RIP Vince Bruce

Vince Bruce, who died on September 24th this year, was one of the greatest whip and lariat artists of his generation. I saw him once performing at the Grand National Rodeo at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Before his show in the great arena he did a warm up act in the vendor area – basically a street show – with the audience standing in a circle around him. In his two whip routine, the cane in one of the bullwhips broke, completely changing the handling of the whip. he corrected automatically for this so successfully that I did not notice there was any problem till I went over to talk to him after the show and he showed me the broken whip. In his main act he entered the arena roman riding on his two horses (that is, standing with one foot on each horse) and did a circle while spinning a lariat in a huge flat loop around both horses.

My juggling friends may remember him from the International Jugglers’ Association Festival in 1996. He was a bit concerned about performing in the public show as he was not sure if jugglers would appreciate his act. In fact he brought the house down and got a standing ovation.

Here are links to his obituaries:
The Stage (UK)
New York Times

And of course, a video. The whip action starts at the one minute mark

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2 Responses to RIP Vince Bruce

  1. Annie Dubats says:

    As Vince’s widow, I ask you take off the link to the Telegraph. Sadly the obit contains 6 major mistakes, the original article got the date of death wrong and birthplace wrong. Also the article printed in Kingpole is pure rubbish. I ask that anyone publishing anything about Vince please contact me to fact check. Most of the info out there is incorrect and to keep repeating it is very disrespectful.

    • Andrew says:

      Thanks for the correction. I’ve removed the link as you requested. If there are any other links I should add for Vince, let me know. He was an inspiration to ropers and whip crackers everywhere.

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