Sunday, February 28, 2016

Budweiser Clydesdales March In Saturday Parade

LABELLE, FL. -- The Budweiser eight-horse team of Clydesdale draft horses arrived Saturday in LaBelle for the 50th annual Swamp Cabbage Festival Parade.

Ten horses, the famous red, white, and gold beer wagon and other essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers but only eight pull the wagon. Cameras mounted in the trailers are connected to monitors in the cabs that enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. The team stops each night at local stables so the “gentle giants” can rest. Air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling.

In April 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father, August A. Busch, Sr., with the gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition. The Clydesdales later made a stop in Washington D.C. to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  The St. Louis hitch also toured in celebration of the ending of Prohibition, stopping in Chicago and other Midwestern cities.

Shortly after the hitch was introduced, the six-horse Clydesdale team was increased to eight. On March 30, 1950, in commemoration of the opening of the Newark Brewery, a Dalmatian was introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales’ mascot. Now, a Dalmatian travels with each of the Clydesdale hitches.

To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age, stand 72 inches at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, have a bay coat, four white legs,a white blaze, and a black mane and tail. Anheuser-Busch owns approximately 250 Clydesdales.

Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about 5 pounds which is more than twice as long and five times as heavy as the shoe worn by a light horse.

Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds. The harness is handcrafted with solid brass, patent leather, and stitched with pure linen thread. The harness is made to fit any Clydesdale; however, collars come in various sizes and must be individually fitted to the Clydesdale like a finely tailored suit.

The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo., Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.

Information from

Video: Budweiser Clydesdales by Don Browne

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