Trigger Reviews

“One may not immediately think the word ‘scholarship’ might apply to a book about a pop-culture figure like Roy Rogers’ famous horse, but Pando has done just that in this impressive hardcover book. This diligently researched volume traces the fascinating story of the equine star, his original trainer, his offspring, and his human co-stars. Fully annotated and heavily illustrated. . . “Leonard Maltin, movie critic, author, and television host of “Secret’s Out”

“There is perhaps no greater iconic image of the West of popular culture than that of Trigger reared straight up with Rogers on his back waving. Who among us didn’t at one time wish we had a horse like Trigger, if not Trigger himself? You might buy some collectibles to regain that nostalgia but if you want to know the real Trigger’s full story, Leo Pando’s book is the source to consult.”Big Reel

“Leo Pando’s book complements and makes the perfect companion to the Phillips book. It pretty much is the definitive work on the lives and careers of the various Triggers. Even if the Rogers family have any further information which is probably unlikely coupled with the fact that all the now deceased main principles of the Trigger legend have taken their knowledge to their graves this book will be now regarded as the authoritative source for the lives and careers of the Golden Cloud and his successors.”Bruce Hickey – Wrangler’s Roost published in Great Britain, 2007

“Leo Pando has written a love story that B-Western fans around the world can resonate with. The story of Trigger (and Roy Rogers) captivated people from the 1940s to the 60s. His in depth analysis and affection tinged discussions tell the stories of the horses who shared one name, Trigger. Whether Little Trigger, Trigger Jr, or the ‘old Man,’ we loved them all the same. Awesome photos and great insight from the Randall family on the training and care of Trigger. . . No Trigger fan should be without this book.”

“The writing is excellent; the numerous photos are superb and original. . . a real contribution to B-Western film history, as well as finding new and fresh information on Trigger. . . serious scholarship, the kind that is more than fan writing.”Ray White – author of King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West – Roy Rogers and Dale Evans

“At last we have a definitive reference book on Trigger – all of the ‘Triggers’ – complete with documentation and plenty of photos. The book is well-bound and includes comprehensive endnotes, a bibliography and index. Unlike many reference books, this one is easy to read and hard to put down. It is well worth the price.”Elizabeth Drake McDonald – The Bob Nolan Archives

Dale Evans on Pal and Roy Rogers on Little Trigger take a practice bow.

“Trigger was my first equine hero, almost mythical in his beauty and intelligence, the stuff of dreams and, latterly of profound nostalgia. This second edition of Leo Pando’s compellingly readable account of the life of the majestic golden stallion who was considered for decades to be “the smartest horse in the movies” builds upon his meticulously researched first edition with abundant new information about Trigger before and during his partnership with the King of the Cowboys, about his very visible but lesser-known performance doubles, and about the people who devised and crafted his long and extraordinary career in the budget cowboy films that garnered him the adoration of millions. Pando’s book will enchant those who fell under Trigger’s spell half a century ago and those to whom his story is new.”Karen Tweedy-Holmes, equine photographer, Horse Sanctuary (Rizzoli, 2013)

” . . . includes all of what went before and plenty more with a second greatly expanded edition . . . There’s a bountiful amount of new information, 200 images (90 new ones) and new aspects of Trigger’s life story that were left partially unresolved, including the fate of Roy and Trigger’s legacy. Not to be missed!”—Boyd Magers Western Clippings, 2019

“. . . Leo has been fascinated by the legend of Trigger since childhood and has spent years investigating and uncovering facts behind the make-believe images and myths we accepted without question as we watch our heroes. This highly readable book contains over 200 photographs and is packed with information about Gene Autry and Champ and more. . . .” —Colin Momber, Wrangler’s Roost, newsletter published in Great Britain, 2019

David Morrell, New York Times best selling-author, creator of Rambo/First Blood and Brotherhood of the Rose, mini-review – December issue ROUNDUP magazine – Western Writers of America.

“I never thought anyone could come up with enough to do a whole book on Trigger, but the book is FANTASTIC. It is wonderfully written with lots of great photos. I know you probably think a whole book on Trigger it would not be very interesting reading, but I promise it is – or I would not recommend it.”Bobby Copeland – author of Silent Hoofbeats and B-Western Boot Hill

“Leo Pando offers meticulous detail on all the horses and men who created and nurtured the legend of Trigger. . . You’ll come away knowing more about the most famous horse in westerns than you ever deemed possible.”Western Clippings, 2007

“I don’t know when I have seen anyone who has tried harder to get things right. (Leo) has been tireless in tracking down the best sources for the many versions of the Roy Rogers and Trigger stories. Sometimes this has meant just going with the version that made the best sense. But Leo has always consulted enough sources to make sure that what he says does make the most sense. Leo has found pictures that I didn’t know existed (in most cases, I don’t think Dad knew of them either).

Thank you, Leo, for allowing me to work with you on this book. You have produced a masterful work.”Cheryl Rogers-Barnett, author of Cowboy Princes and Cowboy Princes Rides Again

“Rambo’s creator is a Trigger/Roy Rogers fan. Leo Pando’s book about these iconic Western figures is amazingly informative, entertaining, and revealing. Major secrets are uncovered. I couldn’t stop turning the pages and saying, ‘Wow, I didn’t know THAT.’”David Morrell, New York Times best selling-author, creator of Rambo/First Blood and Brotherhood of the Rose

“Leo Pando’s An Illustrated History of Trigger was published over ten years ago and was deemed by myself and many others as the definitive work on Roy Rogers’ famous palomino and many look-alikes, doubles, etc. In 2019, Leo’s Trigger – The Lives and Legend of Roy Rogers’ Palomino – second edition adds recently discovered info and lots more details on Trigger, Little Trigger, more, and includes nearly a hundred new photos, many of which have never been published. A great read from Leo with significant updates from his earlier Trigger volume.”Chuck Anderson, The Old Corral

“Pando did an excellent job of finding original documentation and speaking to/finding letters, interviews, etc. with the children of those involved in Trigger’s career. . . Pando wades through all the literature and helps separate myth from fact, and explains how he came to those conclusions. . . All photos are in black and white and these images are the highlight of the book.”Feathered Quill Book Reviews, Amazon

“This book is THE authority on Trigger. . . . .”
New Mexico Palomino Exhibitors Association

“In a time in business where marketing was king and embellishment was the norm, Leo Pando has done yeoman’s work in searching out and documenting the impact one golden horse had on a society of people. Leo makes every effort to explain why Trigger was loved by so many and why he has gone down in history as America’s favorite horse.” —Dr. Floyd Branson, Vice President Palomino Horse Breeders Heritage Foundation

You might not guess that a biography of a horse world run more than 300 pages — and that it would be an interesting read. But Leo Pando (’70 BAFA) has pulled it off in Trigger: The Lives and Legend of Roy Rogers’ Palomino (McFarland 2019), a second edition of his 2007 book, An Illustrated History of Trigger. Why write a book about a palomino stallion that’s been dead and stuffed for more than a half-century, Pando asks? “Trigger was a horse I fell in love with as a little boy,” is his answer. It’s probably not a spoiler to reveal that singing cowboy Roy Rogers rode many “Triggers” during his TV and film career. But it might surprise readers to learn that Trigger received hundreds of fan letters a month.” — Mirage (alumni magazine), Fall 2019, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.