Winter Scene ~ Those Beautiful Clydesdale Hooves

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Budweiser Clydesdale Commercials: Remembering Favorites – 2

The Little Donkey That Could

Like many of Budweiser’s Clydesdale commercials, this one aired first during a Super Bowl — in this case, the 2004 edition.

A Dalmatian Channels Mickey Goldmill

This 2008 commercial is an inspirational story with Dalmatians and set to the theme from Rocky.

Budweiser Clydesdale Commercials: Remembering Favorites – 1

Original Budweiser Commercial

First aired in 1967, this commercial was the first featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales — and it is still one of the best. The jingle has stayed in my head for decades: “Here comes the King, here comes the Big Number One.”

The commercial has played for fans at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, who after several Buds, clap like puppets in time with the song.

The Extra Point

“Nah, they usually go for two.” This 1996 spot was Bud’s first Super Bowl commercial featuring the Clydesdales, and remains the most memorable.

It’s featured on many lists of the best Super Bowl commercials ever made.

Clydesdale Becomes Britain’s Biggest Horse


” Digger”

Mounting this Trojan steed
is a tall order for any rider


Measuring over 19 hands, 6ft 5 inches, and weighing 900 kilos, Digger the Clydesdale is thouht to be Britain’s biggest living horse.

And at only 4 years of age this magnificent animal still has some growing to do.

Digger is the largest horse we have ever had to deal with and at just four years old, is still a baby,” says Eileen Gillen, manager of the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) at Belwade Farm in Aboyne, Scotland, where Digger is kept.

“He was hand-fed as an orphan and from then on he just grew and grew. He is the equivalent of a growing teenage boy – never out of the fridge.

“Heaven knows what size he is going to end up.”

Digger arrived at the farm in December after a call for help from his owners, who were suffering from serious health problems and finding it increasingly difficult to cope with such a big horse.

“He was hand-reared from two weeks old which is not the easiest thing to do so all credit to the previous owners – he was just too big to cope with,” says Eileen.

Digger arrived just 10 days before Christmas – it was some Christmas present I can tell you.”  


 However Digger’s height, measured from hoofs to shoulder blade is not an exact reading of his size. ”

We can’t measure him absolutely bang on because our measuring system doesn’t go past 19 hands,” explains Eileen.

“He is the about 6 ft 5 inches hoofs to withers – which is hooves to the top of the shoulder.

“He has obviously got to bulk out because he is just a frame – but who knows what height he will end up growing to.

“His feet measure between 10-15 inches – a good foot across.”
But Eileen, 48, who has been caring for horses for the past 35 years, is not interested in breaking any records.

Digger is certainly over 19 hands and when his head his up he will measure up to 9 ft.

Digger’s unusual size means that he has a bigger appetite than most horses.

“Because he is a growing lad he is a little under weight. But he is eating three times more than a normal horse and consuming about 20-25 gallons of water a day.

“We have a big yard and he lives in there, but even to get him here we had to get a specialist lorry with lower stabilised floors.

“He is a big docile horse – he will do what he wants. He is not one for running around. He takes life very slowly, which is the nature of his breed.


His friends at the farm include12-year-old Sweep, a mini Shetland pony who, despite his intimidating size, is best friends with gentle giant Digger.

At 34 inches tall, he can walk straight under his belly.

“She is out mascot and when Sweep first met Digger his height didn’t seem to bother her – she wasn’t intimidated,” says Eileen.

“They just love to play together as you can see.”


News Link:  UK Daily Mail

Earlier Post:  Tina,  Guinness Tallest Horse in the World.

When It Comes To Raising Clydesdales … Age Doesn’t Matter


 Norm Wilke is proud of his girls.


“It’s a hobby,” said Norm, who is 75 years old.

He keeps the Clydesdale mares in a stable near his Bargain Barn warehouse in Shiloh, Missouri.

He has raised Clydesdales for the past 17 years. Two mares, “Ruby” and “Babe”, stay at the Bargain Barn.

“Dawn” grazes near his farmhouse off Illinois 161 in Belleville. All three are pregnant and should deliver their foals in early spring. Norm plans to keep these three foals.

“I’d like to raise a few babies again.”

Most are dark brown (bay) with black manes, a white blaze on the forehead and white feet.

“They call those white stockings,” said Norm who grew up in St. Libory and has been around horses all his life.

Norm was asked about the gentle giant draft horses, famed mascots of Anheuser-Busch.

“People from Anheuser-Busch came out to look at it. The width of the white blaze was just right and so were the length of the stockings.”

Being chosen is also referred to as “making the hitch.” The foal’s father is from a Clydesdale farm in Springfield.

Norm was asked how he started raising Clydesdales and how did he drive them.

“I’ve always liked horsin’ around. When I was about 60, I thought it was time for retirement, time to try something new.

I went to an auction and got my first team of draft horses in Columbia, Missouri. They were both females and easy to train.”

Norm uses reins to guide the horses. Usually three are in a line. The middle horse has to be adaptable, able to turn by side-stepping, “To be good, they have to be ground-stompers and pick up their feet and hold themselves up and look proud.”

He drives them in local parades, most recently Mascoutah’s homecoming.

The reporter continued to ask Norm about his his pride and joy … his Clydesdales.

Do you have a favorite horse?
“”Dawn” had a foal this spring that qualified to make the team of Clydesdales at Anheuser-Busch.”

How much do they eat?
“They each eat a gallon and a half of grain a day and go through two-thirds of a bale of hay a day,” said Norm. “I have to keep the trough full because they can drink three to four gallons at a time.”

How big are Clydesdales at birth and how long do they usually live?
“Babies are about 3 feet tall at birth and weigh 125 pounds. Adult Clydesdales are 6 feet tall at the shoulder and usually weigh between 1,600 and 2,200 pounds. Most Clydesdales live to 20-25 years of age.

“Most of the babies are born late at night. I stay up with them, but if I leave for awhile, that’s usually when they have them.”

When can people visit the horses?
 “They can come by anytime we’re open,” said Norm. Sometimes people come by after we’re closed but the horses are still out.” Visitors may pet them but are not allowed to feed them.

Norm is proud to still be enjoying the Clydesdales.
He plans to continue, regardless of his age.

600 Clydesdales From Across America Display Horsepower At World Clydesdale Show This Weekend


  “Angel “and “Missy” prepare for World Class Show
with Ken and Sonja Airgood

In an American first, the annual world showcase event for Clydesdale horses — the big, stylish breed of draft-style animals made famous by the Budweiser hitch — will be held Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Jake” of the Budweiser Team
gets beauty treatment.

Organizers said they would have felt the show was an unqualified success with 500 horses. Well over 600 stallions, mares and geldings of all ages and from all across North America have registered to be shown in a variety of classes.

“Flower Girl” and “Penny” arrive from Alberta, Canada
with owner, Allen Gordeyko.

“It’s really a terrific opportunity to have a show of this quality here,” said Ken Airgood of rural Marshall. He and his wife, Sonja, have been breeding and raising Clydesdales for almost 10 years

Classes at the show will range from halter classes, which are like beauty pageants, to pleasure riding classes to genuinely exciting driving classes where elegant rigs pulled by the powerful animals compete against each other.


The carriages and wagons are powered by as many as six of the huge, high-stepping horses harnessed together, driven by expert drivers who handle up to 40 pounds of reins.

There’s little room for error, and drivers need to be strong, capable and confident to handle horses that average about a ton each.

As they wait for the shiny show harnesses to be carefully attached to the cart, carriage or wagon they will be pulling, the towering horses fairly dance with excitement, eager to be off.


“The breed has a reputation for being tractable. They are bigger than the light horse breeds, of course, but you handle and train them the same way you’d train any other breed, with consistency, discipline, rewards and praise.  It’s important, though, not to be intimidated,” Airgood said.


“The draft horse people are so welcoming and really helpful as you begin to learn about the horses,” he said.

“If you are at a show, and you have something break on a harness, for example, three guys will trip over themselves to help you get it fixed or replaced, and these are the same people you’ll be competing against in the next class.

It’s a great community.”


Airgood believes the popularity of all the draft breeds is increasing.

While there are several other popular draft breeds of horses, including Belgians, Percherons and Shires, the Clydesdales are undoubtedly the best-known heavy horse breed, thanks to the buzz surrounding the Budweiser hitches.

“They have really made the Clydesdales, which originated in Scotland, instantly recognizable.”


Ken and his wife have always loved the Clydesdales’ appearance.

“They’re just classy-looking to me. They have so much presence and personality,” he said.

Draft Teams ~ Gotta Love Those Names !


Tom and Jerry


Lucy and Ethel 


 Mickey and Minnie


Ike and Mike


Molly and Dolly


Nip and Tuck


Pete and Repete


And not to be missed … Mule Teams!


Sonny and Cher


Fred and Ted


Jack and Bill

(Read all about Jack and Bill)

If you know more clever names for teams, please let me know. I’m collecting them.  Would appreciate photos, also. Thanks!

The American Dream


Straight From The Horse’s Mouth


 Wendy brushes up on her artwork.

Wendy is as promising a pupil as the students studying their Advanced Diploma of Horse Management at Glenormiston Agricultural College in Australia.

In a surprise classroom role reversal, horses have to demonstrate what they have learned.

They need to perform well if the students teaching them are to pass the horse behaviour component of their course.

Using food and praise as rewards, the equine management students are turning out horses with talents never before thought possible.

Wily Wendy, the Clydesdale,  knows color on canvas means a canister of oats. The nine-year-old sometimes even resorts to two brushes between the bit for her unique, two-stroke horsepower effect.

Student Emma Tyrie said horse painting hadn’t been tried before.

“In previous years, students have taught her to bow to an audience and pick up a purple hat and hand it to the owner,” Ms Tyrie said. “I thought painting might amuse both of us and certainly, she seems taken by brighter, bolder coloured paints.”

Glenormiston, a picturesque working property north of Terang, is Victoria’s South West TAFE.

About 60 horses — and other animals — help train students in various agricultural and farming fields.

Story Link:

Photo: David Caird