The High-Diving Horses That Risked Death Every Day to Entertain People

Animal cruelty had a different definition 100 years ago, as the immensely popular horse diving act of the day definitely proves.

Scroll down to watch the video
Animal cruelty had a different definition 100 years ago, as the immensely popular horse diving act of the day definitely proves.

Just a girl and her horse.

The fall that started it all

In 1881, when William F. ‘Doc’ Carver and his trusty steed leaped off a collapsing wooden bridge into Nebraska’s Platte River a seed of an idea was planted that would soon grow into one of America’s most popular tourist attractions of the day: horse diving. How far Carver and his horse fell exactly is unknown. What is known is after that event horse diving, under Carver’s direction, took the United States by storm as it made the rounds across the country at state fairs and carnivals.

Before public attention was paid to animal cruelty, people took horses diving from great heights.

The dentist who became a gunslinger

Prior to this Super Soaker of an idea, Carver had been a sharpshooter with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West show, in addition to being an early business partner of Cody’s. And before we get too far into things, no, we didn’t forget to capitalize the word ‘show’ when mentioning the extravaganza. Cody never spelled it with a capital, so neither will we.

7933

Trending INSH