Horse News

Feel Good Sunday: Meet the Newest Budweiser Clydesdale

Story by as published in Time


Budweiser is raising a glass to its newest Clydesdale horse Mac, its first foal of 2016 born Tuesday at 1:20 a.m.

To see him, Bud drinkers will have to giddy up over to the Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Missouri, home of more than 160 Clydesdale horses, a breed that originated in the mid-18th century in Scotland in Lanarkshire (aka Lanark). Its name is believed to be “inspired by” the river that runs through that area, the River Clyde, according to The Livestock Conservancy and the Clydesdale Horse Society. Historically used for pulling heavy cargo, they were brought to North America in the mid-19th century.

“The tradition of the Budweiser Clydesdales started in 1933 when they made their first-ever appearance as a gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition,” Anheuser-Busch said in a statement. “Realizing the marketing potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, the company also arranged to have a second six-horse Clydesdale hitch sent to New York…The Clydesdales made a stop in Washington D.C. in April 1933 to reenact the delivery of one of the first cases of Budweiser to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Nowadays, Clydesdales are said to be primarily used for “breeding and show.” But no word on when Mac will appear in his first Super Bowl commercial.

22 replies »

  1. Handsome boy. I’d like to see little Mac be the first Budweiser Clydesdale not to have his tail docked. There’s absolutely no reason for them to continue this inhumane “tradition”, and it would set a good example for others. Even though the hitch horses are all geldings, they dock the tails of the fillies as well.

    Meet the Budweiser Clydesdale babies


  2. Why doesn’t Budweiser care about so many Clydesdales going through New Holland auction for kill every Monday????

    If they even have a rescue program, don’t you get tired of the BS where they’ll seek recognition for the few they’ll rescue as they’ll stand by and let thousands go for slaughter? I, for one, am losing faith in many organizations very quickly!!!

    Judye michaels

    Sent from my iPad


  3. I am curious as to what happens to the foals that dont come up to their standards – guessing New Holland??? I also agree there is no longer any need for docking tails – if there ever was a “need”!


    • I’m not sure how I fell about this: A Budweiser horse has to be a bay colt, with 4 white stockings and a white blaze. If they don’t fit that conformation, then they are history. These breeding farms aren’t owned by Budweiser–they are independent breeders. So when they dispose of a horse (however they choose), it’s on their hands and Budweiser’s hands aren’t dirty.


      • Considering the quantity of foals born – 33 every year & only geldings used in the hitches – its obvious they dont all become “Budweiser” Clydesdales. Surprisingly, there werequite a few questions regarding that on the comments on usatoday article! Hope that means people are becoming a little more aware.


      • Just reading the comments is very enlightening.
        Tail docking. I never realized that was done to them. I should have
        So many things done to Horses that cause them discomfort, pain, stress…for the sake of human folly
        It just shouldn’t be Hell to be a Horse..or a Burro…or a Mule


      • I believe most Belgians have their tails docked, too. When I first moved to the barn where I boarded my horse – there were pulling horses that belonged to the owners father – all Belgians, and I never saw one that didnt have a docked tail! And pulling horses are a whole other story – like any other horse discipline – lots of bad! That said, I dont get why they still do this.


      • I have to say, these “big guys” were sweet & wonderful to be around – even though they were 17 hands (at least). And they were well taken care of. But theres a lot of roughness in that kind of arena.


      • Linda, any responsible breeder plans to sell offspring, and in the draft horse world it has long been common to select for matched teams, it’s just human nature. Conformation is a whole other question, but I doubt any of the BW foals have poor conformation since they are highly selective breeders. Poor manners would also readily be bred out, along with hoof problems or poor structure for the work. An unhappy, painful horse isn’t going to promote BW very well, or be safe interacting with the public. One also can’t keep all your good foals, either, since it is irresponsible to inbreed stock (as any reputable breeder also understands).

        We have one breeding farm here in Colorado which AB owns and is a tourist attraction, and I think they own the home base in St. Louis (and perhaps others), since they have very strict standards.

        On tail docking, very controversial subject and when I had drafts I didn’t do it, but originally it was done to keep tails from tangling in the lines and tugs, as well as to keep tails from whipping a driver’s face. Some vanity is/was also part of the picture, too, presumably started by the wealthier class and their “fashionable” high-stepping, tail-tortured carriage horses.


    • The original reason for the tail docking could have been to keep the Horses’ tails from getting tangled in the lines? Braiding their tails would seem to be a better solution, but that takes time, and corporations see time as money….they only like to spend money when it’s profitable.


      • Louie, historically at least, draft horses were working on subsistence farms, not for corporations. Time is time, and in a farming model all the daylight hours and then some are usually already accounted for, without a 3 martini lunch or private jet involved :-). At least corps. like Budweiser have paid professional grooms.

        In pre-tractor times, different horses might be needed on different days, or different times on the same day, so braiding tails up short would be hard to pre-plan, and it’s hard on them to leave a tail braided up for days on end, too, so better they be kept natural. Tangling in the lines and tugs was a real problem though, and probably caused more than a few wrecks.


      • IcySpots, I was thinking more about the Budweiser Horses. I would like to know how many people are hired to care for them and how much time they are given per Horse…are they timed?
        It seems that in corporations, CEOs are given the bulk of profits, while the rank and file workers are viewed as “necessary expenditures” and often looked upon as expendable.


  4. He is a cutie – I don’t like all of this tail and ear docking stuff for animals like dogs and horses, it’s for appearance only. I hope he’s in the Budweiser Super Bowl commercial this year!


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