In her first season with Dixie Stampede, Crain is the show's featured Roman rider who performs daring feats while standing atop two fast-moving horses, one foot on each horse. Each show is highlighted by Crain's acrobatics on horseback as she and her team of two horses leap through a ring of fire.
The Farina, Ill., native is no stranger to the performance arena. The daughter of a rodeo contractor, Crain literally grew up in the show ring. She began riding professionally at the age of eight. Early on, a trick rider performing in one of her father's rodeos captured Crain's attention. Soon, Crain combined her equestrian skills with lessons learned in gymnastics classes to teach herself the vault, a trick ride that involves jumping on and off a running horse.
Crain watched other riders, studied their techniques and quickly learned to do a wide variety of tricks without any professional training. Along the way, she created a few tricks of her own.
At age 12, Crain attended a Dixie Stampede performance in Branson, Mo., and immediately knew that she wanted to pursue a career as a performer in the show.
Just six years later, Crain's performance at the 2005 International Finals Rodeo garnered the attention of a fellow Dixie Stampede performer who encouraged Crain to audition for the show. In February, Crain moved eight hours from her Farina home to Pigeon Forge where she will perform approximately two to three shows daily in the 1,000-seat arena during Dixie Stampede's 2006 season.
"I'm living my dream," said Crain, a Dolly Parton fan who once tumbled in gymnastics class to the superstar's music. "Trick riding for Dixie Stampede is amazing."
Crain is the daughter of Ronnie and Lynnette Crain of Farina. She is a 2005 graduate of South Central High School and is currently a full-time student enrolled at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Ill., where she is majoring in broadcast journalism.
Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede is a unique dinner and show experience set in a 35,000-square-foot arena featuring 32 magnificent horses, dozens of cast members, live buffalo, ostrich races, illusions, music and more. With seating to accommodate 1,000 guests, the show is highlighted by a four-course meal. Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner and show operates in four locations: Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Branson, Mo., and Orlando, Fla. For more information, call 1-800-356-1676.