Budweiser Clydesdales Arrive at the Livestock Show
POSTED: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 8:40am
UPDATED: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 4:43pm
MERCEDES — The world renowned Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales have returned to the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show once again, and they're undergoing some training to get used to this Valley heat.
"We drag them on a sled just to get them in shape."
Clydesdale handler, Dennis Knepp says they're taking advantage of the rodeo terrain.
"Parades don't really work the horses, but rodeos do, because it's softer it takes all 8 horses to pull the wagon."
Budweiser owns around 230 horses and they tour the country making big appearances throughout most of the year. They travel with 10 clydesdales and hitch 8.
"We have them in rotation, so every night there's a different horse has a day off," said Knepp.
General manager of the RGV Livestock Show, Sam Magee says the gentle giants attract many visitors during their stay.
"In our rodeo performances, they'll have the Budweiser wagon hooked up making their rounds around our rodeo arena before our rodeo performances. It's just a tremendous thing to see."
To qualify for a hitch, the clydesdale must also weigh between 18,000 and 23,000 pounds, have a blaze of white on the face, four white legs, and a black mane and tail.
The handlers start working with the prized horses once they're 3 years old.
"They don't come out with us until they're at least four. It gives them a little bit of time to mature mentally and physically," said Knepp.
The clydesdales have been the icon of Busweiser for over 75 years. Make sure to catch one of their performances, the hitch will be here until Monday morning.