Last night I watched a movie about the circus in the 1930’s. It portrayed a young woman who became blind while mounting a horse and riding it in air into a pool of water below. It was referred to as a flying horse act. Supposedly she rode blind for 11 years. Is there any historical data on this? The movie stated it was a true story.
Sonora Webster Carver joined The Great Carver Show in 1924 as a horse diver. After the show settled permanently in Atlantic City in 1929, the horse diving attraction starred Sonora and her horse Red Lips. In August 1931, Red Lips lost its balance during a dive, causing her to hit the water face-first and detaching her retinas. She continued horse diving until 1942, when she moved to New Orleans with her husband. Her autobiography, A Girl and Five Brave Horses, was published in 1961; the Disney movie based on her life, Wild Hearts Can’t Be Broken, opened in theaters in 1991. On 21 September 2003, Sonora passed away at age 99. Related articles you might be interested in: “Jumper”, Mike Cox’s 26 June 2004 Texas Tales column, http://www.texasescapes.com/MikeCoxTexasTales/192-Jumper-and-Diving-Horse.htm – “Horse-diver Sonora Webster Carver, 99”, obituary in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Gayle Ronan Sims http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/obituaries/6844582.htm?1c.
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