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Thursday, October 08, 2009

Frank T. Hopkins

Have you seen Hidalgo yet?

Frank Hopkins (1865? 1885? – 1951) was a cowboy from the United States. He was known by his stories about his own exploits and was also recognized by his contemporaries as both an accomplished distance rider and an activist for the preservation of the Mustang.[citation needed]

Hopkins made a number of disputed claims, including claims of being a famous endurance horse racer who won over 400 races, and his involvement in a legendary 3,000-mile horse race that passed the Gulf of Syria and the inland borders of two other countries, which was supposed to have taken place in Arabia in 1890. This story was adapted into the 2004 film Hidalgo starring Viggo Mortensen. However, some[1] argue that most of Hopkins' claims as depicted in the film, including the existence of any such race in the first place, are 'tall tales' or hoaxes.

In 2006, John Fusco, the screenwriter of Hidalgo, responded to the disputed items. He admitted that he took parts of Hopkins' 1891 desert memories and "heightened the 'Based On' story to create an entertaining theatrical film" but asserts that the story of the man and his horse are true. Fusco offers quotes from those who knew Hopkins along with information found in old texts to verify his story.

According to the film, the descendants of the horse Hidalgo, for which the movie was named, live among the Gilbert Jones herd of Spanish Mustangs on Blackjack Mountain in Oklahoma.

Frank Hopkins is interred in Lutheran All Faiths Cemetery in Middle Village, Queens County, New York City.

According to the Longriders Guild, the Yemen Government, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabian Government there has never been an "Ocean of Fire" race. According to Dr. Aw Al-Bawdi, director of research at the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, "There is Absolutely no record or reference to Hopkins, with or without his mustangs, ever setting foot on Arabian soil."

Frank's age is also questionable. When he married in Los Angeles in 1929, he wrote on the marriage license that he was only 44 years old. That would place his birth at about 1885.
Hopkins also claimed to have been employed by "Buffalo Bill's" Wild West Show. But the curator of the Buffalo Bill Museum states his name is nowhere to be found in the archives. However, he is listed as being employed by the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1917, as a horse performer.

--Hidalgo's descendants run free today in the Gilbert Jones herd of Spanish Mustangs on Blackjack Mountain, Oklahoma.--

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Health Tip of The Day

Chronicles of Narnia

Book 1 The Magician’s Nephew

Book 2 The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Book 3 The Horse and His Boy

Book 4 Prince Caspian

Book 5 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Book 6 The Silver Chair

Book 7 The Last Battle

SOITC

Jennifer Hoover (Special Olympics Athlete and Advocate)