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Clydesdale breeding farm in mid-Missouri opens for guided tours for first time


May 05, 2010 - 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 are now available for the first time 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, according to a news release.

"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," Jim Poole, general manager of Clydesdale Operations at Anheuser-Busch, stated in the release. "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 stated. 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.

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