The box office horse melting hearts
ROCKHAMPTON'S pain is Longreach's gain.
Horse trainer Tony Hart has bravely bid farewell to a friend of 16 years, Kenny the bucking horse.
Not only a bucking horse, Kenny rose to box office fame in the movie Charlie and Boots starring Paul Hogan and Shane Jacobson.
When he came to Tony in 2009 it was his job to re-train him. Seven years on he is a riding horse with every trick in the book.
But when Tony got wind of the Stockman's Hall of Fame, a live show paying tribute to the outback, needed a new horse for their production, he knew Kenny was the one.
"Kenny has a kind manner about him. He was always made for the movies and he will be in his element out there, he loves the people,” a proud Tony revealed.
"He is a character, a one in a million horse. So I am proud that they wanted to purchase him.
"When I found out they were looking for a new horse for their indoor arena and restaurant I thought it was the perfect opportunity for him.”
But as Tony calmly chauffeured his mate around the grass there was a twinge of reluctance in his eye.
"I will certainly miss him but it is too good an opportunity for him. What better place for Kenny to go and shine then the Stockman's Hall of Fame?
"I will miss his gentle eye and his kindness. You just want to give him a big hug.
"He is a real cool dude, an individual. He just draws you into him.
"All the time at my shows people would come and ask if they could come and pat him.”
Kenny will perform in three weekly shows amassing an expected annual audience of more than 25,000 people.
Being a trickster and showman, it is his job to melt the audience's hearts.
"He can be ridden, can buck, pull a carriage, lie down on his pillow and a few other secret tricks,” he said.
"Kenny has done some beautiful things here, run around at the Great Western Hotel with a team of horses here.
"I think he could live till 30, he won't be over worked, just have to do an hours work in the show.
"I couldn't think of a better place in Australia for him to go. People will just enjoy him, he is a people person.”
Tony and Kenny parted ways earlier this week.