What is my job as Budweiser Clydesdales Farm Manager?

  • Amy Trout runs Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri, where most of the Budweiser Clydesdales live.
  • She has been working with famous draft horses since 2002 and loves seeing the first steps of the foals.
  • That’s what her job is like overseeing the care and breeding of horses, Assunta told Benetti.

This article is reportedly based on a conversation with Amy Trout, a 44-year-old farm manager, about her career working with Budweiser Clydesdales. Edited for length and clarity.

I majored in zoology and majored in zoology at North Dakota State University before teaching high school agriculture for a few years. After that, I started looking for a job that would allow me to work closely with animals.

I have a broad base of animal knowledge, but I grew up with draft horses—large, muscular horses better suited for work—on my parents’ farm in Virginia, and I love them.

Budweiser has used Clydesdale draft horses since 1933, and they have been company mascots since 1950.

The company has teams of horses – called hitches – that tour the country using the famous buggy. I started with Budweiser Clydesdales in 2002 and have traveled all over the country with eight horses.

At the time, my brain was based at SeaWorld in San Antonio. Not there anymore, but we still have hitches in St. Louis and Bonneville, Missouri; and Fort Collins, Colorado.

I’ve worked as part of the hitch team for eight years. In 2010, I was promoted to manage the Clydesdale facility at Grant’s Farm in Missouri. Grant’s Farm is the historic Busch family home where the faculty trains horses, which include a variety of other animals such as cows, bison, and deer.

In 2020, I was promoted to assistant curator, which means I supervise all of the animals on the farm. In the summer of 2021, Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville posted a vacancy for a Ranch Manager, and applied.

I have been in the position since October 2021 and focused on Clydesdales full time since then. I’ve climbed the ladder over the past 20 years at Anheuser-Busch, and I’m right where I want to be in my career.

Amy Trout at Warm Springs Ranch in Bonneville, Missouri

Amy Trout oversees a team of seven full-time and 15 part-time employees at Warm Springs Ranch in Bonneville, Missouri.

Amy Trout

We have a full-time staff of seven Horse Trainers at Warm Springs and can accommodate up to 200 visitors per day for tours, which are handled by a dedicated department of 15 part-time employees.

To supervise everyone, I’ve rented a condo at Warm Springs Ranch where I and my kids—Wyatt and Clara—live full time.

Every morning, I get up at 5 am and get myself ready before waking my kids up for school. While they are doing their morning business, I head to the barn. We start feeding the horses at 6 am and give them exercise.

We have a breeding facility in Boonville based here, so there are 75 to 100 Clydesdales on the farm at any given time.

We’ll clean out the barn, and if there are rides that day, we’ll do some extra cleaning. As the day progresses, we bring the horses in to get a haircut, a bath, or whatever else is scheduled to be done that day.

Around lunchtime we will be checking on any mares due to be bred or likely to be pregnant. The lawn and any pending farm work are then mowed before finishing at 4:30 p.m

I work six days a week during the heavy breeding season, which runs from January 1 to the beginning of May.

We put a device called a foal alert in pregnant mares, so when the baby’s feet penetrate the birth canal, the device will connect to my phone.

From the time the baby’s feet begin to show, there is only about 15 minutes left before the pony hits the ground. So when that alarm goes off, there’s no monkeying around — you get to the barn right away. In an ideal world, our mares would have between 20 and 25 foals each year.

I am on call year round in case of an emergency with the horses.

Budweiser Clydesdales

There are between 75 and 100 Clydesdale horses at Warm Springs Ranch at any given time.

Amy Trout

I spend most of my days thinking about which horses would make good breeding pairs. It is my responsibility to match the horses so that their babies are born with perfect colours.

We do DNA tests and break it down to the genetic level, but we also take into account if a particular stallion has produced a foal with all-white legs in the past.

All Clydesdale handlers within the organization must hold a commercial truck driver’s license to drive a semitruck that hauls horses, so there are times when I help out with that.

In 2014 we took four horses abroad on a six-month trip when Budweiser was launched in China. But since I’m on the farm, raising horses is my main responsibility.

Clearing stalls or moving hay bales can be physically exhausting, but you want to do it because you know horses need it.

Amy Trout with one of her Budweiser Clydesdales

Amy is responsible for matching the Clydesdales to Breeding.

Amy Trout

There are so many great moments – seeing the foals stand up and take their first wobbly steps is a huge bonus.

I was feeding outdoors this morning. It was great, but it was so beautiful, and I thought, “Man, I’m just the luckiest person to work here every single day.”

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