ATCHISON COUNTY —The famous Budweiser Clydesdales will make a stop in Atchison, Kansas, on Wednesday, October 13, on the campus of Benedictine College, according to a media release from the school.
The horses will arrive on trailers at approximately 11:00 a.m. and will be unloaded in the Amino Center parking lot. The public is invited to watch the “hitching” process and then a parade, which will include the Raven Regiment Marching Band. The parade is scheduled to start at approximately 12:15 p.m. and will tour the Benedictine College campus, with a photo stop in front of the Haverty Center.
The Budweiser Clydesdales represent strength, quality, heritage and teamwork, and have been a symbol for Anheuser-Busch for over 80 years. A gift from August Busch, Jr. to his father following the repeal of Prohibition in 1933, the Clydesdales made a promotional tour of the East Coast that year, and even delivered the first case of post-Prohibition Budweiser to President Franklin D. Roosevelt at the White House.
There are eight horses driven at any one time, but 10 horses are on each team, or hitch, to provide alternates when needed. Clydesdales are also used as animal actors in television commercials for Budweiser beer, particularly in Super Bowl ads. There are several teams of Clydesdales, housed at various locations around the country, with most of them raised at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis, Missouri, and Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Missouri.
To make a team, a Clydesdale must be at least 6 feet tall at the shoulder, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, be reddish-brown (bay), have a black mane and tail, have four white stocking feet, and have white on the face.
The largest Clydesdale in the Budweiser stables is called “Jake” and the name “Big Jake” is used for the Anheuser-Busch Ambassador Trophy, given only to the top distributors in the nation. O’Malley Beverage, operated by Benedictine alumnus Kevin O’Malley, Class of ’79, received the “Big Jake” trophy as a wholesaler ambassador after achieving Gold Level status four years in a row from 2017-2020 and finishing as the top wholesaler in America in 2019. It is thanks to Kevin O’Malley and his business accomplishments that the Budweiser Clydesdales are in Atchison.