WATCH: Clydesdale Foal Born Just in Time for Warm Springs Ranch Opening Day
As spring takes hold in Boonville, Missouri, so does another much awaited time: foaling season—for Warm Springs Ranch, that is. The 300-acre facility is home to some of the most recognizable horses in the country—the Budweiser Clydesdales. On March 23, Warm Springs Ranch will open its doors to visitors for the first time since last November. And Carly, the first foal of the 2019 season, arrived just in time. Born earlier this month, the baby Clydesdale is the first of about two dozen foals the facility welcomes each year, according to Mark Boese, the Ranch's herd manager.
Carly is adorned with a black mane and a white face and flaxen stockings—all trademark features of the breed. This season's foals won't be able to join a Budweiser hitch until they're at least 4. Even then, they need to stand 18 hands (6 feet) high, maintain a weight between 1800 and 2300 pounds, and go through special training at the ranch, according to Warm Springs' website. The prestigious role takes Clydesdales like Carly to cities around the United States to pull the famous Budweiser beer wagon for parades and other events. They also make a yearly appearance on your television screen in one of the starring roles of Budweiser's yearly Super Bowl commercials.
In 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch gave a group of the majestic horses to their father as a celebratory gift for the end of Prohibition. It didn't take long for Clydesdale Horses, lined up in rows of two at the helm of a wagon of beer and often accompanied by Dalmatians, to become an iconic symbol of Budweiser. And Warm Springs Ranch is devoted to keeping that image as strong as it was at the start. The ranch breeds, cares for, and trains hundreds of these horses. However, only a handful will become faces for the brand. Horses who join the hitch are also trained at Warm Springs. In fact, if you join one of their tours, you might get a glimpse of them practicing the Clydesdale trot. Want to see how these beautiful creatures are raised? You can make reservations for a walking tour or VIP tour at Warm Springs Ranch from March 23 through November 3. You might even get to say hi to baby Carly.
"Each year, we welcome up to two dozen foals, and we're looking forward to teaching our guests how these majestic animals are bred, raised, and cared for," Boese said.
If you want to see the Budweiser Clydesdale spectacle for yourself, check out the horses' hitch schedule. They'll be making several stops throughout the deep South.