Caisson Platoon Hosts Iconic Guests

WIDEWAGON-5           The 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon has some famous guests in the barn.

The East Coast Budweiser Clydesdales are in town to make a Full-Hitch Appearance at the Washington Nationals home opener and a Washington Capital’s game.

The Clydesdales are staying on Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall.

Dave Thomas, originally of the Chicago area, has been a member of the Budweiser Clydesdale team for 15 years.

“Its neat to be a part of such an old tradition here with The Old Guard. These are two of the oldest horse units in the country to have been going continuously,” said Thomas. “Its pretty cool we get to stay together from time to time.”

“It seems like we come back to Fort Myer every couple years,” said Thomas. “We CLYDES-43enjoy coming and seeing what’s going on at the Caisson, the hospitality everyone shows us.”

“The facilities here are top notch,” said Thomas. “One of the finest around, we always enjoy coming.”

The Clydesdales will stay on military bases or mounted police barracks as they make their way across the country for their average 200 yearly appearances.

Thomas grew up showing horses and says getting a job with the Budweiser Clydesdales was his “dream job”.

Thomas said that much like the average Soldier in The Old Guard, Budweiser Clydesdales are given a haircut once a week to ensure they are always ready for a photo shoot or ceremony.

Budweiser Clydesdales have shared the stage with The Old Guard twice at Presidential inaugurations. They appeared in 1949 for Missouri native Harry Truman’s inaugural parade, and then again in 1993 for Bill Clinton’s.

For an average appearance, six people work to get the Clydesdales ready 5-6 hours.

CLYDES-10            The preparation for an appearance includes braiding the manes and inserting red and white roses.

Thomas said this East Coast team is based out of Merrimack, New Hampshire. It is one of three teams. The other two are based out of St. Louis and Fort Collins, Colorado.

The menu for Clydesdales Ivan, Charlie, Master, Royal, Jack, Lucky, Chuck, Phoenix, Rico, and Nomo includes as much as 20 to 25 quarts of whole grains, minerals and vitamins, 40 to 50 pounds of hay, and 30 gallons of water per day.

Standing between 6 feet tall at the shoulder, Budweiser Clydesdales weigh 1,800 to
CLYDES-50 2,300 pounds.

In addition to the 8-hitch horses, Barley the Dalmatian is also an overnight guest.

Dalmatians were introduced to the team on March 30, 1950 as their official mascot.

The Clydesdales were introduced in 1933 after the repeal of Prohibition.

According to their official website, “Anheuser-Busch owns approximately 250 Clydesdales; they continue to be an enduring symbol of the brewer’s heritage, tradition and commitment to quality.”

“Its been a few years since we’ve been back to the DC area,” said Thomas. “We always enjoy coming.”

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