Kathleen Nelson


Born and raised in London England, Kathy trained in ballet, musical comedy and acrobatics, and joined a traveling dancing and pantomime troupe when she was thirteen years old. By the time she was sixteen, she was performing in Tom Arnold’s Harringay Circus, and excelled in a variety of acts including trampoline, acrobatics and aerial. Kathy came to the US in 1952 and continued working under the big top. She met her husband Paul Nelson, from the famous Nelson circus family, who was a great influence in expanding her talents with horses to include the art of Roman Standing, High School, and Dressage. She was invited to join Ringling Brothers in 1958 and wowed audiences with her artistic gymnastics, creative liberty pony acts and agility on the rolling globe. Kathy married Paul in 1960 and helped him train two liberty horse acts, one for the Hunt Brothers Circus and another for the Mills Brothers Circus. Kathy and Paul continued to work liberty acts, ponies and high school horses until they retired. Currently, she spends much of her time in Sarasota, Florida helping Kay Rosaire with several on-going expansions to the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.