By: Brittany Bevis
Today is Presidents’ Day! Throughout the years, a number of our nation’s finest have shown an affinity for the horse. In addition to the more well-known equestrians, like Andrew Jackson and Ronald Reagan, there are many more who were military riders, horse breeders, Thoroughbred racers, Fox Hunters, Cutting Horse enthusiasts, and ranchers.
In fact, before the introduction of automobiles, when horses were the primary form of transportation, The White House had its own stables. According to The White House Historical Association, in 1951, Congress set an expenditure for the White House budget for horses and stables.
Did you know that Richard Nixon was the first sitting President to attend the Kentucky Derby? In 1969.
First: The president will notify whom he wishes to ride with him. The one notified will take position on the left of the president and keep his right stirrup back of the president’s left stirrup.
Second: Those following will keep not less than ten yards in the rear of the president.
Third: When the president asks anyone in the party to ride with him, the one at his side should at once retire to the rear. Salutes should be returned only by the president, except by those in the rear. Anyone unable to control his horse should withdraw to the rear. (White House Historical Association, 2018) Click here to read more from, Theodore Roosevelt Family’s Horses.
For more information about Presidents and their beloved horses, The White Horse Historical Association has a number of interesting resources.
Also, check out this fun list of the Top 10 Presidential Horsemen, from Horse Network- https://horsenetwork.com/2014/02/top-10-presidents-horses/.
Their Top 10 Presidential Horsemen include…
#1- Theodore Roosevelt- He helped found the United States Volunteer Cavalry, better known as the Rough Riders.
#2- Ulysses S. Grant- He rode at West Point, in the US Army, and loved his horse Cincinnati, who he rode during the Civil War.
#3- George Washington- An accomplished equestrian in battle, he had a war horse named Nelson.
#4- Ronald Reagan- A true cowboy both on and off the silver screen.
#5- Andrew Jackson- He loved Thoroughbred racehorses and brought them to his White House, where he set up an expansive equine facility.
#6- Thomas Jefferson- An avid Fox Hunter, he bred a horse named Caractacus, a descendent of the Arabian.
#7- Zachary Taylor- He took one of his favorite equines, Old Whitey, to the White House with him!
#8- William Henry Harrison- A military strategist and successful horse breeder.
#9- Abraham Lincoln- His most well-known horse, Old Bob, was present at his funeral.
#10- Lyndon B. Johnson- A Texan who loved Cutting and ranching.