Tournament of Roses President R. Scott Jenkins came into office with a lot of plans to give oomph to the 2014 Rose Parade. More floats—check. More flowers—check. Fewer bands and equestrians—check. More entertainment—check. And now, something fans have missed, but which was not on the agenda he shared with us last February, the Budweiser Clydesdales.
For decades, the massive team pulled the City of St. Louis float and then an Anheuser-Busch float. Budweiser Clydesdales have made 58 appearances in the Rose Parade, but their last was in 2011. Jenkins, as president, has the perk of choosing his own ride though, and this is what he chose: the Budweiser wagon pulled by a team of eight matching geldings. For the first time in Rose Parade history, they will not be pulling a float and will qualify as an equestrian entry.
We had the pleasure Monday of talking again with J. Keith White, AIFD CFD, the FTD floral designer who somehow manages to put bountiful flower arrangements on vehicles and still let the gorgeous styling show through. He told us that Jenkins tells people that they will find him “behind the Dalmatian” on parade day.
The Dalmatian who travels with the team sits on the front right beside the driver, and Jenkins is perched on the bench in the wagon right behind. Joining Jenkins will be his wife Cindy, daughters Lindsay and Courtney, son-in-law Garrett, his mother Phyllis and in-laws Sherm and Marge.
Be sure to check out the slideshow for pictures of the wagon in the decoration process.
- The beer wagon is a 1903 Studebaker
- The wagon and horses weigh 12 tons together
- The driver holds 40 pounds of lines with tension that equals more than 75 pounds
- Dalmatians are known as coach dogs, because they ran between the wheels of coaches and were companions to horses
- It takes five hours to get the horses ready for the parade: washing and grooming, beribboning manes and tails, polishing harnesses, harnessing and hitching to the wagon
- Each harness and collar weighs approximately 130 pounds and is handcrafted with solid brass, patent leather, and stitched with pure linen thread
- To qualify for one of the traveling hitches, a Budweiser Clydesdale must be a gelding at least four years of age, stand 72 inches at the shoulder when fully mature, weigh between 1,800 and 2,300 pounds, have a bay coat, four white stocking feet, a white blaze and a black mane and tail
- Each hitch horse consumes as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, 50 to 60 pounds of hay, and 30 gallons of water per day.
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