TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) – They travel the world, appearing in parades, Super Bowl commercials and other promotional events. For decades the Budweiser Clydesdales have been some of the most recognized horses in the world and they are in our area this week. WCBI’s Allie Martin got a behind the scenes look at the Clydesdales and the team that takes care of the gentle giants.
This is how most folks see the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. They were the stars of Tuesday night’s Reed’s Christmas Parade in downtown Tupelo.
But when they aren’t at public events this week, the Budweiser Clydesdales are at the Lee County Agri Center, where they have a chance to exercise.
They are also groomed.
“Right now I’m clipping all little nose hairs , off, we will clip his ears, his body and he will go out and get a bath later on,” said Kat Metzger, a horse handler with the Budweiser Clydesdales.
“I’ve been here a little over two years , I love this job, we’re travelling all the time , meeting new people it’s definitely a dream job for most of us,” Metzger said.
Each team travels with 10 horses, eight are in harness at one time, and there are two spares. Each horse must meet specific requirements to be a Budweiser Clydesdale.
“They have to be the solid bay color you see in all of them, the four iconic white socks, feathering on their legs and then they have to have the white blaze on their face and they have to be about six foot at the shoulder and weigh in about 2,000 pounds,” she said.
And of course there’s Clyde, the dalmation.
“He thinks he’s tough but he’s very gentle he loves people,” Metzger said.
Kat Metzger is one of seven crew members on this team, wherever the Clydesdales go they travel in these three semi trailers behind me. Two are for the horses and Clyde, the third is for the equipment and that iconic wagon. And get this, team members must know how to do everything from driving the trucks, to cleaning out the stalls.
“It is a lot of hard work but just like anything , if you really love it, you don’t really consider it work, but some days are hard, but that’s part of it,” she said.
And she’s always amazed at the public’s fascination with the Budweiser Clydesdales.
“Even if we’re not at a set show they follow our trucks into a truck stop, we open a door and we have an audience everywhere we go. People love the size, impressiveness, they’ve seen the horses maybe when they were younger , maybe never seen them before, we get all sorts of reactions, it’s really neat,” Metzger said.
Metzger plans to be on the road, with these gentle giants, for years to come.
“I’m in it for the long run,” she said.
The Budweiser Clydesdales will be at the Columbus Christmas Parade this Saturday.
The public is invited to come see The Clydesdales at the Lee County Agri-Center Saturday and Sunday from 3 – 5 PM