Plan to Reinstate Horse Diving Nixed

The plan to bring horse diving back to Atlantic City, N.J., has been abandoned, according to a report from the Washington Post.

Horse diving was one of the most famous attractions offered on Atlantic City's Boardwalk from the 1920s through the late 1970s. The attraction consisted of a young, swimsuit-clad woman astride a horse. The pair would jump from an approximately 40-foot steel platform into a water tank below. The act was discontinued in 1978. A revised version of the attraction was presented at the Pier briefly in 1993, but was also discontinued.

On Feb. 1 Steel Pier owners announced plans to bring the horse diving attraction back to the pier. Steel Pier co-owner and vice president Bill Catanoso said the attraction would be presented in a new state-of-the-art amphitheater and assured that the horses participating in the act would be well-trained and well-cared for.

Keith Dane, director of equine protection for the Humane Society of the United States, said the attraction exploits participating animals and puts them at risk.

"The stress and trauma endured by these animals--in addition to the risk of injury to them--make these acts unacceptable," Dane said. "There is no justification for such treatment of animals."

The Post report indicated that the pier owners "are no longer interested in reviving" the act. The report also noted that the owners admitted that opposition from animal welfare activists and the public played a role in their decision to nix the plan; however, they "downplayed the significance" of the public's opinion.

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