Eighteenth President Ulysses S. Grant was an avid horseman throughout his life. Some of his more famous horses (like Cincinnati and Jeff Davis) made history of their own, but Grant had many horses. One of the “quieter” horses was named Julia.
Julia stood apart from the other horses in one unique way – she was a racing horse. Grant loved horse racing, be it traditional all-out running or trotters. Grant is mentioned purchasing a horse from a French-Canadian man named Dave Cicotte. “Grant had that little black mare and it was a horse of tremendous speed. He was the best horseman I ever saw. He could fly on a horse, faster than a slicked bullet,” said William Conant Church.
This speedy black mare may have in fact been Julia. Julia is mentioned as being a buggy horse, so if this black mare was Julia she likely had a few roles with the Presidential family, although she is never mentioned having gone to battle with Grant.
As an interesting bit of trivia, Grant is likely the first President to ever receive a citation for speeding. He liked to drive so fast and could often be seen flying through the streets of Washington in his buggy (perhaps this is where having a racer as his buggy horse made sense to Grant?) He was stopped by an officer, who allowed him to proceed with a warning but the very next day, he was stopped yet again. And this time, he was placed under arrest!