Monday, June 4, 2012

Hit the Road Clyde

We ran into the Budweiser Clydesdale on Sunday while having breakfast at a local hangout in Virginia. The team that ships one of three groups was in having their toast.  The horses and the rigs were on the large trucks outside.  Did you know that these 2000 pound animals are on the road 320 days a year?  They clearly don't get home much.  Home for the group we met is New Hampshire.  They are trained there too. There are eight horses on each team.  Transportation for each hitch requires three 50-foot semis.  Two carry the horses, the third carries the beer wagon and the rest of the equipment.   

They are raised on a farm near St. Louis which houses about 35 mares, stallions and foals.    There are about 15 new foals every year. (photo below is by Paul Keleher).

One of these massive animals eats 50 pounds of hay daily, 10-15 pounds of grain.

These wonderful animals were introduced to the public in 1933 by August A. Busch, Jr. when he presented a hitch to his father August Anheuser Busch, Sr.   The hitch then carried the case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery.

But it takes a lot to become a Budweiser Clydesdale.  Only geldings get to do it.  The horses must be at least four, stand at least 18 hands and have a good even temperament.  In addition, each horse must be bay, have four white stocking feet, and a white blaze.

Below is a photo of the Budweiser holiday hitch.  

Aren't they beautiful animals?  

1 comment:

  1. We have seen them in action and they are amazing! Such beautiful animals. My brother breeds Clydesdales, with four of his own for pulling carriages. Always a delight.


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