On a special visit to St. Louis, I stopped by Grant's Farm to see and photograph the world's famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses. I got there just in time, as the Farm's season was ending that very next day. Known for their proud strut and long white hair that drapes over their ankles, the Clydesdales are probably the most beautiful horses in the world. The Clydesdale is a breed of draught horse derived from the farm horses of Clydesdale, Scotland...and named after that region. Although originally one of the smaller breeds of draught horses, it is now a tall breed. The Budweiser Clydesdale Stables are home to approximately 25 Clydesdale mares, geldings, stallions and foals. Anheuser-Busch has one of the world's largest herds of Clydesdale horses and owns more than 200 nationwide.
ONLY the finest Clydesdales become part of the Budweiser teams.
The physical requirements are strict. The ideal Budweiser Clydesdale should possess the following characteristics:
• The full-grown Clydesdale should stand 18 hands (about 6 feet) at the shoulder and weigh between 2,000 and 2,300 pounds.
• The ideal horse is bay in color, has a blaze of white on its face, a black mane and black tail.
• Most important, the Clydesdale will have white feathering on all four legs and feet. All hitch horses are geldings, characterized by their even temperament and stronger, more natural draft horse appearance.
I found the horses to be kind of shy at first, staying far away from the fence minding their own business. But as hours, yes hours passed, they began to edge closer to the fence to be rubbed and patted by people visiting the farm. As other horses noticed the interaction, more began to come over to the fences in twos and threes. But at the same time, other horses held their ground and didn't want to partake in the morning activities. Getting that close to the Clydesdales is something I'll never forget, as I have always been fascinated with them. It was also "picture day", where you could have your photo taken with one of the Clydesdale horses upon exiting the Farm...for a small fee, of course!