Animal Spectacles

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:

The Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, pledged to end mule-diving exhibitions
on its famed Steel Pier on August 15. Models in bathing suits rode full-sized horses through 40-foot jumps into tank of sea water at the Steel Pier from 1929 until 1978, when the pier was closed. Reopened this year, the Steel Pier featured Tim Rivers’ World’s Only Diving Mules, a riderless touring act from Citra, Florida, but met heavy protest when Rivers’ mule, two miniature horses, and a dog all appeared reluctant to jump from a 30-foot height.

“Crack Russian stuntmen trained in the Cossack tradition do the horse tricks” in the upcoming
Franco Nero western film Jonathan of the Bears, according to Carey Goldberg of the Los Angeles Times, “including a few manuevers banned in the United States because they are considered too rough on horses.” Goldberg recently visited the set in Alabino, Russia, which purportedly much resembles frontier Montana.
The Iditarod Trail Committee animal care panel on July 16 voted to require all rookies in the annual
1,160-mile dog sled race from Achorage to Nome to carry no more than 12 dogs and run in a convoy until the last stage––virtually precluding rookies from any chance of vic-

tory. Veterans who score poorly in dog care could be
demoted to rookie status for the next year’s race. Four-time
Iditarod champion Susan Butcher, an outspoken advocate
of better dog care, has meanwhile organized a group of
professional sled racers to improve the image of the sport,
called PRIDE: Providing Responsible Information on
Dogs’ Environment. (POB 84915, Fairbanks, AK 99708.)
The actions came as the Detroit Free Press began boosting
a proposed 1,400-mile race across the Michigan Upper
Peninsula, with a proposed purse of $250,000.
The board of supervisors in Alameda County,
California, voted August 3 to ban two Mexican-style
rodeo events involving tripping horses and grabbing steers
by their tails. Eric Mills of Action for Animals asks that
letters of thanks be sent to the board c/o 1221 Oak St.,
Oakland, CA 94612. The ban was supported by Linda
Olvera, president of the Oakland chapter of the Mexican-
American Political Association, who noted that, “Just as
we would not allow bullfights in the U.S., there is a line
that must be drawn for the protection of animals.”
Mexican Defenders of Animals spokesperson
Adriana Chagoya Diaz charged on July 18 that bullfights
and cockfights are barred by the constitution of Oaxaca,
but a full schedule of fights went on at the Expo-
Guelaguetza festival regardless.
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