Heinz Hitch horses donated to Arlington National Cemetery

The Heinz Hitch — a team of eight huge, black Percheron horses and an antique wagon that for 20-plus years traveled North America promoting H.J. Heinz Co. products — has been split up.

Heinz bought the horses from retired Heinz microbiologist John Dryer, and then donated the wagon to the Sen. John Heinz History Center, with the eight horses now the property of the U.S. Army.

“The horses have been donated to Arlington National Cemetery, where they will be used for parades much more important,” said Heinz CEO William Johnson, this morning to stockholders during the company's annual meeting at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.

Johnson explained that the decision to unhitch the team of work horses was a hard one for him personally, and for many Heinz corporate executives. Product people, those closer to the consumer had reasoned there were better ways to get the Heinz message out.

We wanted to be sure that the horses were well taken care of,” spokesman Michael Mullen said. “The Army does 20 to 25 special burials per day at Arlington, and they used a number of horses. They were very excited because they didn't have any Percherons.”

Heinz Hitch Horses Donated to Arlington National Cemetery

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