A LITTLE HISTORY, WHY CLYDESDALES, AND YOUR CHANCE TO WIN A ONCE IN A LIFETIME RIDE WITH THE WORLD FAMOUS BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES DURING A GAME AT ROGER DEAN STADIUM!
On March 5th, the World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium! We’re giving one lucky fan the opportunity to ride with the Clydesdales during the game and the chance to win four tickets to the MARCH 5TH game when St. Louis hosts the New York Mets!
The Budweiser Clydesdales are a group of Clydesdale horses used for promotions and commercials by the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company. There are several "hitches" or teams of horses, that travel around the United States and other countries that remain in their official homes at the company headquarters at the Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis, Missouri, or at Merrimack, New Hampshire. At St. Louis, they are housed in a historic brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885. There are eight horses driven at any one time, but ten horses are on each team to provide alternates for the hitch when needed. Assorted Clydesdales are also used as animal actors in television commercials for Budweiser beer, particularly in Super Bowl ads.
The original Budweiser Clydesdales were purchased from Patrick Shea, owner of Shea's Brewery in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada who had also used them for promoting his brewery. Rebranded for Budweiser, the horses were first introduced to the American public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition.August A. Busch, Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father, August Anheuser Busch, Sr., who was guided outside the brewery by the ruse of being told his son had purchased him a new car, but instead was greeted by the horses, pulling a red, white and gold beer wagon. The hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery in a special journey down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis.
Recognizing the advertising and promotional potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, Busch, Sr. had the team sent by rail to New York City, where it picked up two cases of Budweiser beer at New Jersey's Newark Airport, and presented it to Al Smith, former governor of New York and an instrumental force in the repeal of Prohibition. From there, the Clydesdales continued on a tour of New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, a journey that included the delivery of a case of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
Television advertising featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales had been a longstanding Super Bowl tradition, beginning with an ad during Super Bowl XX in 1986. In 2010, the new parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced that there would not be a Clydesdales ad aired during the 2010 Super Bowl. However, the company reversed its position after asking fans to vote on Facebook whether to include the horses in an ad, compared against two other potential spots. As a result, the company aired a Clydesdale-focused ad during the fourth quarter, one of nine ads aired by the company during the game.
A hitch of Clydesdales pulled the City of St. Louis' float, co-sponsored by Budweiser, in the Tournament of Roses Parade from 1954 to 2011. In 2014 the Clydesdales returned to the Rose Parade, this time pulling their beer wagon. The President of the Tournament of Roses rode on the beer wagon instead of the usual classic car.
Originally the Clydesdales were transported by train. Cross-country truck transport was introduced in 1940. Today, the traveling hitches are on the road at least 10 months every year, based in St. Louis, Missouri, Merrimack, New Hampshire, and Fort Collins, Colorado. At St. Louis, there are several tours that provide a visit to the Budweiser Clydesdale Paddock and Stables. The first Clydesdale hitch was based in Merrimack, New Hampshire. Horses no longer reside there, but the stables are open for viewing. Fort Collins is the home to the Clydesdales West Coast Team. When the horses are not touring, they can be seen as part of a tour and visitors can have a picture taken with them. There are ten horses that travel on each team. Eight are in harness when performing at any one time and the other two horses provide alternates for the hitch as needed. Several professional handlers accompany each team. Often, one handler has night duty to provide round-the-clock care for the horses. 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.The horses' comfort is enhanced with "air-cushioned suspension and thick rubber flooring", and cameras in the trailers enable the drivers to watch the horses during transport. The team stops each night at local stables.
An obedience-trained Dalmatian dog also travels with each hitch, a Budweiser tradition since the 1950s. Historically, the role of the dogs was to guard the wagon and protect the team while the driver went inside buildings to make deliveries. When the team performs today, the Dalmatians sit on the wagon, seated next to the driver. The wagons are Studebaker wagons modified to carry water, originally manufactured circa 1900.