Is Budweiser sending its Clydesdales out to pasture?

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Is Budweiser is pulling back the reins on its Clydesdales?

The beer maker Anheuser-Busch InBev decided not to feature the Clydesdales in its holiday beer ads, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Clydesdale horses, with their signature white feathered legs, have been featured in Budweiser ads for decades.

According to company’s website, the Budweiser Clydesdales made their first-ever appearance in 1933 in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition.

Anheuser-Busch, a prolific Super Bowl advertiser, has typically featured the Clydesdales in its 30-second Budweiser spots during the big game. It recently added a puppy to its Clydesdales ads to raise the cuteness factor in its Super Bowl spots.

In recent years, Anheuser-Busch has been losing market share to America’s growing plethora of craft brews. This year, the big brewer bought two smaller ones, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. in Oregon, and Blue Point on Long Island, NY, to try and gain a competitive edge.

Budweiser sent the following message to a FOX6 viewer who inquired about the future of the Clydesdales:

“Dear valued customer,

Thank you for your recent contact regarding our beloved Budweiser Clydesdales.  The story reported Monday morning may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising.

The Clydesdales play a strong role for the brand, representing Budweiser quality and care for more than 80 years. As icons of the brand – and relevant symbols of integrity, perfection and team spirit for all generations – they are important to the brand and our campaigns.

Again, thank you for your interest in Budweiser.  Have a happy holiday season!

Your Friends at Budweiser”