CTVA - The Virginian 4.13 [103] "The Horse Fighter" 15-Dec-1965

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4.13 [103]
"The Horse Fighter"

NBC Broadcast - 15 December 1965

Universal TV
Executive Producer Norman Macdonnell
Produced by James Duff McAdams
Written by Richard Fielder
Directed by Tony Leader

(shown on the ride-in)(all appear in this episode)
Lee J. Cobb as Judge Henry Garth
Doug McClure as Trampas
Clu Gulager as Emmett Ryker
Randy Boone as Randy Benton
Diane Roter as Jennifer Sommers
James Drury as The Virginian

Guest Star
Harry Guardino [Sam Willock]

Full ending credits:
Kelly Thordsen as Mace
Don Dubbins as Albi
Stuart Anderson as Stratton
Nolan Leary as The Doctor
Theme by Percy Faith
Director of Photography Benjamin H. Kline, A.S.C.
Art Director  . . .  George Patrick
Film Editor  . . .  J. Howard Terrill
Unit Manager  . . .  Ben Bishop
Assistant Director  . . .  Jack Doran
Set Decorators  . . .  John McCarthy and James M. Walters
Sound  . . .  Melvin M. Metcalfe, Sr.
Color Coordinator  . . .  Robert Brower
Color by Pathé
Editorial Dept. Head  . . .  David J. O'Connell
Musical Supervision  . . .  Stanley Wilson
Costume Supervisor  . . .  Vincent Dee
Makeup  . . .  Bud Westmore
Hair Stylist  . . .  Larry Germain
The Title "THE VIRGINIAN" by permission of EMKA, LTD.

Series regular characters appearing in this episode:  featuring Randy with
the Virginian, Trampas, Ryker, Jennifer, and brief appearance by Judge
Garth.  Also brief glimpse of ranch hands Harper (carrying the Judge's
suitcase) and possibly Cecil (sitting at the bunkhouse table)

Sam Willock (Guardino) was well known as having been the best bronco buster
around.  But his aging bones couldn't handle the rough riding anymore, and
he longed to retire on a horse ranch of his own.  But that kind of dream
required a sizeable amount of money--much more than he'd been able to save
over the years. Teaming up with two crooks in
a scheme to steal the payroll Willock hired on at Shiloh after the mustang
roundup assuring the Virginian that he was just as good a "horse fighter" as
he'd ever been.  Sam chose Randy, who had no pre-conceived ideas about
training horses and was eager to learn from the master, to be his helper. As
the two men began to respect and trust each other Sam mentioned to Randy his
desire for a horse ranch, and Randy confided that he had been saving up to
buy a horse farm of his own some day.  A beautiful black stallion had
injured all the men who had tried to
saddle break him, and Judge Garth and the Virginian had given orders that no one
was to get on the wild one again. But while the Judge and foreman were away
from the ranch Willock, who was reconsidering his involvement in the robbery, vowed  he
would give Randy a mount worthy of his dream and saddled up the bronc.
The horse proved to be too much for the older man to handle, and Randy,
afraid that Willock would gentle the black or die trying, took over the
task.  With Sam's coaching Randy was able to tame the animal, but when the
Virginian returned to Shiloh and saw the boy riding the stallion he fired
Willock for disobeying orders and putting Randy's life in danger.  Angry
about Sam's dismissal and that no one thought he could handle the black,
Randy was sulking in the bunkhouse when Trampas and another hand came in and
started teasing him about a picture of a Thoroughbred he had cut from a
magazine.  A fight ensued over the picture, and when the Virginian came in
to break it up Randy turned his frustration on him.  The foreman's efforts
to calm him proved futile as the young cowboy, who had learned the principle
of handling life's problems from Sam, said no matter how many times he
got knocked down he was going to get up and fight again.  The Virginian
asked what Randy wanted of him, and Randy replied that he wanted him to give
Sam back his job.  Even though reinstated, that night when Wade (Thordsen) and Albi
(Dubbins) came to steal the payroll it seemed too late for
Willock to back out of his deal with them.  Several of the Shiloh hands joined Ryker to go after
the thieves, and the Virginian told Randy he shouldn't judge a man by theone bad
thing he had done in his life.  Concerned for his friend, Randy left camp to
warn Willock that the posse would be there in the morning.   Sam wanted him to go and not
bother with a "worthless, lying, cheating horse fighter at the end of his
rope," but Randy assured him that he was a good man and wasn't at the end of
his rope because he still had a dream.  The two agreed that if they could
find a way out they would go off together to start that horse farm, but Mace
decided Randy would make a good hostage.  As Mace went to wake Albi for the
get-away Sam told
Randy to leave and that he would be right behind him.  In the gunfire that
followed Sam killed the two outlaws but received a fatal wound himself,
bemoaning as he died that it was a "heck of a way for a horse fighter to go out.  I
should have been kicked in the head by a prize horse like that black
stallion."  Sam Willock was buried on the top of a hill, and Randy unsaddled the
stallion and let him go, telling the Virginian, "He'd always remind me of
Sam.  He's just like him, born to run wild and free." (bj)

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