Schendel’s Clydesdales show their stuff

By Hannah Dillon

Justin Schendel drives the 6-horse hitch coming around the arena. The Wheel team is usually the biggest team on the front of the wagon, next is the swing team in the middle and the lead team is in the front, they are usually the smaller of the six to make it look balanced. There are six lines to handle so they must be able to go by commands.

Clydesdale horses are known as the iconic figure of Budweiser Brewing, and have become famous in ads and appearances around the nation. These horses may seem distant, but such is not the case.

There are several  of the magnificent animals right in our own backyard.

Justin Schendel, a 32-year-old construction worker who resides near Milaca, has been raising Clydesdales since the 1990s with his parents. Now, he and his wife Hope are in charge of the family owned and operated business, Schendel Clydesdales.

Schendel Clydesdales offers a number of services, including wedding and party carriage service, breeding, horses for sale, and showing.

The business is also registered with the Minnesota Draft Horse Breeders Association and owns a stud who has been grand champion at many fairs, including the Minnesota State Fair.

Getting his start

“How I got started was from my mom and dad,” said Schendel.

Schendel’s parents started Schendel Clydesdales as a family owned and operated business in 1994, but his family has had horses since he was three years old.

“I’ve been around horses my whole life,” said Schendel.

Since then, he and his wife have continued to run the family business and the couple now owns 11 Clydesdales as well as a pony for their three children.

Schendel’s horse business is truly a family affair. His brother raises Belgian horses, another draft breed, in North Dakota.

His mother, who now lives in Zimmerman, doesn’t raise horses herself anymore, but Schendel said that she shows with him and helps with the horses.

Schendel also said that his cousin, Todd Schultz, helps with the horses as well.