Pirongia Clydesdales History

Here's some background information about Pirongia's well known Clydesdale team. You may remember the Pirongia Clydesdales from their years working with DB Breweries, and from various television commercials over the last 25 years.

Read about the Clydesdale team's history and how this national icon came to be located in the historical Waikato village of Pirongia.

Pirongia Clydesdales History

The End of an Era

The Pirongia Clydesdales started out as the DB Draught Clydesdales in 1985, originally located just out of Auckland before moving to the Waikato.

The team became a national icon, much loved throughout New Zealand and had a great following worldwide. During its 14 years of existence, the team travelled the length and breadth of the country delighting young and old with their majestic, beautifully presented brewery wagon and Dalmation dog.

TV and cinema commercials which told moving stories, were filmed in some of New Zealand's most picturesque landscapes and were extremely popular with the New Zealand public, as was a 25 minute documentary.

Like many promotions in the corporate world the team sadly came to an end, and it was decided in February 1999 that DB would no longer use the Clydesdales to promote their beer.

With the invaluable experience Nick and Jill had developed managing the big team in the public arena, they decided to use their expertise and business skills to continue with the team in a new, privately-owned venture.

Thus another chapter opened for this great team as 'The Pirongia Clydesdales'.

Pirongia Clydesdales History

A New Chapter Begins

Shortly after their end with the breweries, the van der Sande family moved the Clydesdales to a bigger, more central block of land in the popular village of Pirongia and set about building an attraction and function centre from scratch. What lay before them were barron, empty paddocks and therefore it was going to take a great deal of blood, sweat and tears to turn this rural paradise into a thriving horse orientated venture.

More than a decade on the van der Sandes look back with pride at what they have created since the DB years. Facilities now include a fully covered seating area and function venue, stabling, harness and saddlery room, carriage housing, a working forge, round training yard and a 60x80m all weather arena.

Located on the outskirts of Pirongia Village, State Highway 39, Pirongia Clydesdales provides a unique function centre and working horse museum which is open to public, and provides what's been regarded as the 'quintessential kiwi experience'.

It is without doubt that the Pirongia Clydesdales serve in keeping the brewery team heritage alive, and the art of art of traditional carriage driving in the public eye.

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