Hitch up the wagon: Clydesdale foal born in Adams County

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Uma and Marley on her first day. — Photo by Brittany Boll

“If you’re going to have a horse farm and you own liquor stores, then you got to have Clydesdales…”  

This was Adam Booth’s status Facebook on February 27 paired with a photo of two beautiful giant horses. It was a status that could have won the internet for the day, but after reading through the comments, the best part about the post was a comment made by his wife, Jessica, who wrote…

“Soooo I pulled in the driveway and there was a horse trailer from Montana… Adam is trying to halter and unload these horses…Adam had never haltered a horse nor unloaded a horse. I had NO CLUE these were on the way…he also failed to mention that the one horse is pregnant.”  

Thus started Clydesdale Watch 2024. 

Uma and Adam and Jess – A majestic Clydesdale towers over most folks. —Photo by Brittany Boll

The gestation period for a Clydesdale is 11 months. Uma, was about 9 months pregnant when he unloaded her and Mabel, an offspring of Uma to their green acres funny farm. Jessica kept the Facebook world up to date, especially during the actual foal watch which consisted of multiple sleepless nights in the barn. The birth of the highly anticipated foal happened a day after Jessica’s own birthday at 5 a.m. in the morning on April 11.

By 5 p.m. that evening, the foal was in the field. The next day Uma and the foal were trotting alongside one another, with Uma almost teaching her that famous, elegant trot. It was on that day I got to meet the already famous foal, the not so little, Miss Marley. This was the first time that I had ever been up close to a Clydesdale. She really was a gentle giant. Allowing us to get close to her and her day-old baby was amazing and breathtaking, yet I was still very cautious. Pretty sure most women that I know need space after being pregnant for 9 months, let alone 11.

And that maternal instinct of “Don’t touch my baby,” runs in our DNA. I didn’t want Uma to be taking my last breath. Again, Uma is the best mom and so gentle towards humans. I just tend to be extra cautious when I’m around 2,000-pound animals. 

Family photo. — Photo by Brittany Boll.

I’ve seen Clydesdales before at Busch stadium for a Cardinals game, and in the stalls on the Budweiser brewery tour, but this was experience I was grateful to take in. And it’s not every day that you get to say you’ve petted a day-old baby Clydesdale.

As the Booth’s gave me a tour of their funny farm, they told me about their own experiences with horses. Jessica said that she grew up around horses and that her family had raised them for hundreds of years. She said it was her grandpa who is responsible for her love of horses. Marley is named after a beloved mule that her grandpa cared for after her aunt, who originally owned the mule had passed.  

Equine blood runs in her family whereas, Adam said he had never really been around horses, until he started dating Jess. Today, you just might mistake him for the Lone Ranger. It was Jessica’s first with a “foaling” and obviously Adam’s first time as well. Together they make the perfect couple to show off the Clydesdales breed to the area. 

Clydesdales are rare around these parts and there are fewer than 5,000 of these horses worldwide. This puts them on “vulnerable” level on the endangered list. The Clydesdale, a draught breed that originated in Scotland, was exported all over the world and commonly used to pull wagons and carriages. After the invention of the automobile, the need for the animals declined. However, the popularity of the animal remained as the company, Budweiser used the breed to form a Clydesdale carriage hitch, as a promotional symbol to acknowledge the end of Prohibition. It was a marketing masterpiece, as everyone cheers for those Clydesdales still to this day as a symbol of freedom. Anheuser-Busch owns a total of about 250 Clydesdales, all of which are celebrity-status level Clydes. 

A Clydesdale is one of the largest breeds of horses in the world, with a Shire usually being the largest. I say usually because it all depends on the bloodline. Belgian draft horses are also on that top 5 list and usually weigh more than Clydesdales. The two other giant breeds on the list are Percheron and Suffolk.

Go big or go home seems to be the motto on this funny farm these days. Or in Adam’s case, go to the bathroom, and you’ll end up with some cows.  A couple of days before Marley was born, the Booth’s went to an auction and Jessica made the highest bid on some mini cows while Adam was using the restroom. They joke about these surprises that they play on one another, but you can tell that they are both living out their dreams, together, on green acres. (And most peoples’ meme dreams.) As for Adam’s Liquor Booth carriage, while he would like five more of these gentle giants, he doesn’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth. 

Pumpkin and Oreo are more new members of the Booth stables.

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