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The Real Stars Of The Super Bowl! Inside The Budweiser Clydesdales Horses' Stable

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Feb. 1 2013, Published 6:26 p.m. ET

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Every year the commercials during the Super Bowl are just as highly anticipated as the game itself, and one team that never let fans down is Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser Clydesdales.

This year, the star of the iconic ads is just a few weeks old and will be making his big screen debut in front of an estimated 100 million viewers after being named by the beer company's first Twitter campaign, but voters will have to wait until after the big game to hear the winning name, reported

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For the past 80 years the Clydesdales have been an integral part of the company's family and Jeff Knapper has the responsibility of maintaining the legacy by breeding, feeding and training the beautiful beasts from the time they make their first tentative steps throughout their long lives.

"The company is committed to the Clydesdale because they represent the tradition, the heritage, the quality that goes into everything we do," he said.

"For the company to get it done and get it done the right way, it has to be in the house. So this is a big operation for us. It is a significant investment."

With 175 around the country, the requirements to be a Budweiser horse are strict and not any old animal can have the honor of pulling the famous wagons.

"We have very, very stringent requirements to be a Budweiser Clydesdale," explained Knapper. "They must have a white blaze, a black mane and tail...and four white, stocking feet."

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Only stallions are allowed, and those that don't make the stringent cut are sold for around $5,000 each, while some of the mares are kept to keep the family tree going.

Called The Clydesdale Brotherhood, the latest 60-second commercial follows its equine star's journey from an adorable wobbly legged foal to a rambunctious adult making horse-play with his trainer, who must eventually say goodbye when the majestic creature fulfills his destiny as a Budweiser horse, and Landslide by Stevie Nicks plays dramatically in the background.

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While avoiding any spoilers, will reveal that there is a happy ending that proves that it's not only dogs that can be man's best friend!

The real-life trainer is John Soto, who manages the Warm Springs Ranch in Boonville, Missouri, where the foals are born under his watchful eye and live until they are two years old.

The meticulous birthing process involves "foal-proof" warning system that tells him when a mare is ready to give birth, and as she lies down an alarm goes off on Soto's phone and he jumps to attention from his home on the farm to bond with another big baby.

"They are like people," he explained. "Once you get to know them and know their size and their facial looks and everything, you know who they are."

The Clydesdales first became the face of the brand in 1933, when the horses paraded down a St. Louis street carrying beer to celebrate the end of Prohibition era, and 80 years on, the newest generation can be seen in the second half of Sunday's Super Bowl XLVII.



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