The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, representatives of Anheuser-Busch for more than 70 years, are scheduled to make several appearances showcasing their tremendous strength, precision, grace and beauty during the L.A. County Fair, scheduled for Sept 10-26. The massive animals will appear during the races for Fairguests at the Fairplex Park Budweiser Grandstand.
Weighing 2,000-2,300 pounds and standing six feet tall at the shoulder, the Budweiser Clydesdales make hundreds of appearances annually, logging over 100,000 miles.
Trains initially transported the horses, but today they travel aboard three custom-built, fully loaded trailers.
The team is carefully groomed and harnessed before each appearance. It takes five hours to prepare the horses. The horses are shampooed and brushed until their coats glisten, and the manes and tails are decorated with colorful ribbons and flowers.
After grooming, the horses are placed in custom-fitted black, silver and brass harnesses. Each harness and collar is individually fitted, weighs 130 pounds and is valued at $80,000.
Behind the hitch is the red, white and gold turn of the century beer wagon. The wagon weighs nearly 8,000 pounds, but glides easily since the horses work together.
A faithful Dalmatian has accompanied each Clydesdale hitch since the 1950s. The mild-mannered dogs even sleep with the horses in the stables.
Only the gentlest horses are chosen for the world-famous, eight-horse hitch because the Clydesdales meet millions of people each year. The ideal Budweiser Clydesdale is bay in color, has a blaze of white on the face, a black mane and tail and white feathering on all four legs and feet.
The Budweiser tradition dates back to 1933 when August A. Busch Jr. bought his father the first Budweiser hitch to celebrate the end of Prohibition. Today, Anheuser-Busch has five traveling hitches based in St.Louis, Mo., Menifee, and San Diego, Calif., Merrimack, N.H. and San Antonio, Texas.
Budweiser is a proud sponsor of the L.A. County Fair. For more information about the Fair, visit the Web site at www.lacountyfair.com or call (909) 623-3111.