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Old 07-24-09, 06:28 PM   #1
Airwick
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Diving Horses

Just seems remarkable to me that this actually happened,.........

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Old 07-24-09, 06:35 PM   #2
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Old 07-24-09, 06:42 PM   #3
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Diving Horse Short Video
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Old 07-24-09, 06:44 PM   #4
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I would like to have met the guy that actually said "Hey watch this y'all!"
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Old 07-24-09, 06:48 PM   #5
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I would like to have met the guy that actually said "Hey watch this y'all!"
actual footage
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Old 07-24-09, 07:26 PM   #6
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I would like to have met the guy that actually said "Hey watch this y'all!"

Especially for the first time. I can imagine this guy kicking the idea around with his friends. Hey I goint to take this horse on top of that platform and dive him into the water. OOOOOOOOOOOOOkkkkkkkkk.........

He was probably drunk at the time and the idea sort of caught on.
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Old 07-24-09, 07:36 PM   #7
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Diving Horse 1970's
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Old 07-24-09, 08:06 PM   #8
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Why would you want to be on a horse?
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Old 07-24-09, 08:15 PM   #9
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Why would you want to be on a horse?

Don't know, but that was the appeal, me thinks.


could shed some light, perhaps.
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Old 07-24-09, 09:10 PM   #10
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Old 07-24-09, 10:11 PM   #11
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‘The High Diving Horses were always my favorite. I must have seen at least six of them over the years. They each had their own style of diving. One would wait a good five minutes before jumping - he would hold his head up and watch the seagulls fly by. Some dove with their front legs straight out, while others tucked up their legs as if they were going over a jump. One horse would twist in the air and land on his side, making it dangerous for his rider.

‘The riders (all women) would suffer one or two broken bones a year. Most of the injuries came from getting out of the pool of paddling hooves. They made it look easy, but it wasn’t. Years ago a rider by the name of Sonora Carver (in the late 1920’s) went blind from a bad impact with the water. The jump was sixty feet at that time, but was then lowered to forty.

‘Another horse, I think his name was Patches, drew quite an audience. After making so many jumps he no longer waited for his rider. He would charge up the ramp to the tower and take a running jump off the diving board, leaving the rider behind. A couple of the girls tried to leap on him as he flew by, only to be left sailing through the air mount-less. One day, he got up so much speed he almost overshot the pool. Needless to say, they retired him. One year they even had a high diving mule.’

The Diving Horses ceased in 1978, when the Steel Pier was bought by Resorts International, and was shut down. Thankfully, the last two diving horses were saved by an animal protection society. The Steel Pier itself had been through a good deal of drama: in 1962 a tidal wave washed part of it away, and in 1970 the famous Marine Ballroom was sadly destroyed by fire. Atlantic City had acquired a somewhat seedy and run-down reputation, but today there are plans to restore and reopen the pier. Hopefully they will be fulfilled.

But the diving horses will never come back. It was an act with significant dangers, and many riders, Sonora Carver in particular, suffered quite severe injuries. The horses seemed to enjoy it greatly, but the animal protection societies would never permit such an act again. It has vanished into the bitter-sweet mists of memory, but there are still many thousands of people who will carry with them all their lives the thrilling and spectacular memory of the Diving Horses of Atlantic City...

Susan MacDonald
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Old 07-25-09, 02:48 AM   #12
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wow, that's pretty epic.
but really, that's kinda out there.
but then when i think of a lot of the acts and skills we don't see anymore
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Old 07-25-09, 08:41 AM   #13
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Old 07-25-09, 10:45 AM   #14
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not to beat a dead horse, but













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Old 07-25-09, 11:11 AM   #15
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Are the horses diving or falling? The ramp seems to have a very steep drop at the end.

Depth Perception in Horses

Horses, since they do not have binocular vision, have very poor depth perception. When the horse is able to freely move its head it can compensate for the lack of perception. However horses being ridden are rarely given the freedom to move their heads, and because of this horses are generally unable to judge distances well. Training a horse to jump obstacles can also teach it how to “know” distances but horses will always have to rely at least partially on humans to judge where to take off from and allow them to see objects by giving them the time and the chance to look at things.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:12 PM   #16
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Are the horses diving or falling? The ramp seems to have a very steep drop at the end.
Good Q - I don't know.

Another memory, from a very dear reader of ‘Petticoat Discipline Quarterly’, recalls a special summer in 1952, when she and her brother were staying with their uncle and aunt in Atlantic City:

'The rest of the day was filled with exciting sideshow acts, such as Mr. Johnson’s Boxing Cats; Elsie the Cow and her son Beauregard, and Captain Kelly and his sea lions. Best of all was Dimah the Diving Horse, named after Steel Pier owner Mr. Hamid, but spelled backwards.

‘Dimah was a beautiful jet-black filly. Her rider, a pretty young woman, stood on top of a high diving platform waving to the crowd as the announcer called our attention to the small water tank.

“Ladies and Gentleman, Dimah the Wonder Horse is going to dive into this small tank of water. Her rider Miss Olive Gelnaw will guide Dimah during her sixty-foot drop in to the tank. Now we need you to be very quiet, it takes all of her concentration to get it right, or they will miss the tank and fall to their death in the ocean.”

‘The crowd grew silent. Dimah, standing at the bottom of the ramp, was released from her trainer and trotted up the long ramp to the top of the diving platform, and her awaiting rider. Miss Gelnaw, standing on a side railing, sprung effortlessly over to the filly’s back landing just behind the harness. She took hold of the leather strap cinched up around Dimah’s huge girth, before making the big jump.

‘We held our breath as the filly walked to the edge of the platform and looked out over the crowd. Just then a sea gull flew by catching her attention. She lifted her head and sniffed the air, curling her upper lip over her nose. It looked as if she were smiling at us. In a blink of an eye, she slid her two front legs down the ramp, and jumped off the platform. Down she came!

“Sp--lash!” Most of the water in the tank came rushing up in a huge wave, spilling over the sides of the tank, leaving it less than half full. The crowd went wild; Dimah and her rider did a perfect dive. They emerged from the tank and took a bow, the filly’s coat wet and shiny, gleamed in the sun as they led her back to her stall.

“Wow, I want to do that when I grow up!” I said to the gang.

‘The day was getting late, and the Water Show ended with the “Diving Jackasses”. Two men dressed in old-fashioned bathing suits climbed up a ladder to the top of the diving platform and announced that they were going to do a dive better than Dimah. The fat man was going to play the part of Dimah, and the skinny fellow was going to be the rider. We all laughed and booed them, saying they couldn’t do it. The announcer gave them a count. On the count of three the fat man dove off the platform leaving the other man behind. “Hey dummy, you forgot me!” he hollered to the man below in the tank. The fat man climbed back up the ladder complaining all the way, telling the crowd, “And they call me the Jackass, why he can’t even count.”
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Old 07-25-09, 12:40 PM   #17
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Ah...how humans kept themselves busy before the internet. Wow.
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