Saturday, February 4, 2012

Just say no to horse diving

My heart is so heavy (and angry!) right now. I have just learned that Atlantic City is going to bring back horse diving, which was at its height of popularity in the 1920s but continued until the early 1990s, as a way to increase tourism this summer.

I grew up in a town just outside of Atlantic City, hearing romanticized stories about this time period. I watched the movie "Wild Hearts Can't be Broken" over and over and over again. I used to wish I had been able to witness--or even perform!-- such a feat.

And then I learned that the horses didn't just willingly jump. They are walked out onto a platform with their rider and then the platform is dropped out from underneath of them. Diving like this is NOT natural for a horse, so it causes trauma and fright, not to mention any injuries that can be sustained to both rider and horse upon hitting the water (such as retinal detachment or spinal cord injury). And all this doesn't include any mistreatment during their care when they are not performing.

The owner of the Steel Pier, where the diving will take place, has said: "We know the diving horse is controversial, but I think people need to look at the bigger picture. A diving horse is going to be iconic. It's going to be a small piece of the development project that will bring family entertainment back to Atlantic City." Please join me in telling the owners that NO, we do NOT want to see their "iconic" act. The Steel Pier website is here, which contains their phone number, address, Facebook and Twitter pages. You can also sign this petition, as well as boycott and not visit this summer should these plans go through.


a.w. said...

I didn't know anything about horse diving. I'm just shocked such barbaric act would be bought back. What people will do for a buck, but please, not this way. To exploit horses in the worse possible manner. I hope animals rights activists will be all over this. I signed the petition and will post it on Facebook.

Carolyn said...

Unbelievable. This infuriates me!