Horses

When it comes to performing, these beauties came first. 

For centuries, horses have been valued for their speed, stamina, learning ability and strength. In fact, horses were the first animal circus performers. At Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey®, there are more horses than any other animal species.

Modern horses appeared three million years ago. Early civilizations such as the Hittites, Assyrians and Persians trained horses for hunting, sports, recreation and transportation. Christopher Columbus brought horses on his second voyage to the New World, and they played a vital role in the western expansion of the United States.

Built for speed; bred for performance.  

All horses have a solid hoof on each foot and long legs with strong upper thigh muscles, so horses are well suited for working and running. The horse's front legs carry most of the weight and absorb the shock of movement, while the back legs provide power for running and jumping.

Selective breeding has developed more than 150 breeds of horses. The Greatest Show On Earth® features Arabian, Friesian, Quarter, Standardbred, and Miniature horses.

When you hear the term "liberty horse act," it means the horses are directed with verbal commands and are not held by reins. The horses are "at liberty."

Fascinating Facts  

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