Title: The Most Marvellous Riders in the World

Date: June 11, 1892

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These are the little band of Cossacks now performing at Earls Court, under the leadership of Prince Ivan Makharadye. These men of the East are of noble blood, and in them the Cowboys of the Wild West have found their match at last. Picturesquely clad in low turban hats of astrachan and voluminous cloaks of yellow, brown, or green, the Cossack, as he dashes past, seems part and parcel of the horse he rides. The band of ten, headed by their leader, comes sweeping around the arena with their swords drawn, and singing a wild chant. They dismount, and while some dance, others sing and clap an accompaniment. Again they mount, and while going at racing speed they pick up whips, handkerchiefs, and other articles from the ground. One of their number will ride on his head as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Indeed, to these marvellous horsemen it seems to matter not at all how they ride. [drawing] They will as soon face their horse's tail as his head. Though they are men of war, they will trip the light fantastic toe with the best, and they can dance as lightly as a Ballerins. These children of the steppes cannot speak English, so they have brought with them an interpreter, to whom a pathetic and romantic interest attaches. He is a native of Manchester. When he was five years old his parents came to London and joined a circus, which was just starting for the Caucasus. The child was accidentally left behind at Tiflis and has since lived among the Russians as a circus rider. After an absence of eighteen years he is in his native land once more and is trying to find his parents, of whom he knows little or nothing.

Title: The Most Marvellous Riders in the World

Source: McCracken Research Library, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody Collection, MS6, MS6.3778.050.03 (1892 London)

Date: June 11, 1892

Topics: Buffalo Bill's Wild West in Britain

Keywords: Caucasus Clothing and dress Cossacks Cowboys Drawings and graphics Ethnic costume Exhibitions Folk dancing Folk music Horsemanship Horsemen Horses Nobility--Russia Scrapbooks Translators Trick riding

Places: Earl's Court (London, England) London (England)

Sponsor: This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Geraldine W. & Robert J. Dellenback Foundation.

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