Email Us

Lion Dromes 1

Lions were taken up on the wall in many ways - if they were small enough - on the rider’s lap or like you see on the left was a solution!

Joe Pelaquin, Jr with “Pete”, one of the most difficult cats he ever trained!

Fearless Eggbert’s Lion Drome - one of the first and well known in the old days. (1920s)

Right: Another shot of the front of the lion drome, with Vonnie doing the stage show! You can really see the lion cage well in this one! The riders are L-R: Joe Pelaquin, Jr., Jimmy Reed, La Vonnie, Sonny Pelaquin (19 yrs old!), and Lou Moss- one of the greatest talkers of his time!

Sonny’s brothers Frankie and Russell onstage with King’s cage behind them. If you look close, you can see the big cat in thr cage in between the wheels of the bike!

Left: A picture taken from the cover of a book (Thanks for the pic Danny Varanne!), showing another method of taking a cat up on the wall!

Below:This picture was posed for the photo op. Tha pedestal acts were usually used without a bike involved - more like a traditional lion act, Joe Pelaquin wanted to be a lion trainer like Clyde Beatty, who, as the story goes, got his start in motor dromes!

Left: The late, great “KING”, last of the riding lions, who belonged to the Pelaquin Family. Sonny and his brother Joe(who was the best lion trainer in the family - though the cats really loved Sonny) had gotten injured in a car accident that day and were not around. A drunk carnival worker, showing off for some ladies, stuck his hand into the cage and grabbed King. Although King was tame, hand raised by the Pelaquins, and could be ridden like a pony, the lions did not like the smell of alcohol, nor being grabbed! He grabbed the guy back, and was shot and killed as a result! I have Sonny’s original newspaper article on this, and the cop who had to kill the big cat - obviously did not want to do it - it was a sad day, no fault of King’s, and the end of an era where the lion dromes were the “spectaculars” of the shows...thanks to human error and ego! Sonny would have tears in his eyes every time he told this story...

[Home] [Pelaquin Family] [Picothemomth] [Riders1] [Girlriders 1] [Girlriders2] [Lion Dromes 1] [Lions 'n Ladies] [American Drome] [Motor Dromes] [Racing] [Friends n Family] [In Memory Of] [What's Up!]