American Quarter Horse Is Official Horse of Texas

The history of Texas is closely intertwined with that of the American Quarter Horse, so it is appropriate that the breed has been declared the state's official horse.

Since the days of Steel Dust, the forbearer of Texas’s more than 470,000 American Quarter Horses, the breed has been used to settle the wild territories of Texas and later by ranchers to round up livestock and move them to market. The American Quarter Horse Association, the breed?s registry that was started in 1940 at a meeting of ranchers and horsemen at the Fort Worth Fat Stock Show, is headquartered in Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle. Today, the American Quarter Horse embodies the spirit of Texas and exemplifies the versatility of his ancestors.

Governer Rick Perry will sign an official declaration making the American Quarter Horse the official horse of Texas at 4 pm today at the Capitol in Austin, Texas. There will also be American Quarter Horses on the Capitol grounds for this historic occasion.

"This is a great way for the American Quarter Horse to be recognized," said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. "We need to give credit to the Texas Quarter Horse Association, Rep. Larry Phillips and 10-year-old Logan Head, who got the ball rolling on this by writing to Rep. Phillips with the idea of making the American Quarter Horse the state’s official horse."

The signing of this declaration will follow the governor’s signing of House Bill 1881, which establishes the Texas Equine Incentive Program, creating a voluntary monetary incentive program to keep Quarter, Paint and Appaloosa horses breeding, showing or racing in Texas. The fund makes all American Quarter Horses, American Paint Horses and Appaloosas conceived by mares and stallions living in Texas during 2009 eligible to be nominated to the new Texas Equine Incentive Fund.

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