Clydesdale Horses Could Be the Worlds Most Popular Horses
They Are Such Beautiful Horses
I have to admit, I think that Clydesdale horses are the most beautiful horses in the world. I can't think of very many other animals that have the ability to turn heads the way they do when they are appearing in a parade, or for those lucky enough, when they make an appearance in a State Fair.
We used to go to the Wisconsin State Fair in the Fall, and we would make a special effort to be there whenever the Clydesdale's were making an appearance. We could sit for hours and watch special Clydesdale shows, which would sometimes include the world famous Budweiser Clydesdale's.
I thought of them again recently, because it seems that just about every year, there is a commercial during the Super Bowl featuring them, and there was indeed a Super Bowl commercial featuring the Budweiser Clydesdale's again this year. The 2012 Super Bowl commercial was about the ending of prohibition in the 1930s and the jubilation that surely must have followed its ending.
I have to admit, I thought that commercials in previous years were better, but it was nice to see the Clydesdale's again anyway. I think my favorite commercial featuring Clydesdale's aired in 2001, and it was only shown ONE time - on television. It was a tribute to all of those lost on September 11, 2001. That one STILL gives me goosebumps when I see it, because of the power of the internet, all you need to do is click on YouTube to see it as many times as you'd like to.
My question after watching this video was, how in the WORLD did they TRAIN these Clydesdale's to do this? It is simply amazing. They must be very intelligent horses!
Clydesdale's Sept. 11 Tribute
A Little Bit Of History...
Clydesdale horses were first used in Clydesdale, Scotland by farmers there. That region of Scotland is known today as Lanarkshire. These draft horses are capable of working hard, pulling huge and heavy loads. They are amazingly strong animals that can really help farmers in their work. It is believed that these horses worked on farms for about 300 years, and were shipped to other countries to help farmers there as well. Australia especially has loved and used Clydesdale's to help farmers and ranchers there.
In the 1960s, some people claimed to have seen horses that were still being used to pull carts carrying things like vegetables and milk. But maybe the most famous use of these beautiful horses has been in the United States, by the Anheuser Busch Company of St. Louis, Missouri, in their advertising campaigns.
It's hard to believe, but back in 1975, Clydesdale's were actually on an endangered "vulnerable" list. Numbers of Clydesdale's vary according to different sources, but it is believed that their total world population was at one time under 600 horses. Today estimates range from a world population of Clydesdale's of anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000. They are still not completely out of danger, but things have gotten much better. Clydesdale farms exist in several States in the United States, including a farm that I recently discovered right here in Nevada.
The Redd Barney Ranch is a ranch located near Reno, Nevada, featuring a couple of ranchers with a true passion for caring for and loving these beautiful Clydesdale horses. It's fantastic to see ranchers with such a passion and desire to take such great care of them. According to their website, they will even give tours of their ranch, if you let them know ahead of time that you will be there.
Clydesdale's aren't used as much today as draft horses, but are used more for shows and competitions. Although, in some areas, there may be logging operations that still use them, and in some places, some agriculture operations may continue to use them as well.
Coloring And Markings Can Vary Greatly Among Clydesdale's
Clydesdale's are most often seen today in a bay color, with some being black and brown. White is seen on the face, and at the bottom of their legs. Even though they look similar, some can actually have white areas on their bodies as well, and are judged in competitions just like the ones with more traditional markings.
They stand between 16 and 18 hands high, and most weigh between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds. Clydesdale's can be expected to live from the late teen years to early 20's. Clydesdale's have very sweet and amiable temperaments, which may help to account for some of their popularity. People see them not only as beautiful, sleek and athletic, but as being good-natured animals as well.
A Clydesdale Event In Las Vegas
Each year in the fall, or some years as late as December, a casino south of the Las Vegas strip called South Point Casino features a meet and greet event with the world famous Budweiser Cydesdale's. We went recently, and for anyone who loves these horses, this is a must do event if you happen to be in Las Vegas this festive time of year. South Point casino has an equestrian center on the upper level of the casino that is used year round to hold all sorts of equestrian events, and this is one event that is not to be missed!
People are allowed down onto the dirt area where the Clydesdale's have just walked out pulling the famous wagon with two gentlemen handling the reigns for the eight horses, and on top of the wagon right next to the two men is the famous Budweiser dalmatian named King! People are allowed to take photos of themselves with the famous Budweiser Clydesdale's and can sometimes get the entire wagon with the riders and King the dalmatian in the background. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for fans of the Budweiser Clydesdale's.
In all the other times we have seen these horses, we have never been able to get so close, close enough to take pictures with them. It is really a fun event. Then after about 45 minutes, they ask everyone to clear the area and the horses are taken into the back area, probably to be given drinks of water and treats. Then, they re-appear after about 15 minutes and do their famous figure-eights on the dirt track.
These horses are so sleek and elegant looking and are just a joy to watch. Their athleticism is amazing and they are just so pretty to look at! In fact, they wear special harnesses. The cost of one of these custom-made harnesses? Only $80,000. Yep, you read that right. Not only do these beautiful animals wear $80,000 harnesses, they are also taken from place to place in special semi-trucks that have a feature so they won't feel the motion of the vehicle. These are some ultra- "spoiled" horses. And why not? They are total celebrities, so why not be treated like the celebrities they are?
This event was well attended, and even though the arena was not full - there was room for plenty more people to attend. And another nice feature, the beer is FREE for two hours. There aren't many events you can go to, especially here in Las Vegas that feature FREE beer. So, for anyone who absolutely loves Clydesdale's, this is a dream come true day of fun and excitement. And the picture you get with them makes the experience worth it. It isn't often you are allowed to take pictures of yourself with these famous, well-loved and well-known equestrian celebrities.
© 2012 KathyH