They may not have a history specific to Philadelphia but since the Clydesdale horses have been making their rounds in our town this week it seemed like a great time to talk about them. The Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company is the main sponsor for the ever-popular Made in America Concert which will be on the parkway this weekend. Along with the amazing performers, Philly is pleased to be hosting the Budweiser Clydesdales to celebrate Labor Day Weekend. Here are some fun facts about these beautiful, famous horses.
- The Clydesdale is a breed of draught horse, which means “to draw or haul”, hailing from and named after Clydesdale, Scotland.
- During World War I the Clydesdale population began to dwindle and by the 1970s the breed was considered vulnerable to extinction.
- The “Budweiser Clydesdales” are a specific group of the breed that have been used in promotions for the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company out of St. Louis Missouri.
- The first Budweiser Clydesdales appeared to celebrate the end of Prohibition on April 7, 1933.
- The tall and majestic horses were a gift to August Anheuser Busch, Sr., from his son August Anheuser Busch, Jr., and they pulled a red, white, and gold beer wagon carrying the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery.
- In order to make the “Budweiser Clydesdale” cut the horse must be over four years old, at least 72 inches, 183 cm high at the withers when fully mature, and weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds. They must be castrated and have a good temperament.
- There are several hitches of Budweiser Clydesdales that travel in teams of 10, 8 will perform at each appearance.
- A trained Dalmatian is with the team, originally the dogs job was to watch the hitch while the driver made deliverers, now the pup travels in the wagon during performances.
The hitch traveling around Philadelphia has been performing since August 25th, you can still catch them in Center City tonight, August 31st at 6pm, Northeast Philly September 1st at 5pm, and in West Chester September 2nd at 5pm. All the events are free and the hitch will be moving up to our Bucks County friends in Doylestown next! For more information click here.