This week's post is one I wrote as a sidebar to a magazine article. I think that the big draft horses are beautiful. I cherish the memories of seeing several teams of them on their way to a farm show up in Vermont, and also when the big team from Reminisce magazine, on a country-wide tour, came by on U.S. Rt. 20, just a mile away from our house in New York. We couldn't not be there.
Summertime - and I remember the only times I ever enjoyed a cold beer was at a beach house I shared out on Long Island’s north shore with a large group of great people. Exhilarated, exhausted, and really sweaty after a great game of beach volleyball, there was nothing like a cold beer from the keg of Bud that one of the guys had brought in.
Think of beer on draft, think of work and horsepower, think of horses, think of powerful draft horses, and you’ll always think of the iconic Budweiser team of Clydesdales, the “Ambassadors of Excellence.” The Bud ads that featured them were always a hit. They are truly magnificent animals. (Budweiser must have switched ad agencies, because their current ads are screamin’ terrible.)
Throughout Europe, where breeds of draft, or draught or dray, horses became individualized from earliest times, there was a need for strong work and farm animals. The largest of the draft horses, Shire horses are from England. Percherons, descendants of war horses, are from France. The eponymous Belgians, and several breeds from other countries, are joined by the Clydesdales from Scotland.
Raised on a farm near St. Louis, and based there and in New Hampshire and Colorado, several teams of Clydesdales are on the move across the country, promoting Budweiser for most of the year. Ten gelded, matched, bay-colored horses make up a team, and eight at a time are hitched to the big, red beer wagon. The sight of the wagon and horses coming down the pike, or even in a television ad, is enough to stir the soul of any animal lover or beer lover, and bring on a great smile.
P.S. Did you know that a Dalmatian often accompanies the Budweiser Clydesdales? Their heritage is as guard dogs, and they were used by draymen and firemen to protect the valuable horses from theft.
I went looking in Google Images for Budweiser Dalmatian pictures.
It was really hard to pick just one or two.