Table of Contents
The Circus! ........................1
Katja with Angevin CF, Aspen CF, and Medici CF
It’s the circus life for me.
I’ll scoop the poop
And raise the tent
And see the show for free!
Sixty Arabian Owners Run Away to Join the Circus!!!
On June 7,1998, at 6 AM (!!!) a bus ultimately loaded with 42 Arabian horse enthusiasts departed StarWest Stable, New Berlin, Illinois, destination: Arlington Park race track in Chicago, Illinois, where the Big Apple Circus of New York City was performing. The object of the trip was to join the circus.
Of those on the bus, nine were "Davenport People." A week later, another fourteen people comprising almost the entire staff of Craver Farms and their families joined the migration in two van loads.
The trip was instigated by the Davenport Arabian Horse Conservancy, planned and carried out as an Alice Martin Production. In addition to the fun of a marvelous entertainment experience, we enjoyed seeing three Davenport stallions looking beautiful in performance.
En route on the four-hour bus trip, delicious refreshments were served, there was general visiting, some open card-sharking and an abundance of good humor.
Treated like Visiting Royalty
The crowd was welcomed by Katja Schumann, equine director and the premier equestrienne of the Big Apple Circus, holder of the La Dame du Cirque award of the International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo and a gold medal from the Circus World Championships. Ms. Schumann is famous for her performances with horses both mounted and as liberty acts. She acted as a gracious hostess, and participants in the bus section of the trip were privileged to observe the horses in a morning training session. For many of them this was the highlight of the trip. What a privilege to see professionally trained horses which love their work and trainer!
Seven days later, Craver Crew members in a second migration via antique vans were furnished a box of seats in the choicest section of the tent. These were Brian Bugg, Dana Smith and Marty Bugg and their families, Terry Hall’s teenage sons Justin and Randy, Bobby Donaway and Charles Craver. Thrills Under the Big Top The performance opened with a darkened ring. Soft lighting revealed a low bank of fog in which white Arabian horses moved at graceful liberty. Three of these horses were Davenport stallions (The Circus has two others). The horses did nothing much but be themselves: sniffing the ground, some exchanges of squeals, general movement. The crowd loved it, and then the show went on. There were clowns, acrobats, elephants, high wire acts, Katja riding, wire dancing. All was to a snazzy musical score played by a red-hot band. Before we knew it, the show was over.
Back to the Grind
Alas, so was the dream: in our enthusiasm to go, we overlooked that we would have to have our own housing if we stayed on permanently, and we just plumb forgot to bring mobile homes. We had no choice but to get back into the bus and vans and return to the dreary life of central Illinois, which is enlivened because we mostly have horses of our own—Davenports, in fact, for many of us—and we don’t have to go to the Circus to see good horses.
But visions of the day remain, and this coming summer we look forward to another trip to see The Big Apple Circus, in Chicago, that toddling town. Dates: June 12-27, 1999. An effort will be made to arrange a meeting of Davenport and other Al Khamsa people for the event. At present it appears that a promising date will be on Sunday the 13th of June for an afternoon performance, but plans may change. *
Circus Dates Elsewhere
Unfortunate people who cannot attend the Circus with our group from the Springfield, Illinois, area can still get in on the show:
at Boston MA, 4/3—5/9;
at Queens NY, 5/14-23;
at Long Island, NY, 5/28—6/6;
at Chicago, IL, 6/12-27;
at Charlestown RI, 7/5-11;
at Hanover NH, 7/14-19;
at Shelburne VT, 7/22-26.
For specific locations and times of shows, contact The Big Apple Circus Business office at 212-268-2500 or us at Craver Farms at 217-742-3415.
This is the best show in the world, so you owe it to yourself to see it. If you must have an excuse to goof off, take a kid along!
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