Book club hosts Zoom meeting with bestselling author on diving horses


Newsletter Report

The Mesilla Valley Readers of Southern New Mexico Book Club (MVRSNM) will host author Cynthia Branigan during a free Zoom presentation from 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, June 2.

Email [email protected] for the invite.

Branigan is the author of “The Last Diving Horse in America”, which was published in October 2021.

The book tells the story of a horse rescue and the inspiring story of how horse and rescuer were each profoundly changed by the other.

Here’s what had to say about the book: “It was Atlantic City’s Steel Pier signature from the heyday of ‘America’s Favorite Playground’: Dive Horses by Doc Carver. Starting in 1929, four times a day, seven days a week, a trained horse wearing only a harness ran up a ramp, a female diver in a bathing suit and helmet jumped on his mighty bare back, and together they sailed 40 feet through the air, plunging, to thunderous applause, into a 10-foot-deep tank of water. Decades later, after cries of animal abuse and changing times, the act was shut down and in May 1980 Atlantic City Steel Pier’s last dive horse (Gamal) was auctioned off at Indian Mills, New Jersey.

Her professional involvement in animal welfare and protection began in 1974 when she began volunteering with author Cleveland Amory and his organization, The Fund for Animals, according to http://makepeacewithanimals. org/cynthia-branigan/. In 1977, she became a full-time staff member. Using this fund, she has set up adoption centers across the country for more than 10,000 wild burros and mustangs rescued from western public lands.

Branigan is an award-winning journalist who has written for publications such as The New York Times, Equus and Dog World. His television appearances include “Animal Planet” and “Good Morning America,” the website said. She is a retired racing greyhound rescuer and author of the best-selling “Adopting the Racing Greyhound.”

Branigan was educated at Franconia College in New Hampshire and the University of Pennsylvania. She shares a home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania with her husband and their adopted dogs and cats.



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