HERE COME THE CLYDESDALES
Country Music stars aren’t the only ones who have the household status around here.
Every year, Budweiser brings their team of the world-famous Clydesdale horses to CMA Music Festival. Seen galloping around in commercials or dragging beer wagons around town during parades, the majestic horses have remained Budweiser’s most prominent brand mascot.
The Clydesdale horses came to America from Canada in the mid-1800s for show and recreational purposes. Ryan Zanter, 24, from La Crosse, Wisconsin, who works for the Budweiser Clydesdales, even had an inside scoop on the historical significance of the team.
“They brought FDR (President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) the first case of post-Prohibition beer to Washington, D.C.,” Zanter said.
Fast forward almost 80 years later and the Budweiser Clydesdales still hold their status as one of the most recognizable animal groups on television, having appeared in countless commercials. But when CMA Fest goers see the team in person, they realize the horses are bigger than the small screen portrays them.
John Baldwin, 67, from New Bern, North Carolina, was in awe. “I like just how enormous and strong they all are,” said Baldwin of the group.
Some viewers think they’re so beautiful that they want to buy one for themselves. Julie Pickett, 24, from Raleigh, North Carolina, wants one to graze around on her family’s farm land. “To buy one, though, costs up to $40,000,” Pickett said, perhaps a bit sadly.
The 10 on display in Nashville all have unique names – Dixon, Curly, Sumo and Levi, just to name a few. But the troop featured at CMA Fest isn’t typically used for advertisements. Those horses are specially trained for commercial purposes rather than for beer-wagon pulling and parade trotting.
Having the notoriety attracts people from everywhere to come take a peek at the huge animals. Sometimes, the reactions are as big as the Clydesdales are tall.
“Kids try to go underneath the chain and scream ‘Horsey, horsey,’” Zanter said.
And those reactions represent exactly what the Budweiser Clydesdales stand for: character, quality, consistency.