Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Richard Chipperfield Junior

It was an enormous tragedy when Richard was severely mauled by one of his tigers, while appearing with Ringling Brothers in the USA, and had to subsequently retire from the ring, due to his injuries. I saw him perform early in his career, and he displayed great skill, a commanding presence, sensitivity and showmanship with his animals.

In the relatively short time he appeared with the tigers, he received the Best Animal Act Award from the Circus Friends Association of Great Britain in 1996, and the Prix Circus Royale at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival in 1997, before joining Ringling.

A Brilliant career, cut very short!

Best Wishes Richard and family, I hope you continue to make great progress.

Richard making his debut, with lions. Chipperfields Circus, UK-1992

The New Tiger Act, Chipperfields Circus, UK-1995
(apologies for the poor image quality, these are scans of original photographs and the light was poor on the show. However, as there seem to be few pictures around of Richard working in the cage I thought I would add them). The act looked very promising when I first saw it, and Richard went on to receive awards with this group. The remaining animals continue to be shown by Daniel Raffo who took over the act.

Norman Barrett, 'A Circus Legend'

I have had the privilege to meet Norman on several occasions, and can quite honestly say he is a true gentleman. Professional to the last, and highly respected within the profession, but always has time to give to the public, and especially friends of the circus. Delighted he recently received the MBE for services to the industry...no one deserves it more!

Blackpool Tower Circus-1987

Superdome Circus, Blackpool UK-1994

Superdome Circus, Blackpool UK-1994

With Suzanne Chipperfield, Superdome Circus, Blackpool UK-1996

Some of my work signed by the man himself!