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


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Irakli Makharadze is a filmmaker and author from Tbilisi, Georgia.

Bibliographic Details

Irakli Makharadze
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 91 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9739-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1880-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. Georgia—the Land of Wine and the Golden Fleece 17
2. Guria: The Heart of Georgia 24
3. From East to West 28
4. Down in Albion: The Russians Are Coming! 40
5. On Her Majesty’s Service 47
6. The Georgian Cossacks 54
7. Master of the Rough Riders 63
8. Alexis ­Gogokhia/Georgian 79
9. Coming to America 83
10. Promised Land 92
11. All Born Princes: Daredevils 105
12. Who’s Guilty? 128
13. Gurian Republic and the ­Outlaw-Pirals 132
14. Life and Times of the Wild West 143
15. The Death Race 155
16. Prince Luka: Russia’s Famous Player 165
17. The Georgian Amazons 174
18. This Is the End 189
Chapter Notes 195
Bibliography 203
Index 205

Book Reviews & Awards

“insightful…a great many photographs throughout”—ProtoView.