President Andrew Jackson took office in 1829, and remained President until 1837. Jackson had a passion for both horse racing and gambling and once even fought a duel in regards to a disputed wager. He opened a racing stable on the grounds of the White House and was known to “secretly” enter horses into races under the names of both his nephew and his private secretary. He did this because some felt it was unseemly to have the President of the United States engaged in horse racing.
When Jackson took office, he had 3 fillies in the stable solely for racing: Emily (sometimes listed as “Emilie”), Lady Nashville, and Bolivia. According to the White House Historical Association there was also a fourth horse, Busiris, who was described as being “an immense animal in size, and of prodigious muscular power.” Emily and Lady Nashville were officially listed as belonging to Major Donelson, Bolivia to Andrew Jackson, and Busiris to General C. Irving. It is perhaps not a coincidence that Major Andrew J. Donelson was Jackson’s private secretary.
Lady Nashville, Emily, and Bolivia were entered in many races during their prime, as well as Busiris. But Busiris tended to misbehave, while the fillies were much calmer. Although they are not mentioned, it is likely that when they reached retirement age or when Jackson finished his Presidency that all 4 horses were returned to Jackson’s plantation for breeding.