With a barnyard full of animals, retired couple Billie and Robert Bonomo enjoy the quiet life in northern Barton County after having lived in many areas around the country.
Yet, one tall, but majestic animal makes it clear who rules the roost in his retirement.
Clyde, the Budweiser Clydesdale, has transitioned from the bright lights of California to the serenity of Kansas, and in the process, becoming boss of the farmyard.
Clyde’s registered name is West Coast Attitude and his registration numbers are tattooed in two places. He was never in any commercials, but appeared in parades pulling the wagon until he developed abscesses in his hoof and was released from Budweiser.
"He’s a big pet," said Billie. The Bonomos acquired Clyde from their son in California who had no place large enough to keep the horse. Their son received him from an ex-boss.
"Clyde loves people," said Billie. But, he’s "nosy," she said laughing.
To move the animal to Kansas, the couple had to look as far as Iowa to find a trailer large enough to bring him here.
Whenever his coiffure needs grooming, Clyde backs up to the goat pen, and the goats trim his tail to the appropriate length. If his mane is too long, he leans his head up against the goat fence, and the goats take care of that as well.
When called, he meanders over to the fence line in hopes of receiving a carrot.
"He’s a pet," said Billie. Clyde is no longer ridden.
He still has some bad habits from his ill-spent youth. Clyde likes his beer— longnecks Coors Light. He tosses his head at any attempts to give him anything less.
Quite intelligent, he trained the bull T-Bone how to drink out of the automatic waterer, and bullies the bulls. The only animals at the farm that are not pets are the bulls. T-Bone—well, you can guess where T-Bone went.
Generally the bulls know to stay away
When Clyde became aware that new electrical transmission lines were being installed near the dirt road in front of his home, he took up the perfect supervisory position-in a corner of the paddock — in the shade of a tree.
The Bonomos have a couple of miniature horses, one a colt named Cupcake. Cupcake likes to prance around the barn yard and cavort with Clyde— on opposite sides of the fence. Clyde, like so many of us, with increasing middle age, has also had issues with increasing girth and the Bonomos don’t want Cupcake to turn into Pancake.
Clyde is 18 hands tall and weighs 2200 plus pounds.
There is one more thing you need to know about Clyde. "He doesn’t share his food," said Billie.