This past January, the Budweiser Clydesdales came to town to visit the Fairfield Anheuser-Busch plant. They were in town for a good two weeks where the public were invited to come in and visit. On the weekends the full “Hitch” were shown in person from the moment the Clydesdales got groomed to being attached to the Hitch along with them walking the hitch around the parking lot. I was there one weekend to experience it in person, and this is my story.
Upon arrival to the Anheuser-Busch plant, a statue sits right next to the entrance to the plant of the beloved Budweiser Clydedale. Walking further into the parking lot is where they staged the Clydesdales throughout the two week visit. The beloved Clydesdales became apart of the Anheuser-Busch family back in 1933 when they were given as a gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition, the presentation of the original two six-horse hitches of champion Clydesdales moved father, sons and drivers to tears. The phrase “crying in your beer” was officially coined shortly thereafter.
The first part of getting the Clydesdales ready is in the grooming. From brushing them to placing the roses atop which is a process all in itself. Once the horses are ready the team then begins to bring out the wagon, which has a history all itself: The beautiful red Studebaker dates back all the way to 1903! Just as much hard work goes into the wagon along with the Clydesdales.
And of course, the Hitch wouldn’t be complete without the beloved Dalmation running around. The Budweiser Hitches tour across the entire United States, three teams altogether. The West Coast Team has their sidekick by the name of Chip with them.
During the set-up process, Chip was running around greeting those all around him, and posing for pictures just like the one above. During the Hitch, he will sit atop the Wagon and ride along with the Driver keeping his eyes out for any trouble that may lie ahead.
The horses are then brought out one at a time as they each are harnessed then attached to the Wagon. This process alone took a good hour of getting the horses all set up for the completed hitch. But once they are all Harnessed, the demonstration of the hitch can finally begin:
And Chip atop the Hitch:
And just one more of the full Hitch:
It’s one thing to see these majestic creatures on TV, but a completely another thing once seeing them in person, and seeing the process done in front of you. It takes a good 2 to 3 hours from grooming to the full on demonstration, but you were captivated the entire time. The Budweiser Clydesdales tour throughout the year visiting a variety of locations. The full Hitch Schedule can be found here. They also keep an active blog showcasing more information about the Budweiser Team, the horses, and the history of the horses.
This is a guest post by Jamie Gall, a Minnesota Girl, born and raised, who 4 years ago landed herself in California. It’s her goal to discover all areas of California, and she explores, writes about it along the way on her blog, “Minnesota Girl in the World.” A huge part of her focus is on food, wine, and destinations around California.