One of the horses from the Count of Monte Cristo.

Animals Add to the Visual Spectacle

Lisa Larson Animals, Beauty and The Beast, Technical, The Count of Monte Cristo 1 Comment

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.

Two young lambs

Baby lambs Rowdy and Bab’s from the dock scene in The Count of Monte Cristo. Photo by Kimberlee Davis

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.

team of Clysdale mares

Brittany Boring takes a team of Clysdale mares (Cat and Dog) to the stage for The Count of Monte Cristo

“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.”

a team of Percherons horses

Austyn Weagerle takes Jack and Gus a team of Percherons to the wash rack in preparation for The Count of Monte Cristo

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.
    The X Man a cute bay horse

    Austyn Weagerle rides The X Man a cute bay horse who’s making his debut as a race horse in The Count of Monte Cristo

    Horses play a big part in Tuacahn's productions.

    Left – Austyn Weagerle rides ColdStone Right – Gavin Lewis rides Filly Race horses for The Count of Monte Cristo

Jack a harness horse gets a bath

Madison Johnson bathes Jack a harness horse who pulls many horse drawn vehicles for our shows. In The Count of Monte Cristo you can see her at the Ball pulling a carriage or in the streets pulling a taxi.

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