From the Archives: 10th Cavalry rides again

June 12, 1966: Forty African Americans go through training as horsemen at a Burbank stable.
June 12, 1966: Forty African Americans go through training as horsemen at a Burbank stable.
( Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

The horsemen were training for roles in an independent movie about the segregated 10th U.S. Cavalry of the late 1800s. Actors Bryan King and Woody Strode worked to turn city boys into horsemen using the same training regiment used by the 10th Cavalry.

A story in the June 13, 1966, Los Angeles Times reported:

Until 8 weeks ago, most of them (the boys) had never been close to a horse. But today they sit a saddle with all the poise of a seasoned cavalryman….

Plans are for the 40 horsemen to appear in an independent movie production called, “The Saga of the 10th Cavalry,” to be produced by King and Strode.


King and Strode have uncovered the actual training manuals of the cavalry and are using them as the basis of their training program.

King, who wrote the script and will recreate the role of the white commanding officer, said:

“The reason why we have gone to so much trouble with these handpicked men is because the men they represent were the finest horsemen in the business. There will be no doubles in this movie.”

Strode, a former professional football player, added that at the completion of training, the horsemen will be able to execute cavalry maneuvers with precision “like hoisting a man on foot up behind the rider while traveling at full gallop.”

Unfortunately, the movie was never made, but the re-created 10th Cavalry unit appeared in several parades, state fairs and television shows — including a 1968 episode of “The High Chaparral.”

This post was originally published on July 3, 2012.

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