GILBERT, Ariz. - The breed of horses featured in Budweiser commercials is at risk of extinction.
Clydesdale horses are listed as a "vulnerable" species, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust Watchlist for 2016.
A nonprofit organization in Gilbert is hoping to save the gentle giants. The USA Clydesdale Preservation Foundation hopes to reintroduce the breed as one good for riding, not just hitching and pulling plows or wagons.
USACPF's annual event, a fun day at the barn, lets you get up close with the gentle horses. It also features a yard sale, bake sale, and more. It will be held March 25, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 17208 E. Saragosa St., Gilbert, Arizona. Learn more by clicking here.
USACPF says that by best estimates, there are only 5,000 Clydesdales left in the world. There were 140,000 in Scotland alone at peak population of the breed. The breed originated in Scotland.
USACPF cares for horses that worked in equine therapy. Now the horses visit schools and are featured in outreach events.
The famous Budweiser Clydesdales captured the hearts of Americans in 1933. A hitching team took a promotional tour of post-Prohibition United States, even delivering a case of beer to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at the White House.
The Budweiser Clydesdales are based at Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri. While Arizona was in the national spotlight hosting the Super Bowl in Feb. 2015, the ranch welcomed a foal just minutes before the Budweiser's "Lost Dog" commercial aired during Super Bowl XLIX. The foal was aptly named "Arizona."
How to help
You can set up your Amazon account with Amazon Smile, and select USA Clydesdale Preservation Foundation as the beneficiary. Every time you shop at smile.amazon.com, 0.5 percent of the purchase price of your items is donated to your charity on your behalf.
You can also buy a bottle of wine that benefits the USACPF.
Here are some of the other horse breeds on the priority list from the Livestock Conservancy:
Critical (population less than 2,000)
Threatened (population less than 5,000)
Watch (population less than 10,000)
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