Heidelberg Distributing confirmed that The Budweiser Clydesdales have made it to Dayton to make some special appearances around town.
On April 7, 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III surprised their father, August A. Busch, Sr., with the gift of a six-horse Clydesdale hitch to commemorate the repeal of Prohibition.
Shortly after the hitch was introduced, the six-horse Clydesdale team was increased to eight. On March 30, 1950, in commemoration of the opening of the Newark Brewery, a Dalmatian was introduced as the Budweiser Clydesdales’ mascot. Now, a Dalmatian travels with each of the Clydesdale hitches. Today, Anheuser-Busch owns approximately 250 Clydesdales; they continue to be an enduring symbol of the brewer’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality.
These majestic horses are scheduled to make several appearances in the area October 6 through 8, including:
Thursday, October 6 – Dayton Children’s Hospital, 10:30am, Noon; One Horse on display near the Main Entrance
Friday, October 7 – Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, noon – 2pm in the North Parking Lot; Whole Hitch on display – open to all ages
Saturday, October 8 – Speedway Store Grand Opening at 90 N. Xenia Drive in Enon, 10:30 – 11:30am; Whole Hitch on display
Facts About the Clydesdales:
To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age, stand 72 inches at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, have a bay coat,four white legs,a white blaze, and a black mane and tail.
Each hitch horse will consume 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.
Expert groomers travel on the road with the hitch. They are on the road at least 10 months every year. When necessary, one handler provides around-the-clock care for the horses, ensuring their safety and comfort.
There are eight horses driven at any one time, but ten horses are on each team to provide alternates for the hitch when needed. 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.
Transportation for each hitch requires three 50-foot semis. Two carry the horses, the third transports a red, white and gold beer wagon and other equipment.
Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about 5 pounds which is more than twice as long and five times as heavy as the shoe worn by a light horse. A horse’s hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail so being fitted for shoes affects the animal no more than a manicure affects people.