Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Budweiser Clydesdale/RMEF Story!

When I talk about great people and I get emotional about conservation these are the kinds of stories that I am talking about! There is no question that the North American Model of Conservation raises tremendous funds for wildlife and makes a dramatic impact on the ground in increased animals, habitat and funds for science and the future. There is also no question that the process of doing all of these great things is truly making individuals lives so much richer for doing so! Thank you to everyone out there doing their part in this model. We are all richer for the process, richer for the animals we love so much, and the world is a better place because of it all!

The official Story provided by Budweiser:

Group of 27 Pools Money to Post Winning Bid at Auction of Budweiser Clydesdale Filly to Benefit Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

    RENO, Nev., Feb. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Twenty-seven members of the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) pooled their money to place the winning
$20,000 auction bid on a filly bred from World Famous Budweiser
Clydesdales. Budweiser and RMEF teamed up to offer the eight-month old
filly, named Kindred, during the RMEF's Elk Camp annual conference to help
raise funds to support elk restoration work.
After the auction, the winners announced they will donate Kindred to
the RMEF's Elk Mountain Homestead, in the Village of Benezette, Pa. Kindred
will be one of many attractions to help raise awareness about the
organization's mission to conserve the future of elk.
"The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its members are overwhelmed by
the gracious gesture the winning bidders have made by donating Kindred to
the Elk Mountain Homestead," said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President &
Chief Executive Officer Peter J. Dart. "Having Kindred will serve as an
ongoing reminder of the great partnership we have with Budweiser and allow
us to share this beautiful filly with the public."
The Homestead property covers 245 acres surrounded on the south and
west by the 200,000-acre Elk State Forest. The site attracts approximately
75,000 visitors annually. Rawley Cogan, Elk Mountain Homestead Land's
Project Manager, will be Kindred's caretaker.
"It is an honor to have a filly bred from World Famous Budweiser
Clydesdales at the Homestead," said Cogan. "Kindred will no doubt be a
premier attraction for the Homestead and draw in visitors from across the
"Budweiser is thrilled to know Kindred is going to such a good home,"
said Paul Simmons, Budweiser brand manager. "It's an added bonus to know
she will play a significant role in helping raise awareness on the
importance of elk and other wildlife conservation issues."
Professional Clydesdale handlers will deliver the filly to the
Homestead and provide instructions on the proper care and maintenance of
the animal. A fully mature Clydesdale can stand at 18 hands high (about 6
feet) at the shoulder and can weigh 2,000 pounds. In two daily meals, a
Budweiser Clydesdale horse will consume 20 to 25 quarts of feed, 50 to 60
pounds of hay and up to 30 gallons of water. Kindred is registered with the
Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A., the breed registry for the Clydesdale
horse in the United States.
Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring
the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and
its partners have permanently protected or enhanced more than 5 million
acres, a land area nearly twice as large as Yellowstone National Park. More
than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for
hunting, fishing and other recreation. To help protect wild elk country or
learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit or call 800-CALL ELK.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer,
holding a 48.8 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the
world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also
owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27
percent share in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China. Anheuser-Busch ranked
No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired U.S. and
Global Companies lists in 2006. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme
park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum
cans and one of the world's largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more
information, visit .

Farmers living in the 19th century along the banks of the River Clyde
in Lanarkshire, Scotland, bred the Great Flemish Horse, the forerunner of
the Clydesdale. These first draft horses pulled loads of more than 1 ton at
a walking speed of five miles per hour. Soon their reputation spread beyond
the Scottish borders.
In the mid-1800s, Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first
Clydesdales to the United States where the draft horses resumed their
existence on farms. Today, the Clydesdales are used primarily for breeding
and show.
They were formally introduced to August A. Busch Sr. and Anheuser-Busch
on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch
Jr. wanted to commemorate the special day. To his father's delight, the
hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street carrying the first case of
post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery.
To qualify for one of the six hitches (five traveling and one
stationary), a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years
of age. He must stand 72 inches, or 6 feet, at the shoulder when fully
mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, be bay in color, have four
white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and
Each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole
grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of
water per day.
Five traveling Budweiser Clydesdale hitches are based in St. Louis,
Mo.; Menifee, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Merrimack, N.H.; and San Antonio,
Texas. The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch
breweries in St. Louis, Merrimack and Ft. Collins, Colo.
The Budweiser Clydesdales also may be viewed at Grant's Farm, the
281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, in St. Louis and at the
following Anheuser-Busch theme parks: Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va.,
and Tampa, Fla., and at the SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando, Fla.; San
Diego, Calif.; and San Antonio, Texas.
Based in St. Louis, Clydesdale Operations is responsible for
maintaining and scheduling the five traveling hitches. Events are typically
sponsored in part by the local Anheuser-Busch wholesalers and thousands of
requests for the "gentle giants" are received each year. Each request is
evaluated on the type of event, dates, history of appearances in that
particular area and other input from Anheuser-Busch management
The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is an ornate brick and
stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch
brewery complex in St. Louis. The building is one of three located on the
brewery grounds that are registered as historic landmarks by the
federal government.
Expert grooms travel on the road with the hitch. They are on the road
at least 10 months every year. When necessary, one handler has night duty
to provide round-the-clock care for the horses, ensuring their safety and
Ten horses, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon and other
essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers.
Cameras in the trailers (with monitors in the cabs) enable the drivers to
keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. The team
stops each night at local stables so the "gentle giants" can rest.
Air-cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the
rigors of traveling.
Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses requires quite a bit of
strength and skill. The 40 pounds of reins the driver holds, plus the
tension of the reins, equals 75 pounds. All hitch drivers are put through a
rigorous training period before they are given the reins.
Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds. The harness is
handcrafted from brass and leather. Pure linen thread is used for the
stitching. The harness is made to fit any horse, but the collars come in
different sizes and must be individually fitted like a suit of clothes.
Duke, Captain, Mark and Bud are just a few of the names given to the
Budweiser Clydesdales. Names are kept short to make it easier for the
driver to give commands to the horses during a performance.
Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and
weigh about 5 pounds -- more than twice as long and five times as heavy as
the shoe worn by a riding horse. A horse's hoof is made of a nerveless,
horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail, so being fitted for
shoes affects the animal no more than a manicure affects people.
Turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are
kept in excellent repair. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems:
a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and descents down
hills, and a hand brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a
Dalmatians have traveled with the Clydesdale hitch since the 1950s. The
Dalmatian breed has long been associated with horses and valued for their
speed, endurance and dependable nature. Dalmatians were known as coach
dogs, because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and were
companions to the horses. Today, the Dalmatians are perched atop the wagon,
seated next to the driver.