Not only was RFD TV the winning bidder for “Trigger” at the auction of items from the defunct Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum, but the network also came away from the auction with “Bullet” as well. And now the network is planning to air a series of Roy Rogers movies.
Like Trigger, Bullet is the real animal, now stuffed. While some people think that macabre, Roy Rogers actually had them preserved because he loved his horse and dog so much. Bullet wasn’t just a movie/TV dog, but the family’s pet. After the museum closed down after 45 years of operation in Victorville, CA and most recently Branson, MO, the heirs of Roy and Dale, who were married in real life, had Christies/New York conduct the auction. Not only did RFD founder and President Patrick Gottsch submit the high bid of the auction – $266,500 for Trigger – but he also won the bidding for Bullet at $35,000.
“It is truly an honor and a privilege to now be the caretakers of these two American icons. Trigger & Bullet evoke such wonderful memories for so many of us that grew up watching Saturday morning westerns. We hope they will help us introduce television-like-it-used-to-be to a whole new generation of families, as RFD-TV will feature Roy Rogers movies in our weekly program schedule beginning in November,” said Gottsch.
“This was a very emotional week for the entire Rogers family,” said Dusty Rogers (Roy Rogers, Jr.). “Closing the museum was a very difficult decision. Knowing that Dad’s main companions wound up with the good folks at RFD-TV is a major comfort, as we know that their understanding and respect for tradition in the western way-of-life will make a good new home for both Trigger and Bullet.”
Members of the Rogers family (in all, the couple had nine natural and adopted children from their own union and previous marriages) were appearing Thursday (7/22) on RFD’s “Equine Live” with Gottsch to discuss the network’s plans to air Roy Rogers movies and share memories with viewers.
According to the network announcement, RFD-TV and the Rogers family will team up for the Saturday airings of Roy Rogers movies, with Dusty introducing each episode while providing inside stories on growing up with Roy and Dale. In addition, western music performed by Dusty, his son Dustin, and their western group “The High Riders” will also be a part of each program.
Trigger & Bullet will be on public display in a museum wing of the new RFD-TV corporate and broadcast headquarters to be planned and built in the next year. In the meantime, RFD-TV, based in Omaha, said it is looking for a proper setting where fans may still visit and have their pictures taken during the interim.