Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Panel OKs Colonial Spanish as state horse

East Valley Tribune

Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
February 16, 2010 - 7:56PM
A horse is a horse, of course, of course. That is, of course, unless the horse is a colonial Spanish horse. Then it is on its way to becoming the "official" horse of Arizona.
With only one dissenting vote, the House Government Committee agreed to give that breed the same special status in Arizona as other animals that have been declared official emblems.
For example, the Arizona tree frog is the official amphibian. The ridgenose rattlesnake is the official reptile. And the Arizona trout is the state fish.
"I think it's an appropriate time to hear the bill," said Rep. Patricia Fleming, D-Sierra Vista, what with the state having just celebrated its 98th birthday.
Fleming said she has met "some of the magnificent animals" that are at the Dixon Ranch in the Dragoon Mountains of Cochise County.
Marjorie Dixon said the designation makes sense, and not only because Arizona still has a "horse culture."
So why this breed? The answer, she said, is history.
"It came to our state with Coronado in 1540, passing up the San Pedro River through Cochise County and on into Kansas," Dixon said. Then, late in the 1600, Father Eusebio Kino brought the horses - along with other livestock - into southern Arizona.
And Dixon said the colonial Spanish horse "is the foundation for many modern breeds," including the American quarter horse.
Fleming said having an official designation can help ensure that the horses, which exist only on the Dixon ranch and near Kingman, are preserved as a distinct and pure breed.
Only Rep. Steve Montenegro, R-Litchfield Park, voted against the measure. He declined to say why.
The bill now goes to the full House.
Animals aren't the only thing state lawmakers have blessed with "official" designations. In prior years the list has been expanded to include the palo verde as the state tree and petrified wood as the official fossil, to the Bola tie as the official state neckwear.

No comments:

Post a Comment