Iconic carriage horse and driver star in documentary

Historic City News readers are going to fall in love with Roosevelt and his horse, Rufus, in a new documentary film that chronicles over 30 years of educating and entertaining visitors to St Augustine by horse-drawn carriage.

St Augustine, Ponte Vedra and the Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau partner, award-winning producer Bruce Merwin, has created the film “Roosevelt and Rufus” which tells the true story of carriage driver Roosevelt Upshaw and his 14 year-old standard bred-Belgian draft horse.

Roosevelt is widely recognized around St Augustine by his signature stovepipe hat appointed with three large feathers, reminiscent of a past time when showmanship was as much a part of guided tours as were historical details.

Rufus, the other half of the Roosevelt and Rufus sightseeing team, is a gigantic, but gentle, horse who will entertain, inspire and touch viewers of all ages.

“I often saw Roosevelt and his horse, Rufus, and I could catch little bits of his tour if I listened carefully,” Merwin told reporters. “Roosevelt’s easygoing manner and matter-of-fact historical perspective intrigued me. The more I saw of him, the more I liked him.”

Under Roosevelt’s guidance and narration, the audience will experience an entertaining carriage horse ride — while learning a little southern and black history along the way.

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