Gretz Beer Company

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Budweiser Clydesdale Schedule

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Start: October 11, 2017 @ 8:00 am | End: October 14, 2017 @ 5:00 pm

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3:00 PM to 4:00 PM


301 S Main Street

Sellersville, PA 18960




280 Tabor Road

Ottsville, PA 18942




4:30 PM to 5:30 PM


391 W Broad Street

Quakertown, PA 18951




3670 Saw Mill Road

Doylestown, PA 18902



SEE THE FULL HITCH  – SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14th for Horsham Tricentennial Parade.


Budweiser Clydesdale

Budweiser Clydesdale





A look into the rich, colorful history of the special Clydesdale breed begins in the early
19th century, along the River Clyde in Lanarkshire, Scotland. The region, located in a valley, or
“dale,” was known for its rich soil and abundant crops. The farmers were in great need of strong
horses for hauling, plowing, and carting all the necessary farm equipment and workers.
One of the Dukes of Hamilton, a local, wealthy landowner, imported six Great Flemish
Horses, a breed that already had been regularly shipped to Scotland to be used as war horses and
for farm work. The Duke made his six prize horses available for breeding to local mares and the
Clydesdale breed was born. People from outside Lanarkshire began to refer to the big, powerful
horses as “the Clydesman’s horse,” a name that eventually became “Clydesdale.”

The early Clydesdales quickly garnered attention as a breed more powerful than any breed
available before. The horses were said to be capable of pulling loads heavier than a ton at a
walking speed of five miles per hour. It was the breed’s hauling power and confident style that
attracted the interest of North Americans. In fact, in the early days of brewing, it was said that a
brewer’s success was directly related to how far his draft horses could pull a load in one day.
Today’s Budweiser Clydesdales are even bigger than their Scottish ancestors. To qualify
for the world-famous eight-horse hitch, a Budweiser Clydesdale must meet certain size, color,
and disposition requirements.

Standing at 18 hands high (about 6 feet) at the shoulder when fully mature, Budweiser
Clydesdales weigh approximately 2,000 pounds. They must be geldings, bay in color, have four
white legs and a blaze of white on the face, as well as a black mane and tail. A gentle
temperament is a very important characteristic, as hitch horses meet millions of people each

In two daily meals, a Budweiser Clydesdale hitch horse will consume 20 to 25 quarts of
feed, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and up to 30 gallons of water.
Once a Clydesdale is selected to be among the chosen few to travel with one of the
company’s traveling eight-horse hitches, he can expect to spend many of his days on the road,
performing at hundreds of events each year.

The Clydesdales travel in a style befitting a king. In order to provide rest for each of the
eight “first-string” horses, the Clydesdale hitch teams always travel with a total of 10 “gentle
giants.” The traveling caravan includes three 50-foot tractor-trailers custom-built for the horses
with rubber flooring, air suspension, and vent fans to ease the rigors of hours on the road. Two
tractor-trailers carry the Clydesdales and a third carries everything else including the iconic beer
wagon and a full set of handcrafted, patent leather, and solid brass harness.

Performance days for a Budweiser Clydesdale are a combination of excitement and
perfection. While the horses are groomed daily, special attention is given to their appearance on
performance days. The expert groomers who travel with the horses spend approximately five
hours washing and grooming the horses, polishing the harness, braiding red and white ribbons
into the manes, and inserting red and white bows into the tails.

Harnessing all eight horses is a process that usually takes 45 minutes. The wheel team,
the horses closest to the wagon (and generally the strongest), is harnessed first proceeded by the
body, swing, and lead teams. After each Clydesdale is harnessed, they are individually hitched
to the red, white and gold 1903 Studebaker-built beer wagon. Finally, after all eight horses are
hitched to the wagon, the driver adjusts the lines. Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses
requires strength, experience and stamina. The 40 pounds of lines the driver holds, plus the
tension, equals over 75 pounds. During long parades, the driver and the assistant often alternate
driving in order to remain fresh and alert.

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