NORTH OGDEN -- Ron and Ginger Brown and their company, R & G Horses, are known for many business ventures with animals.
The Browns run a trail-riding business at Antelope Island, and their children have taken over a horse-training business at their home in North Ogden.
The two were professional Roman riders for 30 years.
They've also provided a number of animals for movies, such as the newly released home video, "17 Miracles."
They put their name on another project this year when they became the animal wranglers for a summer production of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' "The Life of Jesus Christ" Bible videos.
"We worked our tails off," Ron Brown said of the project, which took him, family members and various crew members from mid-July to mid-October to complete.
"It was a really touching experience for all of our crew to have the animals do what they needed to do," he said.
The free downloadable videos, filmed in Goshen, Utah, were introduced this month by the First Presidency of the church at a Christmas devotional.
Brown said he has learned a lot in his 54 years of experience in training animals. But this time, the lessons were about Jesus and what he means to others and to the animals in the production.
"There were some great miracles," Brown said. "There also were just small, little miracles."
He said a letter to members of the LDS Church inviting them to participate in the project resulted in people from all over the world -- including the Ivory Coast, Egypt, New Zealand, Australia, Italy, Spain, Greece, South America, New York City and England -- coming to Utah through their own means to earn a mere $50 a day on the production set.
"They didn't want a Utah Mormon look," Brown said of the production crew. "They wanted to be ethnically correct.
"They came and participated in this, and they felt that they needed to be there at that time. That made the production really unique because they all wanted to be there."
Brown said a host of people and animals came forth to help him with his role in filming of the videos. He said Ginger committed them to doing the project even though it was out of their realm of expertise.
"I'm not a sheep person," Brown said. "I haven't worked with goats or camels."
But he said he respected his wife's faith in their ability to bring the right animals together.
In all, Brown, his wife and many who helped them wrangled up 250 homing pigeons, 50 sheep, 35 chickens, 12 goats, 12 white doves, four ducks, four donkeys and three camels for the project, as well as the couple's 30 horses that were on and off the set as needed.
Brown subleased the homing pigeons and camels from other owners.
"I can't own every animal," he said, noting his lifelong passion for acquiring four-legged friends.
"My wife says she's not married to an alcoholic, she's married to a horse-aholic," he said, noting that some of the animals will have to be sold once he's done using them for projects at hand.
Brown purchased from sheep handlers in Liberty fleece-flocked animals that had come from Iraq and Iran.
He also borrowed other Icelandic long-haired sheep. Brown said these types of sheep are more difficult to train than American varieties.
"We get there and they tell us what they want the sheep to do," Brown said. "Ginger and I were physically sick knowing that the sheep could not do it and we had a month to get them ready."
But Brown said just the right people who knew volumes about working with sheep arrived at just the right time to show him and his fellow wranglers how to train the animals.
A half-dozen workers put in 12-hour days getting the sheep ready, even up until the animals were needed in production.
Among the demands were for the sheep to lay down for a night scene and then rise on their own and interact when the angel Gabriel appears.
"We thought there was no way," Brown said, noting his surprise when the sheep did what they were supposed to do.
Brown worried because the camels he knew of that could work in the production were from California and would cost 10 times what the church had in its budget for such animals.
But while buying sheep, Brown said he was told of a woman who had the camels he needed for a much lower cost.
"She changed her whole schedule she had arranged for the season to work this project in," Brown said.
He told of a call from Larry Tuckett, a Malta, Idaho, resident who once lived in West Warren, telling him Tuckett's son was bringing him a 35-year-old donkey named Jim.
Brown went to get Jim the donkey even though he didn't have a place for the animal in the videos.
"The day we went to do that part, the donkey that was selected was unable to work," Brown said.
"I would have been in a panic, but I knew I had Jim. We put Jim in, and he was a master and made it."