ATLANTIC CITY - The owner of Atlantic City's Steep Pier says he's dropping a plan to bring back the legendary Diving Horse after animal rights activists lodged fierce criticism.

Anthony Catanoso, whose family owns the historic pier reportedly said yesterday he's no longer interested in reviving an attraction that helped make the pier world famous last century. The attraction involved a horse diving into a tank of water.

"We just felt that since Atlantic City is moving forward, we should move forward with it," Catanoso said. "We should create new memories for visitors instead of recreating old ones."

Catanoso revived the act once before, in 1993, but shut it down after two months after similar protests.

He had envisioned the Diving Horse as the centerpiece of a refurbished Steel Pier, part of an overall makeover of the gambling resort. Catanoso says his family would rather create new memories for tourists than revive old ones.

AP wire services contributed to this report.