​Budweiser Clydesdales Super Bowl: Famous Clydesdales Remain In Company Ads

Staff Reporter
Jan. 19, 2015

The Budweiser Clydesdales Super Bowl ads will be featured in the big NFL championship game, despite a Wall Street Journal report suggests.

The Clydesdales were thought to be replaced by “Jay Z and zombies” with a new ad for the NFL championship game, according to the New York Daily News. The Anheuser-Busch advertisements have featured the famed horses since 1986. A spokesman for the company confirmed that the Budweiser Clydesdales will continue to be part of the annual tradition.

“The story this morning may have left a wrong impression — the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising.”

The reports did seem odd that the beer company would change the tradition. The company’s 2014 spot “Puppy Love” featured one of the famed horses chasing after a canine friend. It was a hit during the Super Bowl commercial.

Television advertising featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales in the Super Bowl started with an ad during in 1986. However, in 2010, the new parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, announced that there would not be a Clydesdales ad aired during the 2010 Super Bowl. The company reversed its position after asking fans to vote on Facebook whether to include the horses in an ad, compared against two other potential spots.

As a result, the company aired a Clydesdale-focused ad during the fourth quarter, one of nine ads aired by the company during the game.

Many of the Clydesdales owned by Anheuser-Busch are raised at Grant’s Farm near St. Louis, according to the Bleacher Report. The Budweiser Clydesdale Stables at Grant’s Farm house approximately 35 mares, stallions and foals, with an average of 15 foals produced each year. Anheuser-Busch owns a total of about 250 Clydesdales, kept at various locations throughout the United States, one of the largest herds of Clydesdale horses in the world.

The largest breeding facility is at Warm Springs Ranch near Boonville, Missouri which is about 150 miles west of St. Louis. InBev consolidated operations there in 2008. More than half of the company’s herd is kept there. The Ranch offers tours of its facilities. Another breeding ranch was near Romoland, California, about 60 miles southeast of Los Angeles, but it was closed.

The three Clydesdale teams that tour the world are based near the company’s brewing facilities in St. Louis, Fort Collins, Colorado, and Merrimack, New Hampshire. The company also buys high-quality Clydesdales from other sources on occasion.

The Budweiser Clydesdales for Super Bowl were fixtures at Busch Gardens. However, after InBev sold the amusement parks, the link to the Budweiser Clydesdales ended in 2009. The new owners have brought back Clydesdales but they are not the “Budweiser Clydesdales.”

The Budweiser Clydesdales were first introduced to the public on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch, Jr. presented the hitch as a gift to his father, August Anheuser Busch, Sr., who was guided outside the brewery by the ruse of being told his son had purchased him a new car, but instead was greeted by the horses, pulling a red, white and gold beer wagon. The hitch proceeded to carry the first case of post-Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery in a special journey down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis.

Recognizing the advertising and promotional potential of a horse-drawn beer wagon, Busch, Sr. had the team sent by rail to New York City, where it picked up two cases of Budweiser beer at New Jersey’s Newark Airport, and presented it to Al Smith, former governor of New York and an instrumental force in the repeal of Prohibition. From there, the Clydesdales continued on a tour of New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, a journey that included the delivery of a case of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.

The “Budweiser Clydesdales Super Bowl” ads also feature cross-country travel, notes New York Times. During the initial years on the road, the Clydesdales were transported by train. The traveling hitches are on the road at least 10 months every year based out of St. Louis, Missouri, Merrimack, New Hampshire and Fort Collins, Colorado.

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