We all know them. The most loved living icons of all beer brands, the Budweiser Clydesdales. These magnificent beasts have been proudly pulling Bud beer wagons across advertisements since 1933, the year prohibition ended. The Anheuser-Bush corporation maintains a herd of over 160 Clydesdales at its working ranch in Missouri, Warm Springs. There, the youngest member of the herd, a colt foal named Mac, was born in good health last Tuesday. Mac will remain at the ranch where he will be taught the skills needed to perform as part of a beer wagon pulling team.
When Mac reaches maturity he will like be just over eighteen hands high and over six feet long. His feet will be covered by a special thick mane that were very helpful in surviving work conditions in the Scottish winters. As an adult male Mac may well grow to weigh a ton.
Pulling beer wagons is nothing new for Clydesdales who were bred to thrive in the cold Scottish climate performing farm work and hard large heavy loads.
Clydesdales were developed as a breed in Scotland in the 18th Century for use in transport and farm work. They became popular as a national breed in Scotland and were exported where ever Scots emigrated. By 1911 Clydesdales reached the zenith of their popularity around the world, particularly in English speaking countries of the British Empire. With the coming of the World War I (The Great War) thousands of Clydedales were enlisted in too British service.
The massive introduction of tractors and machinery into agricultural production around the world between the World Wars led to a steep reduction of working Clydesdales. In Australia hundreds were released back into the wild. Modernization after World War II only accelerated the decline of the Clydesdale breed around the globe. Their lowest level was reached in 1975.
As the numbers of Clydesdales began to stabilize they changes from being work horses to show horses. One of the great joys Mac will experience by being a Bud beer wagon Clydesdale is that he will be doing the kind or work that Clydesdales were created for.
When Mac reaches four years of age he may be eligible to join one of the six hitching teams of eight Clydesdales that pull beer wagons. However there are requirement. He must be 18 hands high, and he must have a brown coat with white on the face and has white feathers (the manes around his feet). Mac will have to weigh around a ton. If he is accepted into one of the teams he will very well groomed and fed like a king.