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steel pier will be the site of the new horse diving showsteel pier will be the site of the new horse diving show

Cruel Diving Horse Show to Return to Atlantic City This Summer

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The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi

Who on earth would think that forcing a horse to jump off a 40 foot pier into a 12 foot pool would be considered a good idea? Apparently the money hungry executives in Atlantic City.

Unfortunately for horses, the diving show at the Atlantic City Steel Pier will be returning this summer. The show was a major attraction from the 1920’s to the 1970’s, but was then shut down. The spectacle involves a rider mounting a horse and then diving into the water.

Anthony Catanoso, the Steel Pier president, said about the revived show, “It’s iconic, it’s historical and it’s very popular.” He continued, “Nobody can show us any documentation that the diving horse act here on Steel Pier ever harmed an animal, ever produced any kind of cruelty or abuse. We would not do that.”

I’m thinking rodeos, SeaWorld and Ringling Bros. say similar lines about the welfare of the animals that they exploit for human entertainment.

NBC10 Philadelphia reports that Catanoso is hoping to open the show Memorial Day weekend.

Get ready for the petitions and protests. We have a feeling animal activists aren’t going to take this kind of cruelty sitting down.

*Update: This petition was started last night. It has nearly 3,000 signatures. Click to sign.

See below for an image of a horse diving without a rider.

diving horse show to open in atlantic city

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  • Pamy

    wow you can t be serious !!! people go to their doors and make aware the public of this cruel show, so they boycott it !!! and remember if you VOTE, at least, do not vote for mayor, deputes, or president that allows animal slavery !

  • Nunyer Bidness

    Barbaric and in my opinion, criminal. Are people really going to delight in this cruel spectacle? Reminds one of hundreds of years ago when people would go to the town square to watch the weekly public hangings. What is wrong with Anthony Catanoso? Is he just a idiot?

  • Insanity = doing something that was done in the past because it was done in the past without regard to animal welfare. If you would not do it to a child, then don’t do it to sentient animals with the mind of a child. Would we toss babies into the water like this?

  • Ginasaye0529

    I don’t like this at all! WTH? Stupid humans…let them jump

  • Diana_a76

    I’m on it! There’s no way I’m going to sit back and let this happen!

  • Sharon Veronica

    This is terrible. In this day and age people know better. When a race horse gets a leg injury they put it down, and horses are bound to be injured. I would rather see them have a horse show, or a riding area for children and adults, than have them have these animals jumping like this! Why don’t they offer horse rides instead? Or photos with the FAMOUS Atlantic City FORMERLY-jumping horses? There are other ways to make money than putting these animals in danger. Folks, PLEASE don’t go see this show… no customers = no business = a quick end to this!

    • christine

      it’s all about the MONEY!! it always is & it always will be!!! SO SAD!!!!

      • MAVERICK1961

        GREED is the Evil here along with no respect for life at all, human or animal

  • Ax2503

    What kind of idiot yokel still finds this entertaining?

  • Texasrangers

    Brutal….. Bunch of idiots.

  • Marieve2903

    WHAT ?!?!? Stupid morons!! People like this should be wiped out of the planet…

  • Gail

    NO! NO Horse diving show

  • Liz Seltzer

    Hello people out there, please sign the petition, write bad reviews for the Steel Pier on google and PLEASE write to and call the mayor of Atlantic City http://www.cityofatlanticcity.org/con_gov_mayorsoffice_geninfo.asp We can change this!

  • Doods25

    How can they say “it’s very popular” if it hasn’t been around in 30 years? I”m gonna say that people’s mindsets have changed drastically since the 70’s. Well, in some aspects anyway…

  • Rizzxx69xx

    I work in Atlantic city n this is very cruel

  • Wayne1986

    I hope this attraction if you frustratingly want to call it is shut down before it even opens!!!

  • Dawn3061

    thats aweful will never watch that poor horses is there any one out there we can call to complain to!!!!!

  • Spekarek

    This is not cruelty. If any of you worked w horses you would know the difference! Cruelty to starving horses who have no homes and end up being slaughtered…Save your breath morons abd do something else!! (Rolls eyes)

  • Lynn

    Ridiculous… Hopefully the people who put this on fall off a 40 foot cliff with a pool full of rocks at the bottom..

  • Kimberly Breaux

    Oooh. Such entertainment! What about having the humans jump instead? Now that, I would watch. Quit using you place in the food chain to dominate over other species. There are several words for people and venues like yourselves.

  • Julia

    Who do we contact to try to stop the horse diving show?

    • MAVERICK1961

      Contact everyone you can, post on your facebook, my psace, twitter, social sites reach the most people change.org has a petition you can send and share on your social site’s. Call the radio stations, start a door to door petition and throw it in the mayor’s face. The possibility of them losing business, this may change mind’s!

  • Je2ter

    This is INSANE!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!

  • Guitarmom50

    Please this facebook page,there you will find all the contact information to call and send letters to so this can be stoped before it gets off the ground.

  • Kimberly

    Oh my word! Somebody please stop this! My feelings are hurt this very moment thinking of how scared these horses must be! I am sick to my stomach right now after seeing that picture. Please please please!! Someone stop this!!!!

  • Salty

    This is insane. I have done the petition and next is to complain to Horseracing Authority(BHA) and Racing post.

  • Nikki

    I cannot believe this would be allowed. I have been around horses all of my life, and can attest to their fragility – even though they are big, strong animals – they break easy. There is NO way this is safe OR humane. Greedy bastards in AC. Many things were done in the past that we now consider barbaric. This is one of those things.

  • Howard Steppat

    i can not wait i am so happy that the diving horse will be back

  • Howard Steppat

    the diving horse was in steel pier for 50years
    lets bring it back greattttttttttttt

  • MAVERICK1961

    The fact’s are, the Horse weigh’s so much, 40 ft drop into a 12 ft foot pool = harm and possible death to not only the horse but the rider as well. Yes this is animal abuse! I was planning on coming to the east coast this summer to see the shore and see family since i was born but not raised there. The possibilty of this horrible show opening has changed our minds. My family and many friends have chosen to boycott Atlantic City and the Steel Pier if this cruel show opens! If you want to gamble, see great show’s and the wonder’s of the desert, Come spend your money in Las Vegas! And to Mayor Lorenzo Langford, Jeffery Vasser of the Atlantic City
    convention center & visitors authority & Anthony Catanoso President of the Atlantic City Steel Pier, you all take that 40ft dive into a 12ft pool!

  • MAVERICK1961

    Please go to change.org and find the petition STOP THE REOPENING OF THE CRUEL DIVING HORSE SHOW and sign it!

  • BigBobH

    My father owned a retired Atlantic City diving horse. Whenever the horse was near a group of people it would become agitated and empty its bowels, no doubt traumatized from many years of being forced to participate in this cruel and ludicrous show. Animal abuse for the sake of human entertainment is just plain wrong.

  • Ahodges0229

    Very sad..think of the mental angish this puts a horse through..all for what? Making money?

  • Hidesertgirl

    Diving Horses did end up in the slaughter house.

    “In the late 1970s, when the original act ended, one horse named Powderface was sent to the slaughterhouse, several sources said. Another was auctioned off to a summer camp. A year later, in 1980, that horse was put back up for auction in Indian Mills, Burlington County.
    Branigan, then 26 and working with an organization called the Fund for Animals, was sent to the auction with instructions to get the horse, Gamal. She bid $2,600, coming pretty close to her limit.”

    Excerpt above taken from NJ.com Feb. 12, 2012 by Amy Brittan/The Star Ledger

    Since horse slaughter was approved by Obama in November 2011and is now legal in the United States. What is stopping the horse management from sending these horses to slaughter once they are no longer useful?

    I proudly signed the petition!

  • Hidesertgirl55


    Anthony Catanoso, president of Steel Pier Associates, disagrees and told CBS News, “I would never allow an act on the pier to be in any way inhumane or abusive to animals. The fact of the matter is, the horses are not forced to do it. They are never harmed. There is no documentation of an animal ever being harmed in the 50 years they did it on Steel Pier — or certainly when we did it in 1993.” Digital Journal by Kim Hartman, Feb. 6, 2012

    There is one known case of a diving horse dying in action. Lightning, Sonora’s beloved diving horse, was practice-diving riderless at a tower on a pier. The show people wanted to see if the show could be done successfully into the ocean. Lightning jumped beautifully, then became confused and swam out toward sea. She became tired gave up, and went under. Lifeguards caught up to her and buoyed her up. She was brought back to shore, but couldn’t be resuscitated.

  • Seraphael

    People are sick.. this is no better than watching beheadings from the past. Thank goodness we are not revisiting that barbaric ritual.

  • CabezaGrande

    Yahoo! Can’t wait to see the show!!!

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