World-Famous Budweiser Clydesdale Filly to Be Auctioned Off at Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation's Annual Conference
RENO, Nev., Feb. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- This year Budweiser and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) have teamed up to offer attendees at the organization's Elk Camp annual conference the opportunity to take home a filly bred from World Famous Budweiser Clydesdales. The eight-month old, named Kindred, will be auctioned off and awarded to the highest bidder. Funds raised from the benefit will help support important elk restoration work. The auction will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Reno Sparks Convention Center. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the conference. "Budweiser again has stepped to the plate at this year's Elk Camp by donating this majestic icon of their company," said Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation President & Chief Executive Officer Peter J. Dart. "Proceeds raised from the sale of the Clydesdale will help RMEF achieve its mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat." "Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation continues to be a great partner with Budweiser, and this is just another opportunity to show our support for the Foundation and their excellent work," said Paul Simmons, Budweiser brand manager. "It's not every day we donate one of our Budweiser Clydesdales, but on Saturday some lucky individual will take home Kindred and the enduring spirit of this distinguished breed." Professional Clydesdale handlers will deliver the filly to the winning bidder and provide instructions on the proper care and maintenance of the animal. A fully mature Clydesdale can stand at 18 hands high (about 6 feet) at the shoulder and can weigh 2,000 pounds. In two daily meals, a Budweiser Clydesdale horse will consume 20 to 25 quarts of feed, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and up to 30 gallons of water. Kindred is registered with the Clydesdale Breeders of the U.S.A., the breed registry for the Clydesdale horse in the United States. During the Elk Camp, Kindred and an adult Clydesdale will be welcoming guests in addition to making appearances at the Budweiser Lounge located on the convention floor. While at the Budweiser Lounge, conference attendees will be able take their picture with the Clydesdales. Founded in 1984 and headquartered in Missoula, Mont., the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat. The Elk Foundation and its partners have permanently protected or enhanced more than 5 million acres, a land area nearly twice as large as Yellowstone National Park. More than 500,000 acres previously closed to public access are now open for hunting, fishing and other recreation. To help protect wild elk country or learn more about the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, visit http://www.elkfoundation.org or call 800-CALL ELK. Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.8 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer, and a 27 percent share in Tsingtao, the No. 1 brewer in China. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired U.S. and Global Companies lists in 2006. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world's largest recyclers of aluminum cans. For more information, visit http://www.anheuser-busch.com . Media outlets interested in attending the auction may contact Sara Geisner at 314.267.9530, or firstname.lastname@example.org. CLYDESDALE FACT SHEET THE CLYDESDALE BREED Farmers living in the 19th century along the banks of the River Clyde in Lanarkshire, Scotland, bred the Great Flemish Horse, the forerunner of the Clydesdale. These first draft horses pulled loads of more than 1 ton at a walking speed of five miles per hour. Soon their reputation spread beyond the Scottish borders. In the mid-1800s, Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to the United States where the draft horses resumed their existence on farms. Today, the Clydesdales are used primarily for breeding and show. THE BUDWEISER CLYDESDALES They were formally introduced to August A. Busch Sr. and Anheuser-Busch on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition. August A. Busch Jr. wanted to commemorate the special day. To his father's delight, the hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street carrying the first case of post- Prohibition beer from the St. Louis brewery. HITCH REQUIREMENTS To qualify for one of the six hitches (five traveling and one stationary), a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age. He must stand 72 inches, or 6 feet, at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, be bay in color, have four white stocking feet, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and tail. FEED Each hitch horse will consume as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 50 to 60 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day. HITCH LOCATIONS Five traveling Budweiser Clydesdale hitches are based in St. Louis, Mo.; Menifee, Calif.; San Diego, Calif.; Merrimack, N.H.; and San Antonio, Texas. The Budweiser Clydesdales can be viewed at the Anheuser-Busch breweries in St. Louis, Merrimack and Ft. Collins, Colo. The Budweiser Clydesdales also may be viewed at Grant's Farm, the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, in St. Louis and at the following Anheuser-Busch theme parks: Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Va., and Tampa, Fla., and at the SeaWorld theme parks in Orlando, Fla.; San Diego, Calif.; and San Antonio, Texas. CLYDESDALE OPERATIONS Based in St. Louis, Clydesdale Operations is responsible for maintaining and scheduling the five traveling hitches. Events are typically sponsored in part by the local Anheuser-Busch wholesalers and thousands of requests for the "gentle giants" are received each year. Each request is evaluated on the type of event, dates, history of appearances in that particular area and other input from Anheuser-Busch management representatives. STABLES The official home of the Budweiser Clydesdales is an ornate brick and stained-glass stable built in 1885 on the historic 100-acre Anheuser-Busch brewery complex in St. Louis. The building is one of three located on the brewery grounds that are registered as historic landmarks by the federal government. HANDLERS Expert grooms travel on the road with the hitch. They are on the road at least 10 months every year. When necessary, one handler has night duty to provide round-the-clock care for the horses, ensuring their safety and comfort. TRANSPORT Ten horses, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon and other essential equipment are transported in three 50-foot tractor-trailers. Cameras in the trailers (with monitors in the cabs) enable the drivers to keep a watchful eye on their precious cargo during transport. The team stops each night at local stables so the "gentle giants" can rest. Air-cushion suspension and thick rubber flooring in the trailers ease the rigors of traveling. DRIVERS Driving the 12 tons of wagon and horses requires quite a bit of strength and skill. The 40 pounds of reins the driver holds, plus the tension of the reins, equals 75 pounds. All hitch drivers are put through a rigorous training period before they are given the reins. HARNESS Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds. The harness is handcrafted from brass and leather. Pure linen thread is used for the stitching. The harness is made to fit any horse, but the collars come in different sizes and must be individually fitted like a suit of clothes. NAMES Duke, Captain, Mark and Bud are just a few of the names given to the Budweiser Clydesdales. Names are kept short to make it easier for the driver to give commands to the horses during a performance. HORSESHOES Clydesdale horseshoes measure more than 20 inches from end to end and weigh about 5 pounds -- more than twice as long and five times as heavy as the shoe worn by a riding horse. A horse's hoof is made of a nerveless, horn-like substance similar to the human fingernail, so being fitted for shoes affects the animal no more than a manicure affects people. WAGON Turn-of-the-century beer wagons have been meticulously restored and are kept in excellent repair. The wagons are equipped with two braking systems: a hydraulic pedal device that slows the vehicle for turns and descents down hills, and a hand brake that locks the rear wheels when the wagon is at a halt. DALMATIANS Dalmatians have traveled with the Clydesdale hitch since the 1950s. The Dalmatian breed has long been associated with horses and valued for their speed, endurance and dependable nature. Dalmatians were known as coach dogs, because they ran between the wheels of coaches or carriages and were companions to the horses. Today, the Dalmatians are perched atop the wagon, seated next to the driver. For more information, contact: Sara Geisner 314.267.9530 email@example.com
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