning days of HLS&R 2009 it would be easy to whip up a list of movie horses that everyone knows, to wit: Seabiscuit, the Black Stallion (plus sequel), Black Beauty, and Trigger. Booooring. And while I realize this is a nation that has the energy to work itself into spasms of rage over the new Dora the Explorer design, surely we can accept a somewhat less-noteworthy assortment of movie equines?
5. "Rising Star" -- The Electric Horseman (1979)
He starts out as the best in the business, lapses into disco parody, then goes into semi-retirement out west. He's like the horse version of Gene Simmons.
4. Ill-fated steeds -- The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
In spite of what history books and Iron Maiden might have taught us about the Battle of Balaclava, it isn't any "burst of rounds" taking out these mounts, but a little device called a "running W" that yanks the forelegs back to provide a more realistic tumble. Oh, the horse-manity.
3. The leader of the Brombies -- The Man From Snowy River (1982)
Actually, this guy was pretty bad-ass. He led a gang, kidnapped (or rescued, depending on how PETA-centric your perspective is) other horses, and was kill-crazy for the Craig family in an interspecies manner not seen since great white sharks united to eliminate the Brody clan.
2. "Midnight" -- Hooper (1978)
He doesn't get a lot of screen time, but Burt Reynolds' character's horse has one defining moment that everybody in the audience can get behind: taking a dump in Jan Michael Vincent's convertible. There's no clip out there, so you'll just have to take my word for it and enjoy the Palomino Club fight:
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1. "Trooper" -- Animal House (1978)
The list's true tragic figure occupies the top spot. Thanks to nothing more than his association with the loathsome Omegas, Trooper (visible for a few seconds in this trailer) is pelted with golf balls, harassed by the inept Flounder, and "accidentally" killed in the commission of a prank. If not for a weak heart, he might have finally snapped and stomped in Neidermeyer's head, thus saving his troops the trouble of fragging him later.