Rocinante is a minor character on Once Upon a Time. He was a horse that belonged to Regina for most of her youth. Her prized steed and favorite animal, Rocinante was more than just a pet for Regina, it was one of her most loved companions. Rocinante would serve as Regina's steed during her riding lessons, and the young dame even tried to escape the clutches of her wicked mother by riding away on Rocinante's back. Eventually, Regina sacrificed her beloved horse in order to use its heart to bring forth the Dark Curse, but it was to no avail.
Before the Curse
Come on, Rocinante, go! We're almost free!
Regina rides her beloved steed. ("The Stable Boy")
During one of Regina's scheduled riding lessons with Rocinante, in which she is taught by her lover Daniel, her father, Henry Sr. watches joyfully as she rides the horse around their fields. However, she stops riding once her mother arrives, who disapproves of her, stating she rides like a man. When Daniel tries to defend Regina's choice to ride, he is silenced and then told to take Rocinante back to the stables. He does so and then Regina comes to find him to apologize. Later on, Regina rides Rocinante across her fields to meet secretly with Daniel. After talking about their relationship for a while, a young girl rides past on an out of control horse. Regina rides Rocinante to catch up with the girl and save her life. This girl turns out to be the daughter of the king, and he ends up proposing to Regina. ("The Stable Boy"/"Out of the Past")
Regina tries to escape on her horse. ("We Are Both")
With Regina due to wed Snow White's father, King Leopold, she tries to escape the kingdom on her horse, Rocinante. As Regina is riding away from her castle on her horse, they flee down a long dirt road with tall trees either side. Some vines controlled by Cora suddenly emerge and grab Regina off her horse, which keeps running away. After Regina successfully banishes Cora by sending her through a portal given to her by Rumplestiltskin, she slowly rides Rocinante away from the castle, ready to leave. As she looks behind her and turns back around, Rumplestiltskin suddenly appears before her, asking if she's leaving. She tells him that was always the plan and then gets off her horse. ("We Are Both")
Regina holding the sacrificed heart. ("The Thing You Love Most")
When Regina plans to enact the Dark Curse in order to transport the residents of her land to our world and rip away their happy endings, she must make a grand sacrifice - kill the thing she loves most. Regina therefore rips the heart of her prized steed, Rocinante, and throws it in the fire. However, the curse is a dud, and Rumplestiltskin scolds her for using the heart of a beast, stating that the sacrifice must be more personal and meaningful. Thusly, Regina ultimately murders her own father and uses his heart to successfully enact the Dark Curse, which goes on to transport everyone to a town named Storybrooke. ("The Thing You Love Most")
Gallery of photographic stills released to promote the character.