The Horse with the Flying Tail is a 1960 American documentary film by Walt Disney Pictures, that won the Best Documentary award at the 33rd Academy Awards. The movie is about the palomino horse, Nautical, who won the team gold medal at the 1959 Pan American Games. It was released theatrically in a double-movie bill both with Swiss Family Robinson and One Hundred and One Dalmatians.
The TV version is the master used for DVD and digital download releases.
The movie portrays this horse as having been a nondescript stock horse, however, he was sired by an American Quarter Horse named Muchacho de Oro out of an Army Remount mare of mostly Thoroughbred breeding.
This horse's registered name was Pelo de Oro, which was given to him at birth. He became an open jumper and was shown in the national horse show circuit in the United States. Open jumpers compete for scores based on faults (if a jump is refused or a rail knocked down) and time elapsed to complete the course. Prior to his Olympic fame, he had a reputation as a temperamental jumper who was inclined to stop at water and ditch jumps. Such refusals would disqualify a jumper from an event and his nickname among competitors was, Sneaky Pete, for those obvious reasons.
He was an excellent jumper (when willing), however, and when he cleared a fence, Sneaky Pete consistently would raise his tail in the characteristic fashion shown in the photograph displayed from the film. That tail, raised so high, was repeated for each faultless jump and spectators at horse shows relied upon this signal from the horse to record his scores, without waiting for the results from the judges. Hence the title of the film about his career.
When he was obtained by Hugh Wiley, Wiley enlisted the help of the United States Equestrian Team coach, Bertalan de Nemethy, and together the two men trained the horse to be the Olympic level open jumper he became. At that time he became known as Nautical and was ridden regularly by members of the U. S. Equestrian Team in international competitions.
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