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Zoppe Family
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Alberto Zoppè

Jan. 4, 1922 - March 5, 2009

Giovanni Alberto Zoppé was born on January 4, 1922 in Vittorio Veneto, Treviso Province in northern Italy into a family of circus equestrians. Alberto was one of 16 siblings born to Luigi and Emma Zoppé. Eleven of Alberto's siblings died during World War II.

The Zoppé family traces their circus roots back to the year 1842, when members of the family began performing clowning and acrobatics on the streets of towns and villages in Italy. The Zoppé added horses to their routines and eventually owned a circus. The family found that they were natural born equestrians and their bareback riding abilities became known worldwide.

In 1936 members of the Zoppé family arrived in the United States to perform with the Cole Bros. Circus. Alberto and other members of the family remained in Italy and continued operating a circus.

Alberto arrived in the U. S on 29 Mar 1948 to perform in the family's riding act on the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Ringlings had persuaded Alberto to join the show in exchange for loaning an elephant to the Zoppe's circus in Italy.

Alberto's signature trick was to perform a full somersault from one horse to a second horse following the first.

Alberto was married twice, first to Jenny Wallenda from July 2 1949 until 1954 (divorce). His second marriage was to Sandra Kayler 1960 - 2009 (his death).

The comedy portion of the Zoppe's riding act was provided by Cucciolo (puppy), a midget adopted into the Zoppe family. Cucciolo's antics had audiences falling out of their seats with laughter.

In later years Alberto owned and produced circuses in the U. S.. The Zoppe family continue to perform and operat a circus today. Information their current circus can be found at this link: Zoppe Circus.

Giovanni Alberto Zoppé died in Greenbrier, Arkansas, March 5 2009 at age 87 of respiratory failure. He was interred in San Fior, Italy.

Sarasota's Circus Ring of Fame   On January 21 2007 Alberto Zoppè was inducted into the Sarasota's Circus Ring of Fame.
 
Albertp Zoppe
 
Cucciolo and Alberto Zoppe
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Cucciolo and Alberto
RBBB July 28 1948
 
The Zoppe Family and  Cucciolo
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The Zoppe Riding Act
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