The world famous Clydesdales will be in Statesboro this week as part of the Eagle Walk at Paulson Stadium on Saturday.
The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at the University Bookstore on Nov. 19 from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. The “Gentle Giants,” as they are often referred to, will participate in Georgia Southern football’s Eagle Walk prior to their home football game versus Marshall. The Clydesdales’ route will begin at the Bookstore, continue through the tailgates at the PAC and RAC and finish by leading the Georgia Southern football team into Eagle Walk outside of Paulson Stadium. The Eagle Walk begins at 3:45 p.m.
The hitching ceremony is open to the public and fans are encouraged to attend.
The Clydesdales’ appearance in Statesboro is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year. A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.
The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Mo.; Merrimack, N.H.; and Ft. Collins, Colo. They also may be viewed at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis and at Warm Springs Ranch, the 300-plus acre Clydesdale breeding farm located near Boonville, Mo.