Wednesday, June 13, 2012


If I had a dime for every time I have heard, in the last 35 years, some putz say "if I had everything provide to me that Ringling gave to Gunther, I could have done the same thing that he did" I could have retired long, long ago.   There are still people today, 12 years after his death, living in their own Private Idaho, who think they are at least as good as he was, if not better.  Such is the thing known as "fantasy."  As is often stated about Clyde Beatty, "you had to have witnessed him live, in person, to even begin to appreciate his presence."  That is a fact, and folks will just have to imagine, because I have no words to describe what it was for me to arrive in Venice and spend a winter with GGW at rehearsals before heading out on the 1984 tour.


John Herriott said...

Yes Wade he was a dynamic presence in the ring, cage, hippodrome track, but that says alot because no trainer ever had or took advantage of all three of these important elements. It would be that Gunther saw the opportunities of doing that and it would be a major part of his success. We have used the hip. track over the years to enhance our presentations. dancing horses, jumping, races, roman riding, elephants. I always liked a reason to get out there and it was always a good extra way to enhance my presentation. Gunther really made it a very important part of his presentation. His roman-hitch riding, his opening-finale, the bowoff exit after the teeterboard. It was so nnatural for him, but another trainer-presenter would find it awkward. Certainly RBBB with the big coluseums gave him more than he had in the one ring European circuses. Was he the greatest trainer of is time? Of course not. But his charisma, his unique way of routining, presentation and the overall authority that the audience sensed. Obviously it came thru of his showing no fear with all of his charges. But during the times that I was with him and observed him on a daily basis I must say that he was a pheniminen. I belive he was an excellent trainer way above the good or average and had a rapport or understanding of the animals that was amazing. I recall Rex Williams and the amazing communicatio he had with elephants, animals, etc. He like Gunther really didn't realize it, hence thought all people working with them should understand. Neither was much of a teacher.Some have it and some don't. So with the overall Rinling lights, costuming and his fantastic abilities he would indeed have to have been seen to fully appreciate. The sME WITH bEATT, fRANCIS bRUAn, Unus. Seeing film of them is great but not lije seeing them in person. He was quite a guy.johnny

Wade G. Burck said...

John Milton,
"his unique way of routining, presentation" say's it all. He was left alone, to his own devises, to come up with "something," instead of being made to follow a script or a list of instructions of what the animals were to do. Being left alone is a rare, and unique position for a "show trainer" to be in. You need only to have had a producer walk up and hand you a written out list of what each animal must do, regardless of their personality's or ability's to realize how very lucky and blessed he was, to have worked with, not for Irvin Feld.

Wade Burck