Budweiser Clydesdales

Last weekend we had the opportunity to see the Budweiser Clydesdales up close and in person. They made a stop in Cottonwood Falls to participate in a  rodeo and parade, and then stayed overnight in a barn at the edge of the city park.

When we visited them early Saturday morning, they were having breakfast and being groomed.

There are five “hitches” or teams of clydesdales that tour the country ten months each year. Each team travels in three huge tractor trailers. Ten horses fill two of the trailers while the third holds the wagon and other equipment. It takes eight horses to pull the beer wagon, and the remaining two horses are there for back-up. All of them are geldings. They stand six feet tall at the shoulder and weigh about a ton each.

Standing next to them was an incredible experience. They are so massive, and yet appear to be very gentle, like huge dogs.

They travel with their own portable stalls, several grooms, and even a dalmatian named Duke.

After breakfast, the horses were taken for a walk.

Duke was so excited about getting out  for a run around the park.

One of the horses went for a run alongside a golf cart.

After their exercise, they had their white “stockings” shampooed.

We left them then, but saw them again later that afternoon pulling the beer wagon in the annual rodeo parade on the wide brick streets of Cottonwood Falls.

It was quite a sight, and I’ll share pics with you soon.



Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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10 Responses

  1. Lisa says:

    I’ve always loved to see them on TV – how cool that you were able to see them “up close and personal!”

  2. Carol says:

    I saw these beautiful horses a long time ago, at the American Royal in Kansas City, Mo. The Royal at that time, was in the stock yards in a wood building. The Clydesdales, pulling the beer wagon, would run into the arena and shake the building! It would give me goose bumps, thanks for the trip down memory lane. Beautiful pictures!

  3. Louise S says:

    What majestic animals! They are absolutely beautiful, and I’m envious you got to see them so closely. 🙂

  4. These horses are so beautiful! And huge! We saw them in St Louis a few years back.

  5. Vivian says:

    I saw a Clydesdale mare and her foal once. The foal (or colt) was a couple of months old. Boy what a big baby! But he was so cute. Before then, I had only seen them on TV and didn’t realize how big they are.

  6. Tina says:

    Very cool! They are so pretty and big too. By the way, do you happen to know why their tails are cut short?

  7. I could take a stab at answering Tina’s question. There really isn’t any GOOD reason why their tail are cut. The old-fashioned answer is that it could get tangled in the harness, or so that they couldn’t get their sensitive tail over the harness and cause them to react to the feeling. Either way, it leaves the horse without their only defense against biting insects.
    It seems now to be a tradition, and is used mostly when showing or displaying draft horses.

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Melody. There are some dog breeds too that still dock the tails. It’s just wrong.

    • Tina says:

      Thank you for the answer! I just thought how pretty they would be with the flowing tail. I don’t think they should be cut so short. Maybe braid them like other show horses? I guess they have “staff” to swat the flies!!

  8. Debbie says:

    Interesting post!
    I did not realize they are SO huge!
    Very beautiful! I have never seen them!
    Thanks for the photo experience!

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