BOONVILLE, Mo., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales have put out a warm welcome for group tours of its breeding facility in mid-Missouri.
Warm Springs Ranch is a state-of-the-art breeding operation situated on more than 300 acres of rolling hills in Cooper County, Mo. Guided group tours of the farm begin Saturday, May 1, at the 25,000-square-foot facility, home to more than 100 Clydesdales.
Guests will see and interact with the foals, mares and stallions as they learn about the 57-year-old Budweiser Clydesdale breeding program and the horses' long heritage as one of the most recognizable brand icons in the world.
"Our beloved Clydesdales have been a symbol of Anheuser-Busch for more than 77 years, so we're excited to be opening our doors at Warm Springs Ranch and offer guests such an intimate, one-of-a-kind experience with our Clydesdales," said Jim Poole, general manager of Clydesdale Operations at Anheuser-Busch. "Guests will get to experience the whole Clydesdale family – not just the stallions – and meet the future stars of the Budweiser Clydesdales."
The Budweiser Clydesdales began on the road to stardom when they were introduced on April 7, 1933, to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition for beer. August A. Busch Jr. and Adolphus Busch III presented a hitch of horses to their father to celebrate the day. To their father's delight, the hitch thundered down Pestalozzi Street in St. Louis carrying the first case of post-Prohibition Budweiser from the brewery.
Anheuser-Busch owns more than 200 of the renowned breed, including traveling hitches that greet millions of people each year. Two of those hitches are stabled at Warm Springs Ranch.
Between 30 and 40 Clydesdale foals are born at Warm Springs Ranch each season, Poole said. Dedicated staff is on-site around the clock to ensure the baby Clydesdales are welcomed into the world in comfort and safety. Those Clydesdales born with the proper markings for a Budweiser Clydesdale – a bay coat, a blaze of white on the face, four white stocking feet, and a black mane and tail – have a future spot on one of the traveling hitches and the chance to appear in some of the brand's beloved commercials.
Guests also will view the Clydesdales' custom-made harnesses, a 1903 Studebaker-built beer wagon, and three luxury tractor-trailer units that transport the Clydesdales to appearances all around the country. They also will learn about the Budweiser Clydesdales' breeding techniques and bloodlines.
Tours of Warm Springs Ranch are by group reservation only and last approximately an hour and a half. Tours are offered daily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Visit www.warmspringsranch.com for more information or to make a reservation.
Rob McCarthy, vice president for Budweiser, said the first television advertisement featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales aired in 1956 and that commercials featuring the majestic horses have been popular ever since.
"Whether it's a national television commercial or an appearance at parades and festivals around the country, these horses continue to be a symbol of Budweiser's quality and heritage," McCarthy said.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.9 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. 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. Anheuser Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.