Mister Ed Was a Zebra, Not a Horse-Fiction!
Summary of eRumor:
Rumors have persisted for years that Mister Ed was actually a zebra, not a horse.
Mister Ed was a horse … of course.
Rumors that the horse that starred as Mister Ed in the popular 1960s sit-com by the same name have been around for years, but they’re totally false.
A palomino horse named Bamboo Harvester played Mister Ed throughout the entire show’s run from 1958 to 1966, IMBD reports:
Mister Ed, a Palomino horse officially named Bamboo Harvester, was a show and parade horse who was foaled in 1949 in El Monte, California. His parents were The Harvester (Sire), a Saddlebred owned by Edna and Jim Fagan; and Zetna, (Dam) who was sired by Antez, an Arabian imported from Poland. Bamboo Harvester was trained by Lester Hilton.
Bamboo Harvester (or Mister Ed) died of “complications from old age.” He’s buried at the Snodgrass Farm in Oklahoma.
Rumors that Mister Ed was a zebra have been around for years, but it’s not clear exactly where they started. The (false) legend goes that TV viewers weren’t able to see Mister Ed’s zebra stripes because the black and white contrast of televisions in the 1960s was so poor.
As proof, people have pointed to televised 1960s football games in which the “zebra stripes” on referees’ shirts appeared as a flat white on television screens.
That might be true, but this eRumor isn’t.
…Mr. Ed was in fact a Zebra, and that he (female zebra actually) appeared to be a whitish mono-colored horse on 60’s B&W television because of the limitations of technology. Why couldn’t television resolve closely integrated black and white images. Zebra and referee stripes are pretty distinct. What was it about them that gave older B&W broadcast television fits?