In July 1783 (?), the French public admired the equestrian performances of Philip Astley’s son.
"19 July : a new kind of show recently attracts the curiosity of the public: these are riding exercises and both serious and comic, surprising feats of strength and flexibility, presented by one Mr. Astley in London. Most of these exercises are already known, but that which has not yet been practiced, and which truly charms experts is the agility, flexibility and nobility of Mr. Astley's son, a young man 17 years old with attractive proportions and the loveliest face in the world, and dancing with infinite grace on horses running at high speed. He mainly performs the Devonshire minuet, the composition of Sigr. Vestris during the great choreographer's stay in London in 1781; and it is said that he performs it as precisely and nobly as the French dancer on stage, that he has infinitely more aplomb. Sigr. Vestris was curious to see him, and could not help agreeing that he would never have believed such a prodigy possible if he had not seen him."
Astley's Amphitheatre, estampe, 19th century
Bibliothèque-musée de l'Opéra © BnF