A team of the iconic Budweiser Clydesdales has arrived in Sedalia for a series of daily parades during the Missouri State Fair.
Prior to their Fair appearances, the 10 horses will travel Barrett Avenue at 6:30 p.m. today to make home deliveries. Additionally, two winners will have a chance to ride on the hitch during the parade on Barrett Avenue.
“I like to call them gentle giants, because they truly are,” Rudy Helmuth, handler of the Clydesdales, said. “They are an American icon and we are thrilled to be able to bring them to Sedalia and the Missouri State Fair for the people to see them in person.”
The 10-member team and their ever present companion, Clyde the Dalmatian, arrived in Sedalia Monday.
The horses with the handlers are spending the next 12 days on the Fairgrounds for young and old to see during the 11-day run of the Fair.
Housed in matched stables located behind the Women’s Building on the Fairgrounds, the Clydesdales will be available for viewing and photo opportunities.
“We are on the road about 300 days out of the year,” Helmuth said. “Usually, every week we are at a different event to give the public the opportunity to see the team in person. Everyone is thrilled when they have the chance to see the beauty of the animals in person.”
According to a press release provided by Anheuser-Busch, this year marks the 82nd anniversary of the Budweiser Clydesdales. The team made their first appearance on behalf of Anheuser-Busch on April 7, 1933, when they delivered a case of Budweiser to the White House in celebration of the repeal of prohibition.
“We actually have three different teams of the horses,” Helmuth said. “One is out of New Hampshire, one in Colorado, and of course the team from St. Louis.”
The St. Louis team has traveled to Sedalia.
The 10-member Clydesdales that are in Sedalia range between 5 to 12 years in age.
“The horses are typically a part of the team until they reach their mid-teens,” Helmuth said.
The animals, according to the press release, are approximately six feet or 18 hands tall at the shoulder and typically weigh an average of 2,000 pounds.
Despite their imposing size, Helmuth was the only handler in the ring with the 10 horses as they exercised in the Mathewson Exhibition Center Arena early Tuesday morning.
“They have a mild temperament and get along well with each other,” Helmuth added. “They truly do love people and I love every part of my job. It is rewarding to be able to bring joy to everyone who comes in contact with the Clydesdales.”
Hope Lecchi can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1484