Farmer Shows Clydesdales At State Fair
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ His dad’s first name is Clyde and his is Dale, so it made perfect sense to farmer Dale Brasel that he’d end up raising Clydesdales.
″It just seemed right to me,″ said Brasel, who is showing his horses this week at the Indiana State Fair.
And whenever he can, Brasel hitches his horses to a plow and takes them out to work part of his 1,200 acre-farm in Milford, Ill.
It may not be fast and it may not be as easy, but there is an age-old relationship between a farmer and his horse.
″When you go out with a horse, all you hear is the jingle-jangle of the reins. You can hear the crickets. You can hear the earth churning,″ he said this week.
″The horse gives you back fertilizer instead of taking it away.″
And there’s no mistaking that Clydesdales attract a lot more attention than any farm equipment Brasel might have.
At the fair, children and adults alike stand and gawk at the horses, which tower over normal-sized horses and people. The fairgoers look, but the horses seem almost too intimidating to touch.
Brasel says people pull up and stop at his farm and at his stalls at the fair to look at what they call ″the Budweiser horses.″
The Clydesdale, known to fans of the Round Table as the transportation of choice for knights, is now known, thanks to today’s power of advertising, as the transportation of choice for Budweiser beer.
Brasel admits he, too, is taken with the Budweiser team of Clydesdales and he’s sold some of his horses to the brewery.
Brasel bought his first Clydesdale in 1972 and now has 13. A top-selling horse can bring up to $13,000, enough to keep alive a farmer’s interest in keeping the large horses.
Although they may not bring in the money that corn and beans do for Brasel, Clydesdales obviously have his heart.
″They are not what they look like. They’re gentle giants,″ he said. ″As long as you start ’em young, you can do what you want with them.″
He has even named one after his wife of five years, Claudette.
″They are fairly gentle,″ Mrs. Brasel said. ″Every so often you run across an ornery one, like people.″
She admits that she, too, was a bit taken aback by the first impression created by her husband’s Clydesdales.
″They can intimidate you,″ she said. ″When you first work around them, it’s quite an experience.″