CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales made an appearance in the Charleston area Wednesday.
The team is in town for a military appreciation tour and will be visiting Joint Base Charleston, but wanted to have a few opportunities for the public to visit with them as well.
Often called The Gentle Giants, the eight horses were harnessed and hitched to the red beer wagon at the Piggly Wiggly on Riviera Drive in Mt. Pleasant.
The Clydesdales appearance is one of hundreds made annually by the traveling hitches. The giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.
Their next public appearance will be at the BiLo on Folly Road from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
A certain jolly old elf will join the festivities when they appear at Cinebarre on Houston Northcutt Boulevard in Mt. Pleasant. They will be there Saturday, December 1 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
The public is welcome to come out and have their picture taken with the horses.
"Everybody's excited. You look at these horses and they're beautiful," said Frankie Baldwin with Pearlstine Distributors. "As soon as the 18-wheelers pulled up, everybody took their cameras out and little kids were jumping for joy as they were bringing the horses off [the truck]."
According to Pearlstine Distributors, horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands - or six feet - at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is also important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.
Each hitch also travels with a Dalmatian. In the early days of brewing, Dalmatians were bred and trained to protect the horses and guard the wagon when the driver went inside to make deliveries.