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Famous Clydesdales visit Raleigh

Posted September 10, 2014 11:03 a.m. EDT
Updated September 10, 2014 12:32 p.m. EDT

— 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.