War Horse was released in the US in December 2011 and it is the story of a horse named Joey who is first owned by a British called Albert (played by Jeremy Irvine) and sold off to a British cavalry and shipped to France during World War I (1914-1918). The film tracks the boy who embarks on a mission to bring home his beloved horse. It is an American war drama film which was directed and co-produced by Steven Spielberg.
The film is based on English author Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 novel of the same name.
During the premiere of the movie, all the stars walked the red carpet including the author of the novel, but one celebrity who was strikingly missing was the horse who had played the major part of Joey. His name was Finder’s Key (or Finder) and whilst the human stars were all lapping up the praises and accolades for having made and acted in the film, Finder was miles away in his ranch oblivious of all the fun and fame around the movie.
So who is Finder’s Key and how was he trained? What was his life like before he became a celebrity horse? Let us draw a biographical sketch and see how Finder shot to fame due to his roles in his films!
Finder’s birth and ownership
Finder had a crucial role in this film and has played the most dramatic scenes in the movie. He was born in 1999 and was owned by Vincent Timphony and his wife, Scarlet. Vincent was a little-known horse trainer. They had wanted to use Finder for racing and in 2002, a 3-year-old Finder was put to race. But he did not like it and never finished higher than the fifth position.
Finder also raced on the Los Alamitos Race Course, Orange County, CA. His former trainer from Los Alamitos was Curly Ortiz and he admitted that in spite of being bred aristocratically, Finder did not turn out to be a gem in racing. He said:
“I had never thought that Finder would become a movie star.”
Timphony had died in 2010 but his wife Scarlet said:
“Horses are like people, You can’t tell what’s inside by just looking at them.”
“So there we were, trying to force Finders Key to race when what he wanted to do was be in the movies.”
Finder finds his international fame
Finder came under the care of horse whisperer, Bobby Lovgren. Bobby only nods and never touches or whips Finder to get the work done from him. He feels that ‘confidence and repetition’ works. Bobby said:
“I really teach the horse to have confidence in me and his surroundings.”
Bobby describes Finder in these words:
“And he’s not a quiet type of horse. He is like a wild child at times. He’s a handful, but he just loves being in front of the camera. Just about the only thing, he’s not very good at is standing still. He is Mr. Hollywood himself.”
His first major role was in the 2003 horseracing drama called Seabiscuit. In 2005, Finder starred in Legend of Zorro. He also appeared in The Morgans (2009) and Unstoppable (2010). He has also been cast in several US TV shows. He had the lead and heart-breaking role in War Horse (2011). Though 14 horses were used to shoot the film and play the role of Joey from the foal stage to an adult, the most dramatic scenes were played by Finder. The barbed wire scene in which rubber barbs were used was also played by Finder.
Finder also worked in a Snow White movie named Mirror, Mirror in Montreal, and also was cast (in black color)n in American TV crime series CSI Miami. He is a great Hollywood star in every sense only that he is not aware of it. He had a height of 15 hands and 2 inches. He also has a Facebook page of his own.
As per the records available on the internet, Finder is still alive and well. There is nothing known about his mating and offsprings. We wish the best of health and life for this international celebrity animal!