Bonus Interview: Steel Pier and The Last ‘Diving Horse’

Listen 49:13
A horse makes a plunge into a six-foot pool of water on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

A horse makes a plunge into a six-foot pool of water on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City, N.J. (AP Photo/ Charles Rex Arbogast, File)

From the Radio Times archive, we visit our interview about The Last Diving Horse in America: Rescuing Gamal and Other Animals – Lessons in Living and Loving.

For decades, Atlantic City’s Steel Pier featured High Diving Horses, a death-defying boardwalk stunt that featured the animals jumping from platforms as high as 40 feet into a water tank, straddled by a trained “diving girl”. While many spectators flocked to the pier to marvel at the show, it was eventually deemed a cruel sport and shut down after public outcry in the late 1970s.

When the last remaining Steel Pier Diving Horse, Gamal, went on the auction block, animal rescue advocate CYNTHIA BRANIGAN gained a new friend – an animal that would soon trust her and leave a lasting impact on her life and work.

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