The Cisco Kid and his English-mangling sidekick Pancho travel the old west in the grand
tradition of the Lone Ranger, righting wrongs and fighting injustice wherever they find it.
The Many Faces of Diablo
As some of the many fans of The Cisco Kid, we actually watched the show on TV when it was broadcast in the 50's.
Today we watch it for nostalgia and the pure fun of what was broadcast for entertainment on early TV. The
producers and directors did not care much for maintaining the structure and uniformity of the day to day
appearance of the actors, animals and props they used. It does seem funny that we now watch the series to pick
up on the errors that were made and usually not corrected. The reason for this was mostly due to cost, time
constrains, and in those days they just did not care about realism. Wire and plaster of Paris rocks often moved
when the actors bumped up against them. Or, you might notice dead bad guys breathing. At times you could hear an
airplane flying by. We've seen at least three episodes where people were knocked off their horses by riding under
a tree and getting hit by the same low hanging branch. A prime example of the relaxed attitude towards realism in
those days is Diablo. Will the real Diablo please stand up?
With Pancho's horse, Loco, using a duplicate would seemingly not be noticed. A Palomino is a Palomino. But, Diablo was a horse of a different color. In most of the episodes there were only one or two Diablos used. The real Diablo had two white front forelegs and a dark streak below the left eye. This, among other things, is missing on the doubles. Today special effects would paint the horse to look correct or fix it digitally. Many of the running and stunt riding scenes were done with a Diablo that had two black or one white and one black front foreleg. Other obvious tip-offs were the head and neck markings and the body color of Diablo. Substituting different horses for different scenes was not unusual in those days. A modern example of different horses being used are the American Pinto Mustangs used in Hidalgo. In Hidalgo the duplicates were painted to closely match the looks of the main horse. We suspect that the Cisco Kid producers thought that as long as all the Pintos they used had similar markings no one would notice. So far we, ourselves, have identified five different Diablos.
Was Diablo a Pinto or a Paint? In the early 1950's when the Cisco Kid was filmed, the term Paint and Pinto were used (whether right or wrong) interchangeably. By the early 1960's there were several organizations that were registering Paint Horses as a breed. The APQHA registry was formed in 1961 and the APSHA registry was formed in 1962. Both registries agreed to merge in 1965 and form the American Paint Horse Association (APHA). Paint Horses have conformational characteristics of a western stock horse with a Pinto spotting pattern of white and dark coat colors. Paint Horses can only have the bloodlines of Quarter Horses, Paint Horses or Thoroughbreds in their pedigrees. Pintos (the Spanish word for color) on the other hand are a color breed, and horses can be of any parentage as long as coat requirements are fulfilled. Since Diablo outdates these horse registries and we cannot find any history of Diablo's parentage, the horse could be from any source: Arabian, Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Andalusian, Mustang or many others. However, since the Cisco Kid is supposedly about two Latin desperadoes, my guess is that Diablo is, or should be, a Pinto Mustang. In the episode titled "The Runaway Kid" which aired on 2/15/1953, Cisco told a little boy to go hug Diablo. When the little boy asked which horse was Diablo, Cisco said "the Pinto" was Diablo.
Now it is your turn. How many Diablos can you find? If more than five, please let us know.
This information was sent to us and we checked it out. It is correct.
Do you want to see Diablo and a Diablo double? Put a Cisco Kid TV show in your DVD player, or record one on a DVR. View the opening titles and credits. Renaldo and Carrillo ride down a hill and pull up as the announcer blares "Here's Romance!" Renaldo is riding Diablo with that long, dark streak behind the left eye. A few seconds later Cisco and Pancho are galloping on a dusty trail - and Renaldo is riding a double.
Diablo was in many movies before the TV Cisco Kid, including some Cisco Kid movies in the 40's. Diablo's owner/trainer was Ralph McCutcheon who also owned/trained another famous Pinto, Dice (Pair O'Dice). When the Cisco Kid series ended, Duncan Renaldo purchased Diablo and kept this beautiful horse stabled at his Santa Barbara ranch.
As Pancho and Cisco would say laughing at the end of most episodes, "Oh, Pancho!" "Oh, Cisco!", before galloping off to, “Goodbye Amigos.” “See you soon, Ha!”. Oh yes, one final thing: In the first version of the ending credits the real Diablo is in the scene, but not in all the variations of the ending credits.
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