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CLYDESDALES
The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Teams
 
HISTORY
1.

The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales were formally introduced to August A. Busch Sr., President of Anheuser-Busch, Inc., by his son on April 7, 1933. Prohibition had just been repealed, and to commemorate the event, the hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis, carrying with it the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis Anheuser-Busch brewery.

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DALMATIONS
1.

Dalmatian dogs have traveled with the hitch since the 1950s.

   
2.

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. The black and white spotted dogs were swift enough to keep up with the wagons, and their light colored bodies and distinctive marking made them easy to see during twilight hours.

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HITCHES
1.

To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, an Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale must be a gelding (neutered male) at least four years of age. He must be 18 hands (6 ft. or 1.8 m); weigh between 1,800 to 2,000 lb. (817 - 907 kg); be bay in color; and have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and tail.

   
2.

Groups of ten Clydesdales travel together as a hitch team. Eight Clydesdales are hitched together to pull the wagon. Two horses travel as alternates.

   
3.

The physical ability of each horse determines its position in the hitch. Wheelhorses (the pair closest to the wagon) must be large and strong enough to start the wagon's movement and to use their weight to help slow or stop the vehicle. The body (second position) and swing (third position) pairs must be agile to turn the wagon. The leaders (the pair in front, furthest from the wagon) must be the fastest and most agile pair.

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WAGONS

1.

The wagons are Studebaker wagons (circa 1900) that were converted to deliver beer.

   
2.

The wagons have two braking systems; a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and descents down hills, and a foot brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is stationary.

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HARNESS

1.

Each set of harnesses weighs 130 lb. (59 kg).

   
2. There are several major components to the harness.

Blinders prevent the horse from becoming visually distracted.

The bridle consists of the headpiece, browband, cheek straps, noseband, bit and reins. These allow the driver to direct the team. The reins alone for the eight horses on the hitch can weigh over 40 lb. (18 kg).
A martingale prevents the horse from raising its head to avoid the action of the bit and bridle.
Collars are individually fitted to each horse. The straps and reins run through the collar and to the driver.
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