HN flim critic Amanda Ronan has a look back at a 1952 episode of The Cisco Kid titled “Quarter Horse,” featuring an old-fashioned quarter horse vs. thoroughbred showdown.
Top photo: Wikimedia Commons
“Here’s adventure! Here’s romance! …the Cisco Kid!”
As this episode opens we see a lovely lady, Helen, riding a chestnut Quarter Horse. Then with a beauty queen like wave to her father, Joe Butler, she suddenly bolts down the track at break neck speed!
A Thoroughbred owning neighbor, Frank Wallace, and his horse trainer, Terry, happen by and the name callin’ dirt kickin’ ensues. “…faster than any Thoroughbred…long-legged hay burners…crow bait…”
The two men banter back and forth until a bet is made, Thoroughbred versus Quarter Horse the next morning for a whopping $5000.
But Terry is more fiendish than he seems. Our heroes, Cisco and Pancho, enter the show just in time to stop him from viciously whipping a horse. They save the horse, but make an enemy of Terry.
The next morning, the match race is ruined when the Thoroughbred’s cinch mysteriously breaks. Cisco says the cinch smells of acid and he smells a saboteur!
Then there is a gunfight pitting Cisco and Pancho against Terry and an evil minion! The minion is killed but Terry manages to escape.
Meanwhile, Joe gets himself into another bet, this time with a man named Jackson. This race pits four Butler Quarter Horses in a relay style event against one Thoroughbred over the course of a mile. The bet is a staggering $50,000!
And who will be the Quarter Horse jockey? Why, Cisco of course!
Who will win the big race? Will the nefarious Terry be brought to justice? You’ll just have to watch and see!
This TV show predates me by over 30 years, and I’ve honestly never watched any reruns. Boy, was I missing out! This is classical western drama to the hilt with really abominable baddies versus horse loving heroes. Add in a ridiculous wager and a gunfight and you’ve got 24 minutes of horseback hilarity! True, Cisco had more pancake make-up on then a nightmare clown, Pancho was a horrible ethnic stereotype, and one of the horse stunts made me cringe, but still…this is classic!
Notable Pancho zingers: “Maybe now he knows how the horse feels.” – In regards to Cisco giving baddie Terry a beat down.
“Remember, mister, when you lose your temper it’s the hardest thing to find.”
“Why they wantta bushwackle us?” – Commentary post gunfight.
I give The Cisco Kid episode “Quarter Horse” 2 ½ Golden Horseshoes.
This episode is available free via http://archive.org/details/Cisco_Kid_-_Quarter_Horse