ROANOKE, Va. – Majestic isn’t your average horse. Weighing 2,000 pounds and standing more than six feet tall, the gentle giant is one of the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
On Tuesday, he and nine other Clydesdales arrived at Hollins University’s Riding Center, where they will temporarily stay before they appear in Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in downtown Roanoke.
“It’s very exciting," said Hollins University’s director of riding and head coach Sherri West.
West had never seen the Clydesdales up close until they arrived Tuesday afternoon.
“Starstruck. Absolutely starstruck," West said.
The Clydesdales have made Hollins their home-away-from-home before. The stables have alarms so the horses will be safe. The university was able to temporarily relocate ten of their horses to another stable on campus to make room for their guests.
"It was quite the spectacle when they came in yesterday. They have 3 tractor-trailer rigs that came in. It is a very well-oiled machine,” said West.
Clydesdale handler Lane Soendker said the Clydesdales travel more than 300 days a year all across the east coast and Canada.
"Adults and kids, their faces light up when we get there, get them off the trailer, harness them up and drive them around with the wagon. It’s really a treat to see,” said Soendker.
He said that mascots Merri and Lilly, two dalmatians, may try to steal the show, but Majestic and his buddies will be sure to make their mark on the masses.
“It’s been really fun having them here in our barn. It’s been a wonderful experience for us so far," West said. "I’m hopeful that everybody in Roanoke gives them the biggest welcome that they can so that they come back and do this again.”