President Theodore Roosevelt had several riding horses during his tenure, but for carriage rides he preferred a different breed of horse. That’s where his 2 carriage horses – Judge and General – came in.
Although Roosevelt was one of the first President’s to utilize automobiles, he ever preferred horses. According to the White House Historical Association, when offered an automobile, Roosevelt said “The Roosevelts are horse people.” And the entire Roosevelt family seemed to agree, for when they weren’t riding, they could often be seen driving their horse-drawn carriages.
On November 1st, 1901 Roosevelt received a letter from W.W. Steier, stating that Steier had heard Roosevelt was having difficulty putting together a carriage team. Steier offered Roosevelt the opportunity to look over a “highly bred, very dark chestnut sorrel horse 15¼ hands high, perfectly sound, 5½ years old, and as handsome as a picture.”
It is unknown whether this nameless horse ended up being purchased by Roosevelt and if so, which of the pair – General or Judge – he ended up being named. Old photos of Roosevelt in carriages often depict him being drawn by darker colored horses, but this is of course in no way definitive. As little is known about General or Judge, it is likely they lived their lives quietly and with little fanfare – unlike some of their stable mates.