by Budweiser Clydesdale Blog Staff | Jul 10, 2013
Photo By: Nicole D'Angelo
Meet Jake, one of the more than 100 Budweiser Clydesdales. Actually, you've probably met Jake before! Jake was in the 2013 Budweiser Super Bowl commercial.
He’s a 12-year-old Clydesdale gelding (a castrated male horse) with the Budweiser Clydesdale West Coast Hitch.
Jake is a handsome horse, standing 18 hands tall – that's about six feet. To qualify for a coveted hitch position, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age. He must stand 72 inches (six feet) at the shoulder when fully mature and weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds. In terms of appearance, Budweiser Clydesdales must be bay in color, have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face, and have a black mane and tail.
Jake serves in the body or swing positions in the West Coast Hitch. What does that mean? Well, the size and physical ability of each horse contributes to its position in the hitch. Wheelhorses, the pair closest to the wagon, must be large and strong enough to start the wagon’s movement and slow or stop the hitch. The body (second position) and swing (third position) pairs are agile in order to turn the wagon. Both steer the wagon, but body horses tend to be a bit stronger and bigger since they pull a bit more weight than the swing horses. The leaders (pair in front, furthest from the wagon) are the most agile.
Jake has no other family members in the Budweiser hitch family and unlike many of the Clydesdales, he was born in Ontario, Canada, but he’s been with the hitch for seven years, so there’s no doubt he’s made plenty of friends, eh?
Speaking of which, are you wondering who Jake’s friend is? That’s one of the Budweiser Dalmatians. The Dalmatians have traveled with the Budweiser hitches since the 1950s when they were trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver made deliveries. Today, you can find the Dalmatians perched atop the wagon, seated next to the driver.
Check out other fun facts about the Budweiser Clydesdales.