by Budweiser Clydesdale Blog Staff | Sep 04, 2013
The history of the Budweiser Clydesdales can be traced back to 1933 when August Busch Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father with six Clydesdales parading down a St. Louis street carrying the first post-Prohibition Budweiser beer produced by the brewery after the repeal of Prohibition.
Realizing the affect that these “gentle giants” had on the crowds of onlookers, Anheuser-Busch began breeding Clydesdales for the Budweiser hitch in 1940. With more than 100 Clydesdales, the Budweiser Clydesdales have become an American icon that invoke a sense of nostalgia and national pride.
What are the qualifications to be part of the Budweiser hitch?
- Age: four years of age or older
- Height: at least 6 feet tall from ground to shoulder
- Weight: between 1,800 and 2,300 lbs.
- Appearance: Bay coat, four white legs, white blaze, black mane and tail
How much does a Clydesdale eat?
Each Budweiser Clydesdale hitch horse will eat as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and drink 30 gallons of water per day.
Where are the Hitch locations?
When the Budweiser hitches are not on the road, the Budweiser Clydesdales can be seen at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo., Merrimack, N.H., and Ft. Collins, Colo. They also may be seen at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch near Boonville, Mo.
How are locations chosen for appearances?
Thousands of requests for the Budweiser Clydesdales are received each year from all over the U.S. Each request is evaluated on criteria, such as: type of event, event dates, and how often the horses have made an appearance in or around that location.
Check out the Clydesdale appearance schedule.
Where is the official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales?
The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is on the 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis.
How are the Clydesdales transported to events?
Ten horses are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. The team stops each night at local stables so the horses can rest. Each trailer is equipped with air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring to ensure a smooth and comfortable ride.
How does one become a Hitch Driver?
Driving the combined 12 tons of wagon and horses requires expert skill and physical strength. Hitch drivers endure a lengthy training process before they assume the prestigious role of "Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Driver."
How big are the Clydesdales’ horseshoes?
Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weighs about 5 pounds - a regular horse's shoe is about 10 inches and weighs about a pound.
What are the Clydesdale's hoofs made of?
A Clydesdale's hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail.
Does it hurt when a Clydesdale gets new shoes put on?
Not at all, it is much like a person getting a manicure.
What type of wagons are used at hitch events?
The wagons are restored, turn-of-the-century beer wagons.