//The Diving Horses Show
Diving Horse

The Diving Horses Show

As the man evolves he has also gone backwards in terms of the treatment of animals. This to the extent that circuses, dolphinariums, and all those shows that are made with animals have emerged. It is no secret to anyone that events where animals are used, animals are generally subjected to cruel treatment by their coaches. The victims range from dolphins that are separated from their herds, tigers, bears, horses among others. However, in this issue we will address what is related to the macabre event of the diving horses or also called “Diving Horses”.

The struggle that has been maintained by multiple animal protection organizations has been arduous. This in favor of eliminating these events that use and profit from animals.

Diving Horses: A Wild Attraction for the Daring Rider (1923) | British Pathé

The show “Diving Horses”

In the world of horsemanship there are several disciplines that are considered equestrian sports and that has many followers. However, this is far from riding itself.

This event of “Diving Horses”,  the humans guide the horses. The horse is not by mistake going to want on his own just to be subjected to a risk. Even more those horses that are somehow nervous and scary.

The main show of “Diving Horses” was given in the Atlantic City Steel Pier. Where the horse was mounted on a platform twenty meters high and from there they threw themselves into the water. This being a very risky practice for both the horse and the rider.

Unfortunately on several occasions the rider, the horse or both were injured. In the case of the rider he had to assume the consequences as being rational and thinking that he is. However, the horse was innocent of this situation.

The person who came up with the idea was Willian Carver, who put the idea in his head. Then he put his daughters and daughter-in-law as a guinea pig. Of these guinea pigs, which was affected was his daughter-in-law, who was blind after an injury in a thrown.

However, this woman did not pay attention to its terrible consequences of losing sight. Likewise, the daughter-in-law continued for a decade more performing such a practice. From this dramatic circumstance was born the idea of ​​taking to the movies the story of this woman, which was titled “Wild Hearts Can not Be Broken”.

Sonora Webster - The girl who became blind because the show
Sonora Webster – The girl who became blind because the show

History of “Diving Horses”

This practice arose in the United States of America what could be a little more than fifty years in Atlantic City New Jersey. There in New Jersey emerged this striking and dangerous practice of “the Diving Horses”.

This attraction was somewhat controversial because on many occasions the performers were hurt. These horses were subjected to this four times a day. The idea is that with time the horses would get used to this unusual task.

The work gained popularity in the area in such a way that it expanded to other areas within the United States. This represented great profits for the owner of these spaces.

Later it expanded beyond the borders of the United States as they founded the Amusement Park Point Hanlan located in Toronto, Canada.

The emergence of this event in which they used horses was the brainchild of Dr. William Carver. A 19th-century gunman who visited every space in the United States with events where previously trained animals participated with shooting exhibitions.

Diving Horses into a tank
Diving Horses into a tank

The arise of Diving Horses

Basically the idea arises from an inconvenience that occurred on a wooden bridge that he and his horse were crossing and it fell. In effect William Carver and his horse fell into a river. The experience enchanted her and she imagined taking it to reality in her presentations with the animals. In this case with the horses that later gained followers becoming a big business.

This is how this event arises with diving horses or Diving Horses where he involved his children in the team. In this sense, his son not only helped to take care of the animals, but also participated in the corresponding training.

Willian Carver’s daughter was the first woman to jump with a horse into the water. Later her daughter-in-law joined, unfortunately, she lost her sight in this practice. By the year 1923 Willian Carver already had two horse specimens and performed in different cities.

For the year 1,927 the creator of this event Willian Carver died motivated to health problems. The death of his favorite equine brought down the spirits of this man, which added to his poor health depressed him. After the death of William Carver his son continued to manage this event. This lasted for a few more decades.

Injuries in the practice of Diving Horses

Apparently there is no record of injured horses on the practice of “Diving Horses”. And if at some point there were some, it was not convenient for them to make this public because of the legal consequences that it could bring. Well, the animal protection organizations were not going to rest until they managed to close the site.

While in the riders there were disadvantages in this regard. Approximately two riders were injured per year. However, the figure may be higher. In some cases the riders resulted with major fractures.

It should be noted that one of the cases that most caught the attention of the public was Sonora Webster. Being one of the most famous jumpers on horseback. However, he continued doing this practice for a few more years as he was very young for the time.

Diving Horses
Diving Horses

Role played by the organization of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

After a hard work by organizations in defense of animals among them PETA. The owners of the Atlantic City steel dock had no choice but to eliminate the plans to reactivate the show of the Diving Horses. In these events the animals were forced to jump off a high-rise ramp.

According to company records, an injured horse was never found. However the investigations of the organizations defending the animals gave results. They discovered that the horses did suffer bone fractures, dislocations, tendon ruptures. As well as varied wounds in his extremities.

The Diving Horses event ceased in 1978, however they were reactivated for a short time in 1993. By that time the owner of this space was nothing more and nothing less than the current president of the United States Donald Trump. Thanks to the pressure generated by all the animal rights organizations that participated to definitively close this Diving Horses show.

What do you think about it?

Diving Horses: A Wild Attraction for the Daring Rider (1923) | British Pathé

If we observe well the horse has utility in many disciplines of horsemanship. Therefore it is unnecessary to subject these animals to activities that involve risks, like the “Diving Horses”.

It is inhuman to expose equines to the harmful consequences of these activities such as fractures and even death. The role of these animal defense organizations worldwide is worthy of admiration.

If we really want to be evolved humans we must change our way of seeing animals. This implies having more empathy and compassion with our younger siblings and they are the animals.







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