Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/165

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135
PARADES AND BAND WAGONS

pelled to abandon the attempt after expending $8,000 for a portable electric plant.

The item of tent stakes is quite a formidable one. Fitted with iron rings, they cost about fifty cents each, and hundreds of them are required by every circus. Harnesses require an outlay of from ten to twenty-five dollars each, according to decoration and material.

The draught horses used by circuses vary in price, some of them being purchased cheap from horse markets; but I have always found that the best I could get were the most economical. Those bought by me averaged $200 each; the usual circus horse, however, costs much less, and so long as it does its work all right the main purpose is answered, for, in passing through the streets, its faults do not attract the attention of the ordinary observer, but only that of the typical horseman. Ring horses, whether for a "pad" or a "bare-back" act, must have a regular gait, as without it the rider is liable to be thrown. They are frequently and generally owned by the performers themselves, and I have known a crack rider to pay as high as $2,000 for one whose gait exactly suited him. The performing "trakene" stallions brought from Germany by Mr. Barnum cost $10,000, and my first troupe of edu-