Monday, November 14, 2011

Belle Vue Circus


That is sharp harness on these horse's. Does anyone know who's act this was?

4 comments:

Jamie Clubb said...

Billy Smart's 8 black Frisian horses, presented by Rudi Jurkschatt. This was the second group of Frisians they trained.

Jim Clubb

Wade G. Burck said...

Jim,
Up until a few years ago I always assumed Frisian's were a relatively new breed to be used for liberty. I have sense learned that they were popular years ago in European and English liberty acts.
I am not familiar with Rudi Jurkschatt. What was his nationality and do you know any thing more about him?

Wade

Jamie Clubb said...

Rudi was a Czech as far as I can remember. He came from Hagenbeck's and really was an exotic animal trainer, but of course did the horses as well. He married Pamela McGregor Morris who was an author and wrote a book in the '50s entitled "Chipperfield's Circus" and then joined Billy Smart's in 1957 until '59 and wrote a book entitled "The Spinners of the Big Top", which was about Smart's. In fact, it was the only book written about Smart's until my friend, David Jamieson, wrote the pictorial history a few years ago.

Rudi was the house trainer there until 1967 or '68 when John Gindel took over. He was liked very much by the Smart family and Yasmine always tells me she had fond memories of him. He was a great cook.

He trained 12 white dromedary camels and presented them on horseback. This was a truly beautiful sight. He also trained three dromedaries, three zebras, three llamas, three Highland cattle and a nilgai. There is plenty more, but I don't want to bore you.

Smart's by the way were known for their black Frisian horses with yellow harness. The harness was exceptionally heavy. I know, I bought it!

Jim Clubb

Wade G. Burck said...

Jim,
Bore? BORE??? My God, please bore away. What does "Spinners" mean in "The Spinners of the Big Top?" Is that one of those words that the Brit's have mucked about with so only they understand what it means? :)

Wade