c. 1945

Image: Frederic Lewis/Getty Images

Warning: The images in this post may be considered disturbing to some readers.

William “Doc” Carver, an expert marksman with his own traveling Wild West show, claimed that he got the idea for a horse diving show in 1881 when a horse he was riding over a partially collapsed bridge leapt into the river below.

Soon after, Carver developed an act where a rider and horse would dive headlong into a pool of water from a platform 40 feet in the air. The risky feat drew huge crowds wherever it was performed

The risk was real, both for horse and rider. On Feb. 17, 1907, 18-year-old rider Oscar Smith was killed in a dive. (The horse survived.) Read more…

More about Travel, Entertainment, History, Horses, and Circus

This article:

That horse just dove off a 60-foot ladder into a pool