Unlocking the Secrets of the Budweiser Clydesdale Farm: Everything You Need to Know


The Clydesdale Farm of Budweiser

If you’ve ever marveled at a Budweiser parade led by majestic horses and are eager to delve into the world of Budweiser Clydesdales, you’ve landed in the right spot!

The Budweiser Clydesdales, the magnificent horses featured in Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company’s promotions and commercials, travel as various teams, known as “hitches,” across the United States and other countries. Despite their frequent and demanding schedules, these Clydesdales are primarily housed in their official residences at the Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis, Missouri, as well as in New Hampshire and Merrimack.

In St. Louis, these majestic creatures find their home in a historic stable constructed in 1885. Each time, eight horses are harnessed, yet there are ten horses on standby within each team, offering alternatives for the hitch whenever necessary. Additionally, these Budweiser Clydesdales play the role of animal heroes in Budweiser beer commercials, particularly during Super Bowl advertising campaigns.

The Budweiser Clydesdales’ past

In 1933, Adolphus Busch III and August A. Busch Jr. surprised their father, August A. Busch, with a six-horse Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition of Beer. This memorable event marked the beginning of the Budweiser Clydesdales’ history.

Recognizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company arranged for a second six-horse hitch to be sent to New York to commemorate the occasion. As they paraded through the streets of Empire State City, the Clydesdales captured the attention of thousands. Following a ceremony, Budweiser presented a case to Governor Alfred E. Smith as a token of appreciation for his years of dedication to the fight against prohibition. This momentous event solidified the Budweiser Clydesdales’ legacy in the history of beer and marketing.

The Budweiser Clydesdales made their public debut on April 7, 1933, commemorating the end of Prohibition. August A. Busch Jr. orchestrated a surprise for his father, August Anheuser Busch Sr., by leading him outside the brewery under the pretense of revealing a new car. To his surprise, the senior Busch was greeted by a team of horses pulling a magnificent red, white, and golden wagon filled with beer. This historic moment took place on Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis, where the Clydesdales proudly carried the first post-prohibition beer case from the city’s brewery.

Recognizing the immense publicity and promotional potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, Busch Sr. had the team transported by rail to New York City. There, the Clydesdales picked up two cases of Budweiser beer at the New Jersey airport and delivered them to Al Smith, the former governor of New York and a key advocate for the repeal of Prohibition. Following this delivery, the Clydesdales embarked on a tour of New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, ultimately presenting President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a case of water at the White House. This journey marked the beginning of the Budweiser Clydesdales’ iconic role in American history and advertising.

Qualifying to be a Budweiser Clydesdale is no small feat. These majestic horses must meet specific criteria to become a part of this iconic team. Each Clydesdale must possess a flat-talented, robust, and shapely horse-like appearance, be at least four years old, stand at least 18 hands at the groin (72 inches or 183 cm), and weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds (820 to 1,140 kg). Additionally, they must have four white feet and a white blaze on their face, complemented by a reddish-brown coat, black mane, and tail.

The Budweiser Clydesdales reside in two primary farms: Warm Springs Ranch and Grant’s Farmhouse.

1) Warm Springs Ranch: Warm Springs Ranch, established in 2008, is the largest breeding facility for the Budweiser Clydesdales. It spans over 300 acres in the rolling hills of Missouri, about 150 miles west of St. Louis. This ranch is home to more than 70 Budweiser Clydesdales, ranging from foals to stallions. The facility includes mare/stallion and foaling barns, a veterinary laboratory, and ten pastures, ensuring the well-being of these magnificent creatures.

The Clydesdale Farm of Budweiser

2) Grant’s Farmhouse: Grant’s Farmhouse is where visitors can witness Clydesdales aged between 6 months and 15 years or older. The farm produces around 35 foals each year, with an average of 15 foals born annually. Anheuser-Busch owns approximately 250 Clydesdales across the United States, making it one of the world’s largest herds of Clydesdale horses.

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The Budweiser Clydesdale Stables: The Clydesdales can be observed at the Clydesdale Stable, located at the main entrance of Grant’s Farm. Visitors can see these magnificent horses rumbling and playing in pastures and even enter the stable to admire them up close. The stables are impeccably maintained, providing a clean and safe environment for these beloved animals.

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Traveling Hitches: The Clydesdales are no strangers to travel. Initially transported by train, cross-country travel by truck was introduced in 1940. Today, these traveling hitches spend at least 10 months on the road each year, based in St. Louis, Missouri, Merrimack, New Hampshire, and Fort Collins, Colorado. The horses are accommodated in specialized semis with air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring for their comfort during transportation. Each team consists of ten horses, with eight in harness at a time during performances and the other two serving as alternates. Expert handlers accompany each team, ensuring the Clydesdales receive the best care and attention during their journeys.

Witnessing the Budweiser Clydesdales in action is not just a testament to their grandeur but also an experience that showcases the meticulous care and dedication that go into preserving this cherished American tradition.

uper Bowl commercials have introduced numerous memorable characters over the years, from the tiny Darth Vader to Mean Joe Greene, Danica Patrick, and even a talking infant. Yet, none have captured the enduring appeal quite like the team of Budweiser Clydesdale Commercials. Since their grand debut in the 1986 Super Bowl, where they gallantly trudged through the snow accompanied by the chorus, “where you tell Bud you’ve said it all,” these Clydesdales have become an integral part of the big game’s tradition.

In subsequent Super Bowls of 1991, ’92, and ’95, the Clydesdales made their mark. However, it was the 1996 commercial that truly set a new standard. This iconic ad featured two teams of horses engaging in a spirited football game within a snow-covered mountain meadow. Jeff Knapper, the general manager for Clydesdale operations at Anheuser-Busch, revealed that the Clydesdales for this commercial had undergone extensive training near Jackson Hole, Wyo. The horses were meticulously trained, both individually and in groups, to perform a variety of movements, ensuring their impeccable performance on the screen. This dedication to perfection has solidified the Budweiser Clydesdales as enduring symbols of Super Bowl advertising magic.

In the realm of advertising, where creativity battles for attention, the Budweiser Clydesdale Commercials have carved a niche of timeless appeal. From their inaugural appearance in the 1986 Super Bowl to their iconic football match in the snowy meadow in 1996, these majestic horses have become an indelible part of our Super Bowl memories.

Their enduring presence speaks not only to their grace but also to the meticulous training and dedication that goes into each commercial. Behind those powerful hooves and flowing manes are months of preparation, transforming these Clydesdales into stars capable of captivating audiences worldwide.

As we reflect on the rich tapestry of Super Bowl commercials, the Budweiser Clydesdales stand as a testament to the artistry of storytelling. Their commercials have not only showcased the brand but also stirred emotions, reminding us that even in the fast-paced world of advertising, there is space for the timeless allure of these magnificent creatures.

With every Super Bowl, we eagerly anticipate the next chapter in the Clydesdales’ saga, knowing that their presence will continue to add a touch of magic to our screens, reminding us of the enduring power of a well-told story and the elegance of these extraordinary animals.

Also if you want to read and watch: Budweiser Clydesdales Grace Opening Day with Majestic Appearance