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Mego: How He became the 1995 Breyerfest Horse
Original version printed in TRR PONY EXPRESS, November/December 1995
copyright 1995 Melody D. Snow

Mego & George Taylor (galloping)

It was 1993. I had passed the stables for years, but lately it had been converted into an antique store, dealing in western/cowboy items. I had a few minutes, so I pulled in. The owner was gone to a convention in Las Vegas, according to the stablehand, but I was welcome to browse.

He took me through the darkened office. Dim shapes loomed from the shadows: a leather hat case, painted cow skulls, rough wood and barbed wire frames surrounding pictures of horses and entertainers from a lifetime of rodeo work. Other photos showed Quarter Horses flying along the inner rail of a race track.

The shop itself was part of the stable. Each stall was used as a separate booth for thematically arranged items of western paraphernalia. The stablehand buzzed around me, telling me of the owner, George Taylor, and how he trick roped and how he had a trick horse and how the convention was for other trick ropers.

Being a freelance writer, my ears pricked. I grabbed a business card featuring George and Mego on the way out. I didn't want to conduct an interview without a guarantee an article would be published, so I contacted Megan Thilman at Just About Horses. The story idea didn't fit Megan's format.

Still, it sounded like a fun interview. When Megan left JAH, I pitched it to one of the people handling the change over. I received a go-ahead and contacted George. Our first interview was on October 20, 1993.


The story starts with George Taylor as a boy in Oklahoma. He was around seven when his father took him to his first rodeo. "I loved it," George recalls. "I'd never seen anything like it." On the way home, he told his parents, "That's just exactly what I want to do." When his father asked which part, he said, "All of it." That was the beginning of over thirty years of rodeo work. Except for bull and bronc riding, he participated in every aspect of rodeoing, from roping to rodeo clowning. Along the way, he trained horses, dogs, and even a Brahma bull.

Then in the seventies, George moved into horse racing. He bought, sold, and trained. His most successful racer was the Quarter Horse Fly Big Jay, bred by Diamond D Ranch of Lone Oak, Texas.

It was during this stage of life that a cousin sold George a "pony horse," named Migo Grand. Mego, as the Palomino Overo was called, was originally purchased from Diamond D.

Mego wasn't a "pony horse" for long. With George's wealth of experience, both as a rodeo performer and as a horseman, he recognized Mego's potential. He began teaching Mego tricks. When he had exhausted his knowledge, George called Hollywood trainer, Rex Peterson for advice. Within six weeks, George taught Mego most of the thirtysome tricks the horse performs. With these tricks, a little cowboy poetry, and some trick roping, George and Mego had an act. They began performing for business conventions and similar events.

Mego (Versary's Amigo x Dee Dee) was foaled on April 13, 1982. He stands 15.2 hands. As a registered Paint Horse gelding, he competed in numerous APHA shows and accumulated all, but 2, of the points needed for a championship. His show career ended when George purchased him, and George doubts Mego will ever finish his championship.

Some of the tricks Mego knows are: Sit, Lie Down, Rear, Bow, and Smile. He also knows how to untie a handkerchief tied to his leg and spin a rope in his mouth. He can march, dance, and walk on his hind legs. He even switches his tail on command.

Mego performs in standard western gear. The Texas-skirt, double-rigged saddle is custom made and decorated with silver. He wears a curb bridle decorated with conchas, though he performs some of his tricks without the reins. His breast collar matches the saddle and bridle.


The most exciting thing I learned about Mego during that October interview was that Mego had auditioned for a part on Walker, Texas Ranger. Final details had to be ironed out, but Mego was hired as the horse Chuck Norris would ride in the series. Norris liked Mego so much that even though it was half-way through the season, he had Mego written in immediately. On November 20, 1993 the first episode with Mego aired on CBS.

Mego starred on the show for the 1993 and 1994 seasons. During this time, Norris gave Mego a nickname: Amigo. For the 1995 season, Mego was not used, though film taken during the '93 and '94 seasons was included in the new episodes.

George asked me to delay the article until we could add the information about Walker, Texas Ranger. I agreed. The completed article was not submitted to Just About Horses until March 31, 1994.

Things had changed at JAH between October and March. Stephanie Macejko became the new editor. The magazine had been left to its own devices for months and Stephanie had her hands full trying to meet deadlines. When I asked her about the Mego article, she was unsure it would fit in with JAH's new format. However, as I had been given the go-ahead, she agreed to consider it. The article sat in the JAH office for months. Periodically, I would check on it. Finally, in February of 1995, Stephanie told me, under orders not tell anyone else, that she'd like Mego to be the next Breyerfest horse. I was thrilled; George was ecstatic! After the details were worked out, George hired me to take the photos Breyer would use for the mold markings. George directed many of the shots and he was very thorough. I hunkered down for close-ups of the hooves. I crawled half-under Mego's belly for snapshots there. I stared up Mego's nostrils. If we missed a single inch of that horse, it was an accident.

At the time, we didn't know what mold would be used for Mego. I thought it would be either the new AQHA Quarter Horse or the Yellow Mount (Adios) mold. George and I wanted the Yellow Mount and we were pleased when Breyer choose that mold.

Even with the contract signed and the photos sent in, there were still things that had to be ironed out. I received updates from George and Stephanie over the next few months. Finally, nearly twenty months after the interview, "Mego: Brains and Beauty" appeared in the May/June 1995 issue of Just About Horses, along with the announcement that Mego was the new Breyerfest horse.


George and Mego's first appearance was scheduled for the Friday afternoon of Breyerfest. I got there early, hoping to get permission to take pictures in the arena during the performance. I couldn't find George or Stephanie.

The schedule of events ran late and it was announced that Mego's act had been moved to 5 pm. As it is common for events to run late at the Horse Park, I wasn't worried.

About 4:30 I went up to the stables to see if I could find George. I couldn't. There were more stables farther back, but I was afraid I'd miss the whole performance if I started wandering around the place. I went back to the pavilion.

Here, I ran into Stephanie. She told me there was trouble with Mego's papers and he wouldn't be performing Friday. I returned to the Holiday Inn.

Within a few hours, horrid tales drifted into my hotel room. Mego would not perform at all. He had been forcibly removed from the Park by police and was being escorted back to the state line. When the tales included police threats to arrest anyone taking a picture of Mego, I decided things were exaggerated.

They weren't. Several states in the U.S. are currently experiencing an epidemic of vesicular stomatitis. This contagious disease manifests itself in blisters on mucous membranes. It is transmittable to horses, cattle, swine, and under correct conditions, humans. It can cause miscarriages in pregnant mares.

During the week of Breyerfest, Kentucky passed a law prohibiting the transfer of horses from any affected state. Texas was among those listed. George was not notified.

When Mego showed up, there was trouble over the stabling, which led to questions about his papers. It became known he was from Texas. The police were called in to escort Mego out of state.

At this point, however, several fans had discovered where Mego was. George graciously posed Mego for a photo session. Things got heated when the police insisted this photo session be stopped. They included threats to arrest the next person taking photographs. A video of this event has been located.

The loss of Mego cast a cloud over the rest of Breyerfest. Many people had come specifically because of him. One girl had qualified for a 4-H show, but gave it up to see Mego. She was very disappointed. Everyone was.

It was an unfortunate experience, made all the more terrible by the fact no one was really to blame. George wasn't; he showed up. Breyer wasn't; it was an unexpected new law. The State of Kentucky caused the problem, but with an economy based on horses, who could blame them protecting their own horses from infection?


Approximately 3000 Mego models were made for Breyerfest 1995. Due to Mego's absence from Breyerfest, none of these models were signed by George Taylor at the Kentucky Horse Park. However, on August 1, 1995 George appeared on the TNN Country and Western talk show, Crook and Chase. Two models were signed and given to the show's hosts. As a personal thank-you for my involvement, George signed an additional two models: one which went to my collection and the other went to Robyn Hope. These models are signed on the belly: George Taylor and Mego, August 8, 1995. All four models are not signed by Peter Stone. Twenty additional models were signed under special circumstances. Some of these are also signed by Peter Stone.

As of this writing, that is the some total of models signed by George Taylor. However, his contract stated he was to receive twelve models and have option to buy fifty more. While these most certainly will go to important people in Mego's life and not be part of the models available to hobby collectors, it is a safe bet to say that these will also be signed. In addition, George and Mego are scheduled for an appearance at Lone Star Live on September 30, 1995.

For disappointed fans, George issued an autographed 8 x 10 photo print copy of the centerfold picture used by JAH to introduce the model. This photo print (not photograph) granted the purchaser the right to visit Mego in Texas and to have her model signed at that time. Due to this generous arrangement, it is hard to say how many models were finally signed.


What does the future hold for Mego? It's hard to say. A horse this talented has lots of options. He and George will continued to perform together and look for new adventures. Whatever happens, I doubt you've seen the last of this "Wonder Horse!"

Footnote (January 1999): According to Lavell Johansen, sometime farrier for Mego, Mego passed away while on a trip for one of his many performances.

Footnote (November 2001): According to Todd Blackwell, George Taylor passed away Dec. 25, 1998, just 3 months after Mego had died. Todd's uncle was a close friend of George's and ended up purchasing George's ranch located east of Cleburne, Texas.

Article Copyright 1995 Melody D. Snow

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