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October 21, 2014

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Siegfried & Roy mulling an anniversary event marking Mirage-Montecore incident

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Steve Sylvanie

Siegfried & Roy acknowledge the crowd at the 10th “Best in Show” canine adoption event at Orleans Arena.

This should be one of the more delicate demarcations ever in Las Vegas.

Plans are in motion — preliminary but in discussion — to recognize the 10th anniversary of the night Roy Horn was bitten on the neck and dragged from the stage at The Mirage by the white tiger Montecore.

That anniversary date is Oct. 3, which also is Horn’s 69th birthday. He spoke at length about the incident in the first front-page story in the new Las Vegas Sun morning edition in October 2005.

The duo were at The Orleans Arena on Sunday for the 10th annual “Best in Show” doggie adoption event to showcase rescue pooches housed at The Animal Foundation. Before the show, Lynette Chappell, the famed “Evil Queen” in Siegfried & Roy’s stage show and a tireless friend, assistant and confidant of the duo for decades, said there has already been widespread international interest from media outlets asking about how, or even if, that night will be recalled.

It is a sensitive issue, yet an important moment in the city’s history and the lives and careers of S&R. Their 13-year run of sold-out shows at The Mirage abruptly ended that evening, and for the past 10 years Horn has been working in extensive rehabilitation with the group of therapists (joined by Siegfried and Chappell) he has jokingly referred to as “the slave drivers.” One of the great Vegas sightings over the past decade is Siegfried & Roy, joined by a small group of caregivers making their way through Las Vegas Athletic Club to hit the machines.

The general idea for an Oct. 3 anniversary event is to celebrate Horn’s birthday and recognize the duo’s philanthropic efforts. A return to The Mirage venue where the horrible incident occurred, which today of course is home to the Cirque-Beatles show “Love,” has not been dismissed.

But whether to hold the event in that theater is one of many uncertain issues being considered to properly honor Siegfried & Roy on the anniversary of that milestone event.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWiththeDish.

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