(January 14, 2002)
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"The Appaloosa"
Appaloosa photo
Cojo Rojo with Marlon Brando in the saddle
(photos of Cojo Rojo courtesy of Sylvia Durando)

Cojo Rojo - Appaloosa News cover Nov 1966
Cojo Rojo - Appaloosa News cover November 1966

COJO ROJO, ApHC #10535, was foaled on February 2, 1960, in California.

South West to Sonora was the original title for a movie that became the 1966 production of The Appaloosa. The fellow riding Rojo in this photo starred in the movie and has long been regarded a "Hollywood heavyweight" -- Marlon Brando.

Rojo and his half-brother, Bixby, came from Fred Bixby's Cojo Ranch in Lompock, California. The crew at Universal Studios had looked over several Appaloosas, for use in the movie, finally selecting Bixby because they wanted a black horse, and he happened to be black, while Rojo was a blood bay. But, the owners had roached Bixby's mane and the director, Sidney Furie, told them that he wanted a horse just like that, but with a mane. Cojo Rojo was dyed black and the rest is movie history.

It was said that Cojo Rojo was out of a registered Thoroughbred mare, but I haven't been able to find information to back that up.

Some talk has circulated as to how he, Cojo Rojo, got his name and what it means in Spanish. Mr. Bixby purchased the California ranch in the early 1900's and the story goes that a lame Indian was living on the land at that time, hence the ranch name "Cojo." "Cojo" translates "cripple" and "Rojo" translates to "red." I sort of doubt they meant to name the horse "Red Cripple."

(The Cojo Rojo photos and most of the information is courtesy of Sylvia Durando, owner of Cojo Rojo at the time the movie was made. Read and see more photos at

(ApHC 10535)
1960 bay
(ApHC F-1813)

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