The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, are scheduled to make several appearances in the area on Feb 20-23, 2020, including one at Beaumont in conjunction with the Mardi Gras SETX.
The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at Mardi Gras on Feb 20-23, 2020. The “Gentle Giants,” as they are often referred to, will participate in Mardi Gras SETX.
The Clydesdales’ appearance in Beaumont is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.
A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.
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.
Did you know?
- Each of the Clydesdales’ handcrafted harnesses and collars weigh approximately 130 pounds.
- The Budweiser Clydesdales are given short names, such as Duke, Mark and Bud, to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during a performance.
- Budweiser Clydesdales’ horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about 5 pounds.
- Dalmatians were known as coach dogs because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and were companions to the horses. Since the 1950s, Dalmatians have traveled with the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch, perched atop the wagon proudly seated next to the driver.
- The turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are kept in excellent condition. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and downhill descents, and a hand-brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a halt.