PLATTSMOUTH – It’s not every day that some of the most famous horses in the world make a visit to these parts.
But Thursday was that special day when the Budweiser Clydesdales displayed their grace and beauty in front of hundreds outside the Plattsmouth Hy-Vee Food Store.
It was a sight to behold, many said.
“I’ve never seen them except only on television, it’s awesome,” said Judy Rensch of Plattsmouth.
Ed Carroll of Murray added, “I’ve never seen anything like it. They’re gorgeous animals.”
These horses have become one of the world’s most famous advertising icons, representing the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co. and on Thursday a team of these horses paraded around the Hy-Vee parking lot pulling a large wagon of company products with two men drivers and an obedience-trained Dalmatian dog.
Currently, there are three hitches, or teams, touring the country, according to David West, a company spokesman.
This team that visited Plattsmouth had just traveled up in large semi-truck trailers from Hot Springs, Ark., he said.
The relationship between the company and these horses began in 1933, West said, when August Busch, Jr., purchased a team as a gift to his father, August Busch, Sr., then president and CEO of the company.
“His dad was always fascinated with these horses,” West said.
Following the repeal of Prohibition, these horses delivered the first case of beer to the White House, he said. Eventually, more horses were purchased, he added.
Clydesdales originated in Scotland and were named after the River Clyde, West said.
The main breeding ranch is located in Booneville, Mo., west of St. Louis, he said. The horses begin training for these duties at the age of two, even younger, West said.
Besides touring the U.S., these horses have visited Canada, Mexico, even China.
The Plattsmouth visit was two-fold – to promote the company’s products and “put a smile on the faces” of flood victims, he said.
That second aspect was not hard to achieve especially for one little girl, Dakota Chase, of Murray, who said smiling, “I want to ride them.”
“They are so cool,” added Amanda Spangler, also of Murray.
To see these horses in person was apparently a longtime wish for Eric Chase.
“I’ve now crossed this off my bucket list,” he said. “This is awesome.”