STURGIS, S.D. — The Budweiser Clydesdales, a world-renowned symbol of the Anheuser-Busch brand since 1933, making several appearances around the Black Hills during the 2021 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
“My favorite part is actually seeing the faces of people light up – whether they’re three years old or eighty-three years old – everybody loves to see ’em,” says West Coast Hitch Supervisor Eric Reisinger.
These gentle giants are from the west coast hitch, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, and travel ten to eleven months a year – making appearances across the United States.
The eight are selected based on appearance and temperament, with Budweiser having specific characteristics in mind.
“What we go for is the bay body color – the black mane and tail and the four white stocking feet,’ Reisinger says.
Hitch horses stand at least six feet tall at the shoulder and all have a white marking on their face.
The classic American icons come from a variety of places, but they’re also bred specifically by the company.
“We do have our own breeding program,” Reisinger says. “It’s in Boonville, Missouri – Warm Springs Ranch – and they’ll have anywhere from ten to twenty-five foals a year there.”
Each horse sports patent leather and brass tack worth about $15,000.
Another major expense? Food!
A single Clydesdale can eat 20 pounds of grain and 40 pounds of timothy hay each day – washed down with 30 gallons of water.
Getting their strength up to pull that classic red beer wagon along with their friends – the Budweiser dalmatians.
Reisinger says everyone wants to pet the animals until they realize just how big the Clydesdales actually are!
If you’re brave enough, the horses and their canine companions are stabled at the corner of 3rd and Lazelle every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. p-m…
Don’t miss your chance to see the Budweiser Clydesdales during the Rally – including the opening day parade on Friday, August 6 and at the Buffalo Chip on Sunday, August 11.
If you can’t make it up to Sturgis, a one-horse hitch will make an appearance at Summer Nights in Rapid City on Thursday, August 12.