Name  : ___________________ Date  : ___________________

Circus Cloze

Directions: Fill in the blanks with the correct words from the word bank above.

The modern circus was invented in England by Philip Astley (1742-1814), a former Sergeant-Major turned showman. The son of a cabinet maker and veneer cutter, Astley had served during the Seven-Year War (the French and Indian War) in Colonel Eliott’s Fifteenth Light Dragoon Regiment, where he displayed _____________ outstanding talent _____________ a horse breaker and trainer.

Upon his discharge, Astley chose to imitate the trick-riders who exhibited with increasing success all _____________ Europe. Jacob Bates, an English equestrian based in the German States who performed as far as Russia (1764-65) and America (1772-73), was the first of these new showmen to make his mark. Bates' emulators, Price, _____________ Balp, Coningham, Faulkes, “Old” Sampson, and many others, had become fixtures of London’s pleasure gardens and inspired Philip Astley.

In 1768, Astley settled _____________ London and opened a riding-school near Westminster Bridge, where he taught in the morning and performed his “feats of horsemanship” _____________ the afternoon. The place featured _____________ circular arena that Astley called circle, or circus, which would later be known as the ring. The circus ring however was not Astley’s invention; it had been devised earlier by trick-riders. Beside allowing the _____________ to _____________ the riders in sight during their performance (not an easy task when they dashed back and forth in open fields at full gallop), the ring also proved ideal, through _____________ generating of centrifugal force, in helping riders keep their balance while _____________ stood on the back of _____________ galloping _____________ _____________ original ring was about 62 feet in diameter. He eventually settled the diameter at 42 feet, which has since become the international standard for all circus rings.

Word Bank : Russia,original,sight,of,at,Indian,the,who,first,later,original,an,chose,over