All it took was a persistent 10-year old and almost like magic, Texas had an official state horse.
Like so many before her, Logan Head was studying Texas history, when she noticed that Texas was without an official state horse. Logan, a member of the American Quarter Horse Youth Association, loved horses.
"Well, I was really, really into horses and we were studying Texas state history and I noticed there was no state horse," said Logan. "So, I asked if we could get one, so we e-mailed (State Representative) Larry Phillips and that's when all this started."
Texas State Represenative Larry Philips introduced House Concurrent Resolution No. 53 on February 18, 2009.
H.C.R. NO, 53
HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION
WHEREAS, The history and culture of Texas have been greatly influenced by the celebrated era of cowboys and cattle drives and by the ranching industry, which continues to be an important component of the Texas economy to this day; the significance of these elements to the state's identity is reflected in a number of the official symbols that have been recognized by the Texas Legislature, including the designation of the longhorn as the state large animal and rodeo as the state sport; and
WHEREAS, Perhaps the most iconic symbol of western lore is the horse, and one breed in particular, the American quarter horse, has played a central role in the story of the Lone Star State; and
WHEREAS, This versatile animal likely arrived in Texas soon after the region was opened to colonization in the 1820s, helping to transform the unsettled wilderness into a productive land of farms and small towns; quarter horses also proved invaluable to such legendary figures as Sam Houston, whose mount Copper Bottom was a member of the breed; and
WHEREAS, The America quarter horse first caught the attention of many during the cattle drives of the late 1800s; strong, smart, fast, and tough, the animal was perfectly suited to the task of carrying cowboys on the long journey from Texas to the railheads of Missouri and Kansas; the drovers called the prized ponies "steeldusts," a name derived for the well-known American quarter horse racer Steel Dust, who had won a host of victories in Texas in the mid-1800s and who sired numerous offspring; and
WHEREAS, While widely admired for its achievements on the western frontier, the American quarter horse traces its heritage to and earlier era of U.S. history; in the colonies of Virginia and North Carolina and South Carolina, the Galloway and hobby breeds from England were mated with Spanish Barb horses raised by the Chickasaw people; the result was the Celebrated Quarter of a Mile Running Horse," which excelled at short-distance races; later, Thoroughbred stallions and hardy mustangs of the American West also contributed to the bloodline to produce the horse so beloved by the Texas cowhands; and
WHEREAS, Today, the Lone Stare State is home to nearly 500,000 American quarter horses that are ow2ned by more than 130,000 Texans, and the breed has a sizable commercial impact on the state through its prominent role in horse shows, racing, ranching, recreational riding, and other endeavors; and
WHEREAS, This noble animal endears itself to Texans in numerous ways; rodeo athletes rely on its agility and intelligence when competing in roping and barrel-racing events, and riders of all abilities know it as a gentle and amiable animal that is a faithful companion on the trail; of course, the quarter horse remains a fixture on the working ranches of Texas, where its hoofbeats still resound across the wide open spaces that were trodden by its ancestors in the decades past; and
WHEREAS, A uniquely American breed that reflect the historical development of our state and nation, the American quarter horse is a vital part of our Texas heritage, and it is indeed a most appropriate symbol for the Lone Star State; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby designate the American quarter horse as the official State Horse of Texas.
With a letter of endorsement from the American Quarter Horse Association, Logan testified before the House Committee of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in March.
By the end of the day on May 26, 2009, House Concurrent Resolution No. 53 had been approved by the Texas House of Representatives and approved by the Senate.
The American quarter horse became the official state horse of Texas when Governor Rick Perry signed House Concurrent Resolution No. 53 on June 19, 2009.
"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."
AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr.
"I love horses and feel the Quarter Horse deserves recognition for its importance in our state," said Logan, who learned to ride when she was 2. "I’m glad the bill passed."
"Logan is self-motivated," said Randy Talley, dean of students at Phoenix Charter School. "She’s a wonderful girl and we’re very proud of her."
The American quarter horse was named the official horse of the State of Texas by House Concurrent Resolution and is not, therefore, listed in the Texas Statutes.
Only a few of Texas' myriad symbols were actually adopted by an act of the legislature and written into the Texas Statutes.
Pompa, Amber. "No horsing around for sixth grader." The Herald Banner [Greenville] 31 Aug 2009, n. pag. Web. 25 Feb. 2012. <http://heraldbanner.com/schools/x46878999/No-horsing-around-for-sixth-grader>.
The State of Texas. Legislative Reference Library. House Concurrent Resolution No. 53. Austin: The State of Texas, 2009. Web. <http://www.lrl.state.tx.us/legis/billsearch/BillDetails.cfm?legSession=81-0&billTypeDetail=HCR&billnumberDetail=53>.
"Quarter Horse Named Official State Horse of Texas ." Blood-Horse Publications. The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), 20 Aug 2009. Web. 25 Feb 2012.
Breed Characteristics: The American Quarter Horse has unique features that make it specially suited for a variety of tasks. American Quarter Horse Association.
Breed History: Learn the history of the world's most popular breed of horse. American Quarter Horse Association.
Owning an American Quarter Horse: Purchasing your first horse is an important step, one which must be made with equal amounts of education and dedication. American Quarter Horse Association.
Texas Quarter Horse Association: Official website.
American Quarter Horse Association: Official website.
Equus caballusi (Horse): The University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Web.
Equus caballus - (Linnaeus, 1758), Horse: A network connecting science with conservation - NatureServe Explorer: An Online Encyclopedia of Life.
Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758: Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Here you will find authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world.
State horses: Complete list of official state horses from NETSTATE.COM.
More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Texas state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.
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More How Your Horse Wants You to Ride: Advanced Basics, The Fun Begins, by Gincy Self Bucklin. Hardcover: 339 pages, Howell Book House (March 6, 2006) This follow-up to How Your Horse Wants You to Ride helps intermediate to advanced riders improve their communication with their mounts and polish their overall riding skills. Readers get a complete tutorial "much of which can be found nowhere else" on taking their riding skills to the next level.
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