Monday, August 11, 2014

The History of "Holder"

There are several different identifications I use in the presentation of and education regarding my animals - Holder's Tigers, ShowMe Tigers, my stage name "Ryan Holder." All of these aspects are homage to my family, my home and my youth. My father is an elephant handler. His father and grandfather ran shrimp boats and farmed livestock and hogs. Other great grandparents of mine also ran farms with animals. I come from a long line of hard working individuals whose relationship with and utilization of animals have supported my family.

My website ShowMe Tigers originally stemmed from my elephant history and research site ShowMe Elephants, a play-on-words my father created years ago regarding his involvement with the elephant industry of my home state Missouri. I am proud of my St. Louis heritage and the fascinating history and success of elephant programs of its state.

Holder is a family name also stemming from my father's lineage - the Easley's. Everyday I enter the arena under the announcement of the Holder name, I pay my respects and remembrance to the hard working individuals of my pedigree - from all sides of the family - which built in me the core values necessary for success.

In addition to that family name, my two young tigers which I acquired to train and integrate into my original group are each named after my grandmothers, both of whom have always supported my dreams and goals since childhood to work with exotic animals.

Animal rights extremists accuse me of hiding behind false names or deceiving the public regarding my true identity. This could not be further from the truth. I take great pride in my work, my life and my animals, thankful everyday for the path I have chosen and those which supported me on road less traveled to get here.

"The only way to do great work is to love what you do." //Steve Jobs

Ryan Holder
Tiger Trainer
Kelly Miller Circus