Following 60,000+ suggestions 21-day-old female foal named ‘Hope.’
She’s 21 days old, already weighs 200 pounds and starred in an award-winning Super Bowl XLVII commercial for Budweiser seen by more than 108 million people during the broadcast and millions more online. And now she has a name: “Hope,” a nod to the optimism and happy ending of the commercial where a trainer reunites with the horse he raised from a foal.
Last week Budweiser asked its Facebook fans and Twitter followers to send along naming suggestions. The iconic brand was awash in ideas—more than 60,000 tweets, Facebook comments, calls and direct messages. “Hope” was one of the more popular female names generated through the social media crowd-sourcing.
“We were overwhelmed with the response we got,” said Lori Shambro, brand director for Budweiser. “Budweiser fans suggested a lot of great names, and it was a tough decision, but we landed on Hope as the perfect name for this friendly, slightly feisty and just perfect Budweiser Clydesdale mare. Many of our fans wanted a name to reflect their optimism and spirit, which the name Hope encapsulates beautifully.”
Other popular names submitted included Landslide (after the Fleetwood Mac song in the commercial), Buddy, Star, Raven, Spirit and Stevie.
On Super Bowl Sunday on Feb. 3, the Budweiser Clydesdales appeared in a new 60-second spot, “Brotherhood,” which chronicled the bond a Clydesdale foal shares with his trainer. Brotherhood ranked No. 1 on USA Today’s Ad Meter, which was based on fan voting on the USA Today Website via Facebook and Twitter.
Budweiser also has just released an extended version of “Brotherhood,” with a running time of just under two minutes, that can be viewed on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPG7PcI67dE
John Soto, supervisor of Warm Springs Ranch where the foal was born, said Hope’s mother is a mare named Darla, and her father is a stallion named Perfection. When she is grown, she will weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, eat 20-25 pounds of whole grains, minerals and vitamins each day; 50 pounds of hay a day and drink 30 gallons of water. She was born at 5 a.m. on Jan. 16.
“Thirty-six hours before Hope was born, on Jan. 14, we welcomed our first-born Clydesdale of the year, a boy,” Soto said. “We have a special name for him, too.”
Budweiser also is announcing that the first male Budweiser Clydesdale born in 2013, born at 9 p.m. on Jan. 14, will be named after the recently deceased baseball Hall of Famer Stan Musial, a sentiment echoed by many in social media. Many of the crowd-sourced suggestions, including “Six,” had a Musial connection.
“We often name our foals using the same first letter as the name of the mother,” said Jeff Knapper, general manager of Clydesdale operations. “Stan’s mom is Savanna, so it worked out perfectly as a way to honor ‘Stan the Man,’ one of baseball’s all-time greats.”
More than 30 baby Clydesdales are expected to be born this year at the 300-acre Warm Springs Ranch, the state-of-the-art breeding facility for the Budweiser Clydesdales in Boonville, Mo. So far this year four baby Clydesdales have been born.
“We can have two more any day now,” said Soto, whose work with the Budweiser Clydesdales spans the past 33 years. “The four foals born this year are all doing very well … There’s never a dull moment.”
The Clydesdales celebrate a major milestone in 2013—the 80th anniversary of their association with Anheuser-Busch. The Budweiser Clydesdales have been an integral part of Anheuser-Busch’s heritage since April 7, 1933, and their strength and majesty symbolize Budweiser quality as well as integrity, achievement, success, perfection and team spirit. They were formally introduced to celebrate the repeal of Prohibition for beer.
Anheuser-Busch has nearly 200 Clydesdales in its herd, with about half of them at Warm Springs Ranch in Cooper County.