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Big Crowd Cheers Budweiser Clydesdale Marching Demo At Goshen Historic Track (VIDEOS)


One of the largest gatherings in recent Goshen history formed over several hours, in anticipation of a performance by the famed Budweiser Clydesdale horses .They have been here before, and word spread throughout Orange County in recent weeks that they would be here the first week of September. Locals walked to the historic Goshen Track with little ones on their shoulders. Others pushed their parents or partners in wheelchairs to find the best viewing spots along trackside, while the bleachers filled nearly to capacity.

How does Goshen Track rate to be honored with such an auspicious event? Well, for one thing, it is the longest continuously operating Standardbred Racing Track in the US. And it doesn't hurt that Dana Distributing , which delivers about 3 million Budweiser brand cases of beer every year, has their headquarters just a few miles down the road.

Arriving at the Goshen Track you cannot help but be inspired by the historic entrance which is at the classic and stunning Harness Racing Museum. and Hall of Fame. Among its gardens, some special donations along the are set along cobblestone walkway, including the gift of a decorative cement bench from Kentucky Standardbred Sales Company, not to mention the historic equestrian objects in the museum itself. And to locals, the track, barns and meeting rooms are an icon of resiliency, having been beautifully rebuilt after a devastating fire in 2017 that took numerous barns out, though fortunately all of the horses were able to be rescued. The site is a National Historic Landmark, and after the fire, rebuild, and COVID impacts, this comeback was truly a breath of fresh air, though given the high temps the attendees were grateful for the afternoon's cloudy sky.

This day, on entering the grounds, new barns and site accoutrments, both in the look and feel of the spacious grounds, it had the feeling of a Keenland ,or Churchill Downs event////sweet and exhilirating at the same time.

The lineup of these giant majestic equines does not just happen in a few minutes, but the crowds are pleased to be able to watch the glittering harnesses and bridles being set, which the extraordinarily well-trained horses seem to be eager to receive. While all this preparation is going on, a young Budweiser representative, fielded questions from the hundreds in the bleachers eagerly and embellished the hour's presentation with Clydesdale and Budweiser history, their lives in Missouri, the breeding farm with its approximately 15 new foals, and description of each horse as it was dressed for marching. As every horse moved over to the team lineup, and every phase of prep was completed, the bleachers went alive with applause and cheers.

The Show Begins

When the music started up and the full Clydesdale Team pranced their marches across the track, even the horses were excited, one doing a semblance of a capriole and then a few gallop steps with his front partner before settling to a jaw-dropping cadenced prance in perfect time with each other and with the background music. The prance effect becomes almost otherworldly as their signature "Feathers" (fluffy white hair spreading out from just below their knees) makes them alternately floaty, and each step landing with emphasis of their massive hooves.. The "Piece de Resistance", was when they made a broad curve, the team side-stepping in what equestrians call a half-pass during which all 8 briefly face more or less in a straight forward line....a stunning maneuver considering all of the gear on each horse as well as gear and poles between them.. During their second and tighter curve as they prepared to make their second pass by the grandsttand, the left lead horse seemed to decide that his partner's platterlike left hoof was getting a little too close, and so he just lifted his entire rear end up about 10 inches and bumped himself subtly to the left twice in a move that (as far as this writer knows) is nameless among the equestrian dressage community (sic). At any rate it was every bit as awe-inspiring as it was beautiful. And the Greater Goshen Community will likely be talking about it for years, while hoping the Buds' next performance at Goshen Historic Track will continue to make this at least a nearly annual event so they have an opportunity to see the beauty and precision, and show their appreciation and respect. One look at these horses' faces and you can tell "They know" the love and respect they are being shown.

Quite a few Goshenites brought parents or partners to the show in wheelchairs

while brothers and sisters help push siblings in strollers

Numerous barns were rebuilt after the devastating fire of 2017

One thing is for sure. Those in the Orange County Equestrian Community who worry that some area horse farms are disappearing due to development, and wonder whether there is still the same feeling for horses here as there had been in the past, can heave a big sigh of relief. There's plenty of love for horses and their history here in Orange County.

Scenes at Goshen Historic Track on Budweiser Clydesdale Day

Trotting Horse - One of numerous artworks to be auctioned soon

A five-month old pup ("Cooper") who came with family clearly wanted a good view as he peered through the fence.

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