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Budweiser Clydesdales to visit county, town

By Staff | May 9, 2016

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, are scheduled to make several appearances in the area on May 12, 13 and 14, including two at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races and one in Shepherdstown.

The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on May 12 and May 14. On both Thursday and Saturday evenings, the “Gentle Giants,” as they are often referred to, will participate in a showing at Charles Town between 5 and 8 p.m.

The team will arrive at 5 p.m. on N. King St. in front of Town Hall in Shepherdstown Friday. After getting parked, the public can watch as the crew dress and hook the horses. The horses will be paraded down German St. approx. 6 to 6:15 p.m. They will then be avaiable to be seen across from Town Hall until 7:30 p.m., where the public can watch them be undressed and put back on the trucks.

The Clydesdales’ appearance in Charles Town is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.

Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.

A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.

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.