Tornado is the name of the horse that we all saw in the television series El Zorro.
Black, fast, charismatic, passionate, an incomparable companion.
Today we are going to share some aspects about this equine that was recorded in our memories.
Tornado, a special horse
Horses have been actors of famous movies. The producers have highlighted their beauty, sense of freedom and skills.
Horses performances are so amazing that they gave impetus to the development of equestrian sport.
The actors and many people learned to ride, to perform the scenes, or just for pleasure. Behind a great hero there is a great horse.
The production of El Zorro trained 11 horses. Each horse was expert in a task, such as running by the train or standing still without moving.
They also trained others for scenes of great beauty, making great jumps over precipices, etc.
For some postures like crossing the legs, bending, and others that are not natural, it takes a lot of training, so it seemed that Tornado had all the qualities.
Tornado, Zorro’s Horse.
The Zorro is a masked hero that almost everyone knows. Born between the pages of a novel, his desire for justice makes him unique. But every hero must have a great companion, and although in his early adventures he made no presence, the Fox got it.
Thirty years later Zorro got his best friend. Thanks to the television series that popularized him, the Fox got his faithful companion Tornado, Zorro’s Horse.
In this article you will learn much more about the history of Zorro, such as work of art, myth and great film production. But above all you will learn about his faithful companion Tornado, the Zorro horse.
Every horse lover discovered in Tornado one of his first passions and that’s the way it is for Gustavo Mirabal.
Today we will discover some interesting anecdotes and facts about this horse that had a great presence in the childhood of several generations.
Tornado, Zorro ‘s anonymous horse.
The Zorro is best known for being the masked hero of a 1950s television series. What many people don’t know is that this TV series is based on a novel written by Johnston McCulley from 1919.
His first appearance occurred in the novel “The Curse of the Capistrano” and appeared as a series written between August and September of that year.
Although Zorro’s stories do not show the name Tornado, the horse’s omnipresence is more than justified… Even if it’s not called by a name, Don Diego de la Vega’s horse had a marked identity. In its pages he describes:
“Although Don Diego didn’t used to gallop […] possessed a very beautiful horse. The animal was breezy, fast and resilient. Many nobles had wanted to buy it, but Don Diego didn’t need any more money and wanted to keep the beast”
Undoubtedly although his name had not been pronounced, Tornado was present in the pages of Johnston McCulley. From the beginning the Zorro ‘s horse had prominence even if it was an anonymous protagonist.
Who was Tornado and why all the fuss about this wonderful horse?
Zorro has marked the childhood of several generations through TV screens. But even before that Zorro marked thousands of lives with the novel “The Curse of the Capistrano”.
But it was through his television series that he made his name to Tornado, the Zorro’s Horse. This television series marked a time, so much so that it was recorded in black and white and then “colored” with advanced techniques to update it to color tv.
In many countries and through open television and digital platforms we can still watch TV series of Zorro.
But one of the things that differentiated this TV series was the identity of a horse that excelled over the others, Tornado. Zorro’s horse was not depicted as an element of the set, but was another protagonist.
This is how this horse would often steal the show with the intelligence it deployed in the stories. He also exceled with a multitude of equestrian skills such as speed and jumping.
To live up to this cluster of qualities the horse was played by a true actor-champion. And it was Walt Disney himself who personally selected the horse.
Among the dozens of horses that evaluated Walt was decided by Diamond Decorator. Walt Disney himself in person bought Diamond Decorator to make it part of the cast.
Diamond Decorator is Tornado, Zorro ’s Horse
Diamond Decorator is recognized as the lead actor representing Tornado, Zorro’s Horse. However, it should be noted that due to the diversity of feats to be performed by tornado, “specialist actors” were selected for each “action feat”
This is how Tornado is nothing more than representing the best of many horses.
Buddy Van Horn, the double action depicting Don Diego de la Vega, enjoyed riding those horses. For Diamond Decorator he had high praise.
“If you touched him with your knee, he was ready to go. He really liked to move in.”
Buddy Van Horn on Diamond Decorator
Van Horn always remembered him as a well-trained and competitive horse.
Tornado, a champion horse
The main horse that played Tornado was played by the horse named Diamond Decorator, from the quarter mile breed.
Born in 1950, the Tornado played by Diamond Decorator was the Grand Nationals Medal Class Winner.
In his credit he recorded 14 wins in consecutive shows.
Due to its color, great beauty and talent, it was acquired by Walt Disney’s Studios in 1957 to be the horse of the protagonist of the series.
This equid gathered all the qualities that the producers required but an unfortunate accident caused multiple fractures during the filming of the series.
Such was the impact that he was asleep and used other horses similar to him. Later they used other horses to continue with the shooting.
It is said that they even used a Friesian for the movie The Mask of Zorro.
Tornado ‘s action doubles, Zorro’s Horse.
Diamond Decorator’s “action doubles” were called Midnight, Rex and Ribbon. Each of the doubles had its own specialty. Each to its own extent is Tornado, The Fox Horse.
Although Diamond and Midnigth were impossible to tell apart in the footage, it was necessary not to notice the differences between the horses. Therefore, in the case of Rex and Ribbon production had to opt for some alternatives.
As an anecdote, to maintain the identical color of the horses it was chosen to use hair dye.
The friendship between the protagonist of the series Guy Williams and Diamond Decorator was long-lived. Diamond Decorator was Guy Williams’ favorite mount for the scenes. Moreover, when the series ended, Guy Williams visited Tornado at Golden Oak Ranch to “hang out.”
This Walt Disney-owned ranch was the retirement spot for the main actor that faced Tornado. Here the Fox horse was able to retire to spend his last days.
Motivated by a request from his father, Don Diego de la Vega, return to your land to do justice. For this, Don Diego de la Vega to do justice becomes the Fox
It was 1820 in the Spanish California. The town was fed up with the oppressions of the Commander, Enrique Sánchez Monasterio.
In this sense, Diego de la Vega arrives to establish order and freedom with his friend Bernardo, who is mute.
Together they embark on a great adventure. That great adventure involves a beautiful horse, a champion, a legendary that would be recorded in the mind and heart: Tornado.
In the stories, Zorro has a high bounty on his head, but is too skilled and cunning for the bumbling authorities to catch. Zorro also delights in publicly humiliating them. Zorro is an acrobat and an expert in various weapons. The weapon he uses most often is his rapier, which he uses often to carve the initial “Z” on his defeated foes
Zorro is a fictitious character created in 1919 by the American writer Johnston McCulley, and whose work is set during the era of Spanish California (1769-1821) in the Town of Los Angeles. He is usually portrayed as a masked man defending the commoners and indigenous people of California against corrupt and tyrannical officials and other villains. His completely black clothing includes a cape, a hat known as a Cordovan hat and a mask that covers the upper half of his face.
Knowing Tornado, Zorro the series
If you want to see the first chapter of the series in black and white, its original colors, here we bring it. (Zorro s1 e1 – Zorro Season 1 Episode 1)
But all the feats of Zorro would be impossible without Tornado, his faithful companion and transporter. Tornado a horse that to be taken to the screen and our dreams required to gather the qualities of 14 different horses. A true dream come true.
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