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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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Laura Ingle

New York, NY

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Happy Trails To Trigger

July 14, 2010 - 2:17 PM | by: Laura Ingle

How much would you pay to own a giant stuffed horse standing up on it’s hind legs?  A cable company in Omaha Nebraska ponied up more than $266,000 dollars last night at  Christie’s Auction for Trigger, one of America’s most famous horses to ever hit the silver screen.

The 2 day auction featured all kinds of cowboy and cowgirl things that were once inside The Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum in Branson Missouri. Roy Rogers beloved Palomino horse Trigger, which starred in 88 movies, and 100 TV shows, along side “The King of the Cowboys,” was considered to be one of the main draws of the event.  Roy Rogers loyal dog Bullet, which was also sent to a taxidermist after his passing was sold for $35,000 dollars,  and Dale Evan’s preserved horse Buttermilk went for $25,000 dollars.

Christie’s started auctioning off more than 1,000 pieces from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum this week. The museum was forced to close last year.  The family run museum had been around for over 4 decades, but had struggled to stay afloat during tough economic times.

Roy Rogers Jr. told me that the rent was over $3,000 dollars a month and it took “a lot of 9 dollar tickets to cover that.” It was a difficult decision for family members to close the doors, but Rogers told his children many years ago that if the museum ever became a burden and a hardship, he wanted them to sell it. The High Noon Western Americana group along with the family had tried to place Trigger, Buttermilk, and Bullet with a national museum, but most institutions the family contacted told them the costs were too high to to expand and care for the western exhibits.

Click here to see a slideshow.