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Bob Funk: Why I love Clydesdales.

Folks often ask why I picked the Clydesdale horse breed several decades ago to represent our flagship brands.

“Well…for several reasons,” I exclaim with a smile.

a) Clydesdales are majestic giants from the Isle of Clyde in Scotland. Through generous scholarships from FFA and Rotary, I was able to obtain my graduate studies at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. I love this country’s proud heritage, beautiful landscapes and rich culture.

b) Clydesdale hitches are symbolic to our business environment: our associates ‘pull together as a team…creating much greater strength than working alone ”.

c) Clydesdales are one of the most recognizable horse breeds in the world today, thanks to their massive height and feathers around their hooves. And unlike the famous Budweiser™ team, the black and white Clydesdale is a rarer breed…not many international companies have[DR3] adopted them as iconic representatives .

d) I envisioned these brand ambassadors traveling North America representing Express Employment Professionals; Today, they’ve helped our organizations raise millions of dollars for Children’s Miracle Network and other charities. Each year, they star in some of the world’s most famous parades like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Kentucky Derby Pegasus Parade, just to name a few.

e) I saw an opportunity to bring a unique attraction to our home in Oklahoma, a state steeped in its own rich equestrian history. Located in Yukon, the Express Clydesdales meet thousands of visitors each year at our historic Clydesdale barn (an impressive structure restored to its original beauty by Amish Carpenters in 1998).

Not only are Clydesdales a beautiful breed, but also strong, powerful, mighty in size…and yet still quite gentle. Other Fun Facts:

#1. One of the largest horses in history is a Clydesdale.

There is a Clydesdale named Poe who lives in Ontario, Canada who stands at 20.2 hands in height and weighs in at an impressive 3,000 pounds. That’s just 0.3 hands off of what is currently considered to be the world record for the tallest living horse.

#2. Clydesdale horses are one of the largest overall breeds in the world.

The average height of a Clydesdale will generally exceed 18 hands in height (and more than 6 feet in length). This means each horse will typically weigh over 1 ton.

#3. Clydesdales have the strongest genetics for feathering.

“Feathering” is the hair that exists around the hooves and ankles of the horse. Historians believe this trait was developed or evolved naturally in order for the horse to deal with the colder winter temperatures of Scotland.

#4. Clydesdales are relatively easy to own and care for.

That is…if you have some several acres of land for them to kick, play and run and can feed them. The average Clydesdale consumes up to double the amount of feed every day compared to other breeds (60 pounds of hay and 25 quarts of whole grains per day). #5. The pulling power of a Clydesdale is absolutely incredible.

A single Clydesdale may be able to pull up to 8,000 pounds for a short period of time. They can also pull a carriage which may weight 200-400 pounds for up to 8 hours per day. #6. A Clydesdale horse needs a double stall for comfort.

The average stall size for most horses tends to be 12 feet by 12 feet. The average stall for a Clydesdale should be at least double this size, or 24 feet by 24 feet. If the Clydesdale can’t be turned out into a paddock or pasture on a regular basis, then the stall should be even larger.

#7. The Clydesdale used to be a popular war horse.

Because of the breed’s uniquely calm disposition (which meant that it could go into various situations without getting spooked), using Clydesdales as warrior horses was an advantage. Today, we know them as friendly and very docile horses, despite their massive size.

#8. The US has the largest number of Clydesdales.

There are about 600 new Clydesdales registered in the US every year. Canada, Great Britain, and Australia are also top countries for Clydesdale ownership.

To see these majestic giants first-hand (always complementary with no fees or charges), travel to:

12701 W. Wilshire Blvd. Yukon, OK 73099

Phone: (405) 350-6404

Hours of Operation: APPOINTMENT ONLY: Tuesday - Saturday: 10 am - 3 pm Closed: Sunday and Monday, Closed and on all major holidays

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