SubscribeGift a Sub
Enable cache 100

News Update: Down with Diving Horses

As many of you probably heard, the owner of the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. recently announced that the old diving horse act (you know, the one from Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken) was going to be revived this summer. In the show, which was popular in the early 20th century, horses went up a ramp to a 40-foot platform where, in most cases, they picked up a rider, and then the pair would dive together into the pool below.



It seems unsafe, possibly cruel, and if nothing else, straight up weird. Not surprisingly, there was plenty of backlash after the plan to revive the old-timey sideshow was announced. Also not surprisingly, the Steel Pier’s owners have changed their minds about the bringing it back, according to an article in the Washington Post.

That’s right, no diving horses in 2012.

“We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it,” said Steel Pier owner Anthony Catanoso. “We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones.”

So it was progressive ideas in entertainment and not outrage from concerned citizens that made them drop the plan. Riiiiight. Well, whatever the catalyst for the change of heart, I applaud the decision. Supposedly no horse was ever hurt during the act’s long run, but I’m not sure if I trust the animal-welfare record keeping of the 1930s to give a super accurate picture of how well those animals fared back in the day. It’s a relic of the past that should stay in the past. Thankfully, now it will.

Back to The Near Side

View Comments

Recent Posts

ASPCA’s Right Horse Adoptable Horse: He’s a King Kite

Welcome to Horse Illustrated’s weekly installment of the Right Horse Adoptable Horse of the Week, offered in partnership with the…

6 days ago

2022 FEI World Eventing Championships – Conclusion

Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy – The Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team has officially secured qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games,…

1 week ago

2022 FEI World Eventing Championships – Kickoff

The Lazio region in the picturesque countryside of Italy southeast of Rome is hosting the 2022 FEI World Eventing and…

1 week ago

Nikovian Equestrian Enters the Ring

It is amazing what a little frustration can make someone do. Madison Smith, founder of Nikovian Equestrian, never met a horse…

1 week ago

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Eventing Squad and Alternates for 2022 FEI Eventing World Championship

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the combinations selected to represent the Land Rover U.S. Eventing Team…

2 weeks ago

US Equestrian Announces Land Rover U.S. Driving Team for 2022 FEI Driving World Championship for Four-in-Hand Horses

Lexington, Ky. – US Equestrian is pleased to announce the two athletes selected to represent the Land Rover U.S. Driving Team…

2 weeks ago