We’re sorry to report that Blanco, the horse who played Shadowfax in The Lord of Rings, has passed away after a sudden illness. Tolkien fansite The One Ring shared the news from Cynthia Royal, Blanco’s trainer and caretaker.
Blanco’s illness was abrupt, and after an initial recovery, he took a turn for the worse. When the hospital determined that nothing more could be done, they allowed Royal to sit and comfort him until the end. She writes movingly about her work with Blanco, which she considered a partnership, both in her memorial post and on Blanco’s Facebook page. She has already received an outpouring of support from LOTR fans and horse lovers, and has set up a fund to help defray the cost of Blanco’s treatment.
In light of this sad news, we want to take a moment to remember Blanco’s introduction, when he showed us the importance of making a grand entrance: