Georgian Trick Riders in American Wild West Shows, 1890s-1920s

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In 1893, Georgian horsemen from the Caucasus immigrated to the United States where for more than 30 years they performed in circuses and Wild West shows under the billing of "Russian Cossacks." The connection between Buffalo Bill Cody and the Georgian trick riders represents one of the earliest relationships between Georgia and the United States. Western historian Dee Brown wrote, "Trick riding came to rodeo by way of a troupe of Cossack daredevils imported by the 101 Ranch. Intrigued by the Cossacks' stunts on their galloping horses, western cowboys soon introduced variations to American rodeo." This is the story of the men who came in search of financial support for their families in Georgia and, without knowing it, influenced an essential fixture of American culture.

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