The Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses spent the afternoon strolling School Street on Monday. Deliveries of cases of beer were made to several Downtown bars. The bright red wagon and horses traveled up Sacramento Street taking a left on Elm Street then down School Street. As the horses strolled around Lodi spectators followed in the streets, taking photos with cameras and cell phones. Atop the wagon were two Budweiser drivers, Brady the Dalmatian and executive director of the Downtown Lodi Business Partnership, Jamie Watts.
The team spent the earlier portion of the day in Stockton for another event. The horses were originally scheduled to appear at last year's Parade of Lights, but due to rain were unable to be hitched up, according to Watts.
August Busch Jr. introduced the horses in 1933 to commemorate the repealing of Prohibition. The horses delivered the first case of post-prohibition beer from the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.
In order to be selected for the hitch-team, Clydesdales must meet certain strict requirements.
The horses must be four years old, six feet high at the shoulder, weigh from 2,000 to 2,300 pounds, be bay in color and have white stocking hooves. They must also have a strip of white on their nose and have a black mane and tail.
Ten horses accompany the hitch team as it travels from place to place, but only eight pull the wagon. Two are kept as alternates. The team is booked up to a year in advance and is scheduled to come to Lodi again for this year's Parade of Lights.
Dalmatians also travel with the horses and have done so since the '50s. The original purpose of the dogs was to guard the wagon while the deliveryman was away from the team making deliveries.