Harry Morgan actually owned the horse that Colonel Potter cherishes on M*A*S*H

Producers expected Morgan to have a hobby like golf, but that's horse hockey! He'd rather be riding than driving.

Read to Me

Watching M*A*S*H, we see actors tossing footballs or driving golf balls, and it turns out that on-camera "skills" like these were part of the audition process when casting the show.

So when Harry Morgan came on as Colonel Potter, producers asked him what he liked to do in his free time, hoping to find out about a fun way they could use Morgan on camera. He surprised them by not answering golf or football like most folks. Instead, Morgan said his hobby was horses.

At home with his wife in Santa Rosa, California, Morgan owned a ranch on 15 acres, where he raised quarter horses — not to race them, but just as beloved pets.

"Been up there 20 years," Morgan told The Wichita Eagle in 1982. "Used to raise quarter-horses. But working on M*A*S*H, I had little time to enjoy them."

It must've helped a little, then, that M*A*S*H producers took Morgan's hobby and incorporated it into Colonel Potter's character immediately, making him a cavalryman and giving him a horse named Sophie to appear in some episodes of the show.

Attentive fans have picked up on the fact that Sophie was not just one horse "actor," but many, as the show would work with whatever horse they could get on set for the day. But at least this means Morgan got to meet a bunch of new horses to pass the time with!

And you should know that for the final appearance of Sophie in the M*A*S*H finale, Morgan told The Pittsburgh Post Gazette in 2011 that producers brought in one of Morgan's own quarter horses for the special scene where Potter says goodbye to Sophie.

Now when you see that touching scene, you'll not only know that he's being tender with his own pet, but also that the truth is it was no goodbye at all — Sophie went home with Harry when the credits rolled!

Watch M*A*S*H on MeTV!

One Full Hour

Weeknights at 7 PM
Sundays 7 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

15 Comments

Post a comment
Spiro 9 days ago
John Wayne used his own horse in most of his movies. It has white on the bridge of his nose.
Pegs 13 days ago
What annoys the daylights out of me is "The Wounded Horse" which Radar gives to that old horseman is referred to as "he/him" at least for that episode, & I believe one or two more. Then the horse becomes a female, Sophie. Colonel Potter couldn't tell the difference? Sorry to be a crank, MASH was probably the worst program when it came to continuity. And it really annoys me (semi-lol).
carrman Pegs 13 days ago
Just let it go it's just a TV show
Pegs carrman 12 days ago
Sorry, I can't. Just as the writers forgot Henry's daughter's name - one episode she's "Molly, bright as a penny"; another episode, she's "Janie-poo".

Just as, 46 years later, I still get POed every time I see the episode "Abyssinia, Henry" (so just don't watch it, right?). There was no reason for it, in the storyline. He could have just as easily made it home, called the MASH folks to let them know, & had an episode finish of each main character imagining what it would be like to be home again (or whatever). McLean Stevenson's decision to leave the show was bone headed, indeed. Oh, well - he's long dead now, anyway.
Wiseguy Pegs 12 days ago
The producers thought McLean Stevenson's leaving the show would ruin it (not to mention Wayne Rogers leaving and the move to Friday nights) so they didn't want him getting a spinoff TV show with his character (like a Trapper John, MD series) so they killed the character. Since they thought the series would end soon because of the changes they sped up the time line and had Col. Potter arriving in Sept. 52, less than a year before the war ended. Of course, they had a more press-friendly excuse for killing off Blake, that war is bad and bad things happen in war.
Wiseguy Pegs 12 days ago
Every TV series has inconsistencies. It's FICTION. Data's cat on Star Trek The Next Generation went from male to female. The names of Lou Grant's daughters changed. The names of Maude's first three husbands changed. Henry Blake was once married to Mildred. Alan Brady's wife's name on The Dick Van Dyke Show went from Barbara to Margaret, etc.
Moverfan Pegs 8 days ago
Henry could have had two daughters, you know. And maybe it was Radar who didn't know if the horse was male or female...as much as I loved him, I always did worry about that boy.
AnnieM Wiseguy 7 days ago
Chuck Cunningham, we hardly knew ye.
Jimo 14 days ago
Just the facts ,just the facts.
LoveMETV22 14 days ago
Interesting.... I remember the episode where Radar gives Col Potter Sophie as a gift,and the episode where Col Potter lets one of the Villagers Dad take Sophie and the dad ending up dying. But didn't know he had his own horse.
djw1120 LoveMETV22 13 days ago
Actually it was the villager's Grandfather not her Father.
When she returned Sophie the next day, she told Potter that he ws a proud man and died in peace.
Andybandit 15 days ago
Wow, I had no idea Harry Morgan owned Sophie the horse.
Wilbur88 Andybandit 14 days ago
Why wasn't I told?
Wiseguy Andybandit 12 days ago
As the article states, it was just the horse used in the finale.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?