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Local man wins visit from Clydesdales

PHOTO SUBMITTED / ANHEUSER-BUSCH INC. / The Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to town, thanks to a local man's prize-winning contest entry.

PHOTO SUBMITTED / ANHEUSER-BUSCH INC. / The Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales are coming to town, thanks to a local man’s prize-winning contest entry.

The Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Clydesdales are making an appearance in Brookhaven, thanks to local insurance agent Josh Smith.

“I entered the contest and really didn’t think anything else about it,” Smith said, “until my wife got a phone call out of the blue telling us we’d won a delivery from the Clydesdales out of St. Louis, Mo.”

Josh Smith

Josh Smith

As a result of Smith’s winning entry bringing the Clydesdales to town, the public will have a chance to see the famous horses at the Lincoln Civic Center, 1096 Beltline Drive NE, Saturday, Feb. 1, from 2 until 4 p.m. in the stall barn. Then the horse team will make a special appearance at Smith’s home on Super Bowl Sunday for a private gathering.

Smith said the contest was on Budweiser’s Facebook page and asked for entries to show the company how people enjoyed the holidays with friends and family.

“I really think it was the Christmas card that did it,” he laughs. “I do a lot of business with Anheuser-Busch,” said Smith, who also heads up the annual Tucker Smith Memorial Golf Tournament.

“And, Ann McGruder of Rex Distributors – one of my local distributors here in Mississippi – sent me the Facebook link saying that I should enter it. I sent them a short blurb and uploaded a photo that we used as our Christmas card last year with me, my wife and kids with the Clydesdale horses.”

Smith said Budweiser is very particular about the care of the horses.

“They are very careful with these horses,” he said. “That’s why they are making special arrangements with the civic center. They bring three 18-wheelers that include all of their gear and the horses – eight is the full hitch – the Dalmatian and the old wagon. They even have a special kind of hay and that is the only hay they will feed those horses, so that will be shipped in, too.”

Smith said Southwest Distributors executives Mike Belote and Stephanie Hutchins have been wonderful to work with on getting this appearance arranged, along with Quinn Jordan, who has been coordinating the animals’ stay at the Lincoln Civic Center barn and arena.

Hutchins said that the public will have an opportunity to view and take photos with the Clydesdales on Saturday. The event is free. More details on the public event will be announced shortly.

Smith said if you haven’t seen the animals in person, you must visit them at the civic center Saturday.

“These animals are magnificent,” he said. “We had them here in Brookhaven several years ago, and the family and I have seen them several times, but to have them come to our home is a once-in-a-lifetime thing.”