Who doesn't remember this 2013 Superbowl commercial? I still tear up when I witness the love between an animal and his human... even if it is staged for "Hollywood"
Warm Springs Ranch is the breeding facility for the world-class Budweiser Clydesdales, and we are fortunate enough to live only two hours away from its location in Boonville, MO. But if you are ever traveling through the midwest, I would strongly encourage you to alter your route in order to pay a visit.
Because it is a working ranch and not simply a tourist destination, reservations must be made in advance. It is an effortless process on their website, but weekend visits are popular, so don't procrastinate or you will risk a sell out. The price is ten dollars per person plus a one-time transaction fee of $3.00 -- money well spent! There are two tours offered each day, 10:00AM and 2:00PM, and each one accommodates approximately sixty people. We attended the afternoon session on our way home from visiting our son and his wife in Nashville over Labor Day Weekend. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather - sunny with a high of 82 degrees - but be sure to pack contingency clothes as the tours are never canceled due to weather.
25270 Highway 98, Boonville, MO 65265) The gates to the ranch remain closed until a few minutes prior to each tour when one of the four trainers will meet each car, double check the reservation roster, and allow admittance.
The long driveway to the main building is edged on either side with white picket fences, and there are plenty of clydesdales roaming the pastures to greet visitors in an authentic way. The well-manicured lawn, coupled with the traditional fencing and red barns help to recreate a postcard image of days gone by - a time when life proceeded at a slower pace and simple joys were truly appreciated.
|Pregnant mare ... due any day|
After a general overview of the breeding process and the inner workings of this ranch, the tour proceeds to the Pre-foal area where pregnant mamas are preparing to give birth. There is a separate exercise area outside for these mares to roam, but as you can imagine, they are more interested in resting in the shade.
|Pebbles and Paris|
The highlight of the tour, however, occurred at the end when we were fortunate enough to see a two week old filly and her mother. We learned that the naming process of the foals is unique in that the first name of each baby begins with the same letter as its mother. In this case the mare, Pebbles, gave birth to Paris. Paris was asleep for most of our tour, but she did wake up long enough to nurse for a few minutes.
Those who know me know that I am an animal lover. And while I have a soft spot for dogs, I must say this visit to the ranch has helped me to appreciate the grandeur and splendor of horses as well. I have a feeling I will return to Warm Springs on another visit to St. Louis or Nashville, and I am sure that it will be just as special as this one.