Budweiser Clydesdale horses hoof it through Bismarck to celebrate McQuade Softball Tournament

Published: Jun. 22, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The McQuade Softball Tournament is this week. The event draws thousands of players and fans from around the country. Festivities on Wednesday were already getting people excited.

Cash and the rest of the Clydesdale horses were in Bismarck Wednesday to celebrate the 75th anniversary of McQuade Distributing and the 47th anniversary of their charity softball tournament. But getting these gentle giants to Bismarck is no small feat, and you can’t be horsing around.

An excited crowd showed up in downtown Bismarck to catch a glimpse of these herculean horses. Each one can weigh up to 1,800-2,300 pounds and stand over six feet tall. Getting them ready to go on parade takes a team effort.

“It takes about four to six hours from start to finish every morning. We wash their legs, groom them, make sure they are nice and clean, then we go through and braid them and get them ready. While two other people are also cleaning harnesses and making sure the brass is all shiny,” said Jason Thomas, a Clydesdale handler for Budweiser.

After submitting a request to Budweiser to have the horses make an appearance, the real work begins to make sure their grand entry is picture-perfect. Just like any celebrity, they have a list of things they need ready for them when they arrive.

“Mulch, flowers for the stalls, they bring in their own hay and woodchips and feed and they bring in their own portable stalls,” said Shannon McQuade-Ely, president of McQuade Distributing.

Although the horses are promoting adult beverages, children of all ages were excited to see the famous horses themselves.

“Um...I like their mane,” said ten-year-old Aaliyah Mitzel.

“They were bigger than I thought, and they are dressed really pretty,” added Aasha Mitzel.

The Clydesdales made stops at the Main Bar, Blarney Stone, Borrowed Bucks Roadhouse, and Sidelines before returning for a rest at the Event Center where they will stay while visiting the capital city.

If you missed the Clydesdales on Wednesday, they will be in Bismarck through June 26 and be making stops around town. For more information about where and when you can see the horses, visit the McQuade Charity Softball Tournament Facebook page.

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