If there’s one thing that is sure to elicit an audible gasp among Tuacahn audiences, it’s when a live animal makes its way on stage.
Camels, sheep, goats, horses, even a peacock — animals bring an added layer to the visual spectacle of so many of Tuacahn’s productions; just another of the things that makes this outdoor venue so unique.
“Camels add a lot of ‘wow’ factor, but the horses are just so majestic.”
And this season is no exception.
When The Count of Monte Cristo arrives to his own lavish party by way of a hot air balloon, his guests arrive in equally stylish fashion — in carriages pulled by teams of black Clydesdales and white Percheron horses.
“These are stunning animals,” says Kimberlee Davis, Tuacahn’s animal trainer and handler. “We are very fortunate that Tuacahn spares no expense to provide quality care for them.”
Living out her childhood dreams, Davis says she cannot imagine anything better than working with these animals and sharing them with the Tuacahn’s appreciative patrons.
“The animals are part of the Tuacahn magic,” Davis says. “Camels add a lot of ‘wow’ factor, but the horses are just so majestic. Even a villain like Gaston becomes a hero for a moment when he rides in on one of these horses.”
The animals add a lot to the shows and our directors realize that,” Davis continued. “If there is a real animal and we can realistically use them, we make it happen.”
Here are just a few fun facts about the animals used in this season’s productions at Tuacahn.
Did you know?
- The Count of Monte Cristo features a total of seven horses and two baby lambs.
- There are four animal wranglers on stage and four behind the scenes during The Count of Monte Cristo.
- The animals used on stage live year round on site at Tuacahn.
- Tuacahn’s horses have their own pyro technician so they can safely train before going on stage with all the special effects.
- The horse used by Edmond Dantes (David Toole) this year has been with Tuacahn for many years and is nicknamed “Filly.” She has taken many princes to find their princesses at Tuachan thanks to her trustworthy nature.