Author virtual talk about last Steel Pier diving horse set for Oct. 19

Diving Horse bookJoin animal rescuer, Cynthia Branigan, as she discusses her book "The Last Diving Horse in America," the story of the rescue of the last Atlantic City Steel Pier diving horse. This program will be held Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 3 p.m., via Zoom. Registration is required.

It was the signature attraction of the Steel Pier from the 1930s-70s, the golden age of “America’s Favorite Playground”: Doc Carver’s High Diving Horses. Four times a day, seven days a week, a trained horse wearing only a harness ran up a ramp, a diving girl jumped on its back, and they both sailed 40 feet through the air, plunging into a 10-foot-deep tank of water.

Decades later, after cries of animal abuse and changing times, the act was shuttered, and in 1980, the last Atlantic City Steel Pier Diving Horse was placed on the auction block. The author, on a rescue mission for her employer—the animal-rights pioneer Cleveland Amory—spent $2,600 in a fierce auction, and Gamal was hers: she who knew almost nothing about horses.

Cynthia Branigan tells the story of how horse and new owner came to know, educate, and trust one another, teaching each other important lessons of living and loving.