Thursday, January 16, 2014

Clydesdales Check Up

A few weeks ago Mike Jerina and I traveled to Grant’s Farm to visit some of our favorite customers – the Budweiser Clydesdales.  It’s always great to play with these fabulous animals, as well as check on the new arrivals from Warm Springs Ranch (the Budweiser Clydesdale breeding farm in Boonville, Missouri) and say “good luck and see you later!” to the boys heading to Merrimack, NJ, to start training for their careers on one of the traveling hitches.

This last fall, several of my favorite boys headed to Merrimack, including Austin and Preston.  Hopefully, they will both do great in their training and I’ll get to see them pulling one of the wagons someday.  Altogether, seven horses headed east in the fall, and another four (at least) will be going in the spring. Lester Nisley (head trainer of the Clydesdales) will be very busy getting all of them ready!

Austin, when I first met him as a two year old.  Hope to see him on a hitch!
      Axel (far left) and Preston (second from right) are now at Merrimack in training.
Yes, I do kiss a lot of Clydesdales!  How can I help it?? J
As far as nutrition, we make sure that all the horses going into training are transitioned to performance diets prior to the trip to help reduce potential stress from the changing environment.  We also make sure that they are maintaining appropriate body weight and condition to prepare them for the trip to the East coast and the new work program they will be starting.  Once they arrive at Merrimack and get adjusted to their new digs, they will begin Lester’s training program.  It’s a very different lifestyle at the Merrimack facility compared to the leisure they all enjoyed at Grant’s Farm!

Several weanlings (now yearlings) arrived this fall from Warm Springs Ranch to spend the next few years growing and maturing at Grant’s Farm.  The babies are always fun to watch and interact with. They are just like all equine youngsters – playful, inquisitive, and energetic! 

Madonna is telling Blueberry to get out of her picture, and Kelly is just hoping for a carrot!
Our goal for the growing horses is to ensure that each individual’s diet is appropriate to maintain body condition as well as provide essential nutrients for optimal growth.  We want to give each youngster the best opportunity to become a member of the Budweiser Clydesdale team, whether on one of the traveling hitches, or as a broodmare back at Warm Springs Ranch.

If you get a chance to travel to St. Louis in the spring, summer or fall, be sure to visit Grant’s Farm for a tour and you can meet these lovely animals for yourself!


  1. That's so great! Did you see Stan, the star of the 2013 Super Bowl ad? I just wrote an article about him!

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  3. I did see Stan! He's doing great. Baby Hope (now a yearling, so not so much a baby) is still at Warm Springs Ranch, the Budweiser Clydesdale breeding farm. She was the baby in the ad last year - Stan was born a few days before Hope. Stan moved to Grant's Farm to start his early training so he can hopefully join one of the hitches in a few years!

  4. We also make sure that they are maintaining appropriate body weight and condition to prepare them for the trip to the East coast and the new work program they will be starting. Horse stall mats