The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales, the symbol of quality and tradition for Anheuser-Busch since 1933, will visit Bristol, Virginia July 16-22 to help commemorate the 50th anniversary of Walling Distributing Co.
Members of the Bristol Virginia Police Department will escort the three 50-foot tractor trailers which will transport the 10 horses, the famous red, white and gold beer wagon and other essential equipment from Exit 5 into the city around noon on Tuesday, July 16. The public is invited to watch, as the parking lot adjacent to Cumberland Square Park is transformed into accommodations for the ‘Gentle Giants’ during their stay in Bristol.
Weather permitting, the eight-horse hitch will make four processions through historic downtown Bristol, the first Friday, July 19 at 5:00pm and 6:30pm; and again on Saturday, July 20 at 5:00pm and 7:00pm. During the remainder of their time in Bristol, the legendary Clydesdales will be on view to the public for photos and interaction, and will participate in specially planned events including Believe in Bristol’s Border Bash on Friday, July 19 and “Party in the Park with the Clydesdales,” on Saturday, July 20 sponsored by City of Bristol, VA, Believe in Bristol, Birthplace of Country Music and Walling Distributing. Both events will feature music and food and craft vendors.
As the Anheuser-Busch distributor in southwestern Virginia, Walling Distributing has been a respected mainstay in the Bristol Virginia community since 1962, and has a market share that is among the top in the entire United States.
A stalwart supporter of the communities they serve, officials with Walling Distributing see the Clydesdales’ visit as a way to give something back to the region that has been so instrumental to the success of their family-owned business.
“The Clydesdales are easily the most iconic symbol of any brand in history,” said Mark Walling, President, Walling Distributing. “Moreover, they have the ability to transcend all age groups and captivate the hearts of all they come in contact with. You can’t help but be enthralled by these beautiful creatures, and we are honored they are joining us for this significant milestone in our company’s history.” he added.
Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, a blaze of white on the face and a black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.
A single Clydesdale hitch horse will consume as much as 20-25 quarts of feed, 40-50 pounds of hay and 30 gallons of water per day.
Each hitch travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.