Famous Clydesdales visit Raleigh

Posted September 10, 2014

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— The Budweiser Clydesdales, perhaps the most famous horses in America, are paying a visit this week to Raleigh.

They will perform daily as part of the Lions Club State Championship Saddlebred Show this week at the Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. Horse Complex in Raleigh at the NC State Fairgrounds.

Work began early in the week to ready the area for the horses.

The ground was leveled, a tent erected and a wooden floor installed to be covered in wood shavings. Specific food was shipped in especially for the horses.

"$700 for flooring for horses? They got to be great horses," said Maurice Whitehead as he brought in lumber.

And then the rains came. And the mud.

The tent was no longer an option, so the Budweiser horses will commandeer stalls in a barn built for show horses.

"They are rock stars. They live the rock star life," said horse handler Kat Metzger.

She is a driver of one of the three trucks rolling more than 900 miles to get to Raleigh.

"We're on the road 300 days a year," Metzger said. "We pretty much perform in a different city every week."

Their arrival took on an air of the big event.

Ten Horses prance out of two tractor-trailer rigs. Clyde, the iconic dalmatian mascot, trots out, too.

Steve McLaurin, who invited the horses to be a part of the Raleigh show, was on hand for the occasion.

"It is truly a once-in-a-generation experience to see them here in Raleigh," he said. 

The last Clydesdale visit was more than 20 years ago.

"They are the rock stars, deservedly so," McLaurin agreed, "They will put on a magnificent show."

The saddlebred show begins daily at 6 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday at the Hunt complex. Admission is $8 per person.


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  • Sara Hauser Sep 11, 2014
    user avatar

    I am really looking forward to seeing these beautiful creatures-it will be my first horse show ever!!

  • ncstatefair Sep 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    You are more than welcome to bring cameras/tablets/phones to take photos or video during their performance. To our knowledge, there will not be a photo session with the Clydesdales.

  • Arthur Raleigh Sep 10, 2014
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    If you search or google the Hunt Horse Complex is has a complete schedule.

  • 10hummingbirds Sep 10, 2014

    Awesome!!! So exciting. @NCSTATEFAIR - I know it's a strange question, but are we allowed to bring cameras / tablets to take pictures or video? Can people get their pictures taken with the Clydesdales? That would be super too!

  • madamwuf Sep 10, 2014

    The State Fair is also reporting that you can see them today and tomorrow, too. After 6pm again, estimating 7:30.

  • ncstatefair Sep 10, 2014

    YES, they are here! They will be performing during the N.C. State Championship Horse Show which will begin at 6 p.m., which is why Clydesdale time is approximate.
    Show dates and times:
    Wednesday 9/10 - approx. 7:30 p.m
    Thursday, 9/11 - approx. 7:30 p.m.
    Friday, 9/12 - approx. 7:30 p.m.
    Saturday, 9/13 - approx. 7:30 p.m.
    Cost: $8, children under 12 are free

  • madamwuf Sep 10, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Not quite. The Clydesdales will be on exhibition on Friday and Saturday evening after 6pm, per the prize list on the website. The 10am and 6pm times you're referencing correspond to the times that judged classes start for the Saddlebreds.

  • Teresa Whitley Sep 10, 2014
    user avatar

    NC State Championship Horse Show
    57th annual N.C. Championship Horse Show - a Charity event sponsored by The Raleigh Host Lions Club. Showtimes: 10 am and 6 pm daily.

  • ScienceCowboy Sep 10, 2014

    Any additional schedule info on when they are performing each day? Link to Hunt Horse Complex leads to "Page Not Found"