The Budweiser Clydesdales are returning to the Super Bowl after a 37-year break. This year, they’re staying at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, which is conveniently located at Main Street’s terminus, in Burbank for the entire week.
There aren’t many images in American football history as famous as the Budweiser Clydesdales galloping onto the field before kickoff. These magnificent horses adorned television screens for 37 years, turning them into a symbol of majesty and tradition.
But they broke a long-standing streak by skipping the Super Bowl. But this year, they’re back—stepping back into the spotlight and winning over fans’ hearts once more. This comeback ignites the enthusiasm and memories linked with these amazing beasts, marking a major occasion in the history of the Super Bowl ads. Come along as we examine the history of the Budweiser Clydesdales’ comeback and the effects of their imposing presence on one of the largest athletic events in the country.
At the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, the Budweiser Clydesdales receive meticulous care from their dedicated handlers, led by Lane Soendker. Soendker claims that the handlers of these horses are like their loyal groupies, taking care of all of their needs and treating them like rock stars. The Clydesdales must be well groomed, which entails shaving and clipping every part of their body and giving particular care to the fluffy white hair on their legs, or “feathers.” These feathers are kept flawlessly white by using a purple wash to preserve their immaculate look.
Horses that meet certain requirements can be called Budweiser Clydesdales: they have to be neutered male geldings with brown fur and black mane and tail, a white blaze on their nose, and a minimum height of 18 hands, or 6 feet, at the top of the shoulder.
Ten Clydesdales are part of the crew now in town for the big event; handler Lane Soendker knows each dog by name. For example, he knows Diesel, one of the lead horses. As part of his job, Soendker looks after the horses’ equipment, such as a ten-pound bridle made of leather, brass, and patent leather. Every week, they have to clean all of the rigging, which weighs around 135 pounds. Soendker compares this weight to putting on a backpack for a human, saying it makes little difference for the 2,000-pound horses. Soendker gives the horse a loving scratch on the neck, causing Diesel to quiver on the lips, indicating that the horse is having fun.
In a historical context, Budweiser commemorated the end of Prohibition in 1933 by sending a team of six Clydesdales to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, delivering a case of beer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
They made their first Super Bowl commercial debut in 1975, exactly, decades later. This year’s advertisement, “A Clydesdale’s Journey,” was directed by Chloe Zhao, a recipient of an Academy Award. The commercial, a grand cinematic tale, shows a crippled horse overcoming hardship, signifying perseverance and acting as a metaphor for the difficulties faced by the group throughout the previous two years.
On the other hand, a Budweiser Clydesdale’s duties extend beyond advertising. These amazing creatures travel about a great deal, spending over 300 days a year visiting wholesalers and attending public events. They will be making a significant appearance at Inglewood City Hall on a Friday, and the public is welcome to watch them from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Ensuring the Clydesdales are primed for these appearances is a dedicated team, including individuals like Morghan Sonderer. With a background in horsemanship, Sonderer spends hours daily, up to six hours at times, meticulously grooming the Clydesdales to perfection. She finds immense joy in witnessing the genuine excitement people experience when they encounter these iconic horses face-to-face.
To sum up, the Budweiser Clydesdales’ comeback to the forefront during this year’s Super Bowl is more than simply a commercial; it’s a celebration of resiliency for both humans and these magnificent creatures, signifying our combined power in the face of adversity. With their legendary presence and rich history, the Budweiser Clydesdales never fail to enthrall audiences and serve as a constant reminder of the strength of tradition, camaraderie, and the capacity to overcome adversity.
Groomed to perfection by devoted handlers like Morghan Sonderer, the Clydesdales offer astonishment and delight wherever they go as they travel to public engagements, tour cities, and capture hearts. Their existence is a reminder of the end of Prohibition as well as a lasting monument to the strength of brotherhood and the unwavering resolve to triumph. As a result, these gentle giants are carrying not just the heritage of Budweiser but also a message of inspiration and optimism, reminding us all of the power that comes from overcoming adversity and sticking together.
Budweiser Clydesdales take the field at Busch Stadium ,Video: