King Charles in National Velvet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-02-2014, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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King Charles in National Velvet

I'm trying to do some fact checking about this horse (King Charles), and I find plenty of things stating that he is the grandson of Man O' War, a few things stating that is false, and no resources for proof either way. I can't find a reliable pedigree for him. Does anyone have any good information on him, or perhaps some good resources that I may have overlooked? Also, I don't think there's a good chance of this happening, as i've been looking forever, but does anyone know where that racecourse map Mickey Rooney and Elizabeth Taylor used in the training scenes came from? or where to get a good picture of it, or a copy of it?
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-02-2014, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-13-2014, 01:31 PM
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Interesting topic! I love movie horses.

I looked around online, so far all I have learned is that, one site has stated he was a son of Man O' War.


Elizabeth Taylor and King Charles in 1944's National Velvet
Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

In many ways, it was a horse who first brought an exquisite 11-year-old actress named Elizabeth Taylor to the public’s attention, propelling her into stardom and forever changing her life. In her first starring role, as Velvet Brown in the 1944 film National Velvet, the young girl whose violet eyes would entrance millions for decades to come climbed aboard a chestnut Thoroughbred horse named The Pie (for his piebald color). Velvet, the heroine from the 1935 novel by Enid Bagnold, eventually rides to victory in England’s greatest racing event, the Grand National Steeplechase. And Elizabeth Taylor rode into our hearts.
It was the horse who brought her to our attention, and it was Taylor who brought King Charles to the attention of Hollywood. She met the show hunter and jumper, who was trained by world-famous horseman Egon Merz, at the Riviera Country Club in West Los Angeles when the owner offered to let Taylor ride him. The young actress’s fondness for the horse eventually got King Charles (sometimes erroneously identified as the grandson of Man O’ War) a part in the classic. A girl and her horse was a time-honored convention even then, but the story’s focus on the power of the animal-human bond in National Velvet was decades ahead of its time, as was its storyline of an ordinary young girl whose dedication allowed her to accomplish an extraordinary feat. The experience of making the film with the horse would forever affect Taylor, well beyond the permanent injury to her back suffered in a fall.
“The relationship between King Charles, the horse’s real name, and me was so special,” Taylor told Cowboys & Indians through her spokesperson at The Elizabeth Taylor HIV/AIDS Foundation. “He was given to me on the last day of shooting and it is a memory that I cherish. There never was a sweeter, more noble animal, and caring for him was a great source of responsibility and happiness. We trusted each other. We loved each other. He lived at stables in Pacific Palisades, California, and I rode and visited him whenever I could. Every little girl deserves the kind of miracle experience that I enjoyed while doing National Velvet and bonding with that magnificent soul. My heart still swells whenever I think of him, and I still do — often.”
And so do millions who have been touched by the book and the movie — and the horse — that made Elizabeth Taylor famous.
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post #4 of 5 Old 11-13-2014, 02:58 PM
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According to one Trivia site the map used was based on the actual Aintree Grand National race course (Near Liverpool UK and still in place and run each year) and supposed to be very accurate
I found the film to be very disappointing compared to the book, I wish someone would remake it and stay true to the original story
The horse in the book was not a chestnut either but a black and white horse and the name Pie was short for the UK word for that colouring - Piebald
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-12-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for trying y'all! I gave up and just photoshopped something relatively close to it (not really that close...). It is based on the actual Aintree course, which is pretty cool. I tried to find proof that king charles was the grandson of Man O' War, but the closest thing i found was Elizabeth Taylor saying he was (good enough for me!)
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