Warm Springs Ranch — Home of the World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdales

FAQ About Clydesdales

How long have Clydesdales been bred?
In the early 19th century, farmers living along the banks of the River Clyde in Lanarkshire, Scotland, imported a few Great Flemish Horses and mated them with local mares. This was the birth of the Clydesdale.

Can any Clydesdale be a Budweiser Clydesdale?
No. In order to join the World-Famous Budweiser hitch, a Clydesdale must meet certain requirements. They must stand at least 18 hands high (or 6 feet tall). They must be geldings and at least four years old. They must have a bay coat, 4 white stockings, a blaze of white on the face, a black mane and a black tail. And they must weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds.

How much does a Clydesdale eat and drink?
Each hitch horse consumes as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

Where are all the hitches located?
The traveling hitches of Budweiser Clydesdales are based in St. Louis, Missouri; Fort Collins, Colorado; and Merrimack, New Hampshire.

Where is the official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales?
The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is an ornate brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis.

How do the Clydesdales travel?
Ten horses, the famous red, white, and gold beer wagon and other essential pieces of equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. Air cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling. And the team stops each night at local stables so the “gentle giants” can rest.

Do the Clydesdales have names?
Yes, the Budweiser Clydesdales are given short names like Duke, Mark, Captain and Bud so that it’s easier for drivers to give commands to the horses during a performance.

What does it take to drive a hitch of Clydesdales?
Driving the combined 12 tons of wagon and horses requires expert skill and physical strength. The 40 pounds of lines held by the driver plus the tension of the horses pulling creates a weight of over 75 pounds. That’s why hitch drivers endure a lengthy training process before they assume the prestigious role of “Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch Driver.”

Do the Clydesdales have a special harnesses?
Yes, each 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. Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds.

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

Why do Dalmatians ride on the Budweiser hitch?
The Dalmatian breed has long been associated with horses and valued for their speed, endurance and dependable nature. Dalmatians were once known as coach dogs, because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and provided companionship to the horses. Today, the Dalmatians are perched atop the wagon, proudly seated next to the driver.

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