Never mind the budget, AZ needs a State Horse

Never mind the budget, the drug trafficking or the illegal immigrants. Arizona is facing a much bigger problem:

We don’t have a State Horse.

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

Arizona has a State Bird, a State Fossil and even official State Neckwear. The two-tailed swallowtail is our official State Butterfly. But where’s our horse?

Country singer Rex Allen Jr. is galloping forward for the cause. He jumped on the House Bill 2634 bandwagon, already sponsored by no fewer than 12 Arizona lawmakers, to designate the Colonial Spanish Horse as the State Horse of Arizona.

Whew. Now we may make some progress in the State Horse arena.

“When it comes to the settlement of the Great American West, there is no animal more important than the horse,” Allen said in a news release promoting the project. “Without the horse the settlement of Arizona could not have happened.”

We’re inclined to agree, although we did hear that camels once carted things across the state.

A native of Willcox, Allen does seem to have authority on what our Grand Canyon State may need. He even wrote the state song – or at least one of them. He penned “Arizona,” which repeats the lines: “I love you, Arizona,” “Oo, Arizona,” and was chosen as the backup state anthem in 1982.

A glance at our list of notable state designations does seem to have certain categories that are lacking.

State Motto: Ditat Deus – God Enriches
State Nickname: Grand Canyon State
State Songs: “Arizona March Song” and “Arizona”
State Flower: blossom of the saguaro cactus
State Gem: turquoise
Official neckwear: bola tie
State Tree: Palo Verde – “green stick”
State Bird: cactus wren
State Butterfly: two-tailed swallowtail
State Fossil: petrified wood
State Mammal: ringtail
State Reptile: Arizona ridge-nosed rattlesnake
State Fish: Apache trout
State Amphibian: Arizona tree frog
Official colors: blue and gold

In addition to needing the Colonial Spanish Horse as our State Horse, we are desperately in need of an official State Spider, a State Scavenger and a designated State Firearm.


wb-logolilWhat do you think?

Should the Colonial Spanish Horse be named our State Horse?

What other categories does Arizona need?

Are you a Rex Allen Jr. fan?


About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at
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15 Responses to Never mind the budget, AZ needs a State Horse

  1. radmax says:

    Mornin’ Rynski! When ya cannot come to terms with the state budget shortfall, take a break and designate a state horse?
    I’m also curious as to how many Spanish colonial horses are around. I believe the descendants of these are the mixed breed wild mustangs that everybody gets so worked up about.
    It sounds like a pc thing to me. I’m in favor of the mustang as the state horse, if we need to do this. Kinda incorporates the ‘melting pot’ ideals of America.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya radmax!
      hahahah – designating a state horse is MUCH more fun than dealing with that budget junk.

      mustang is a good horse to name, although the spanish colonial horse DOES have a fine history of helping to shape and build AZ:

      From 1687 to 1704 Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, ”The Padre on Horseback”, built 22 missions from Northern Mexico to Arizona. Father Kino credited much of his success to the stamina of the Colonial Spanish Horse. The most famous of the Missions is San Xavier del Bac, which is located on the Tohono O’odham Nation just nine miles south of Tucson, AZ.

      that jimilajazz is from the spanish colonial horse project site – also surprised to find that several states already have state horses designated, including new joisey – which has the horse as its official state animal.

      • radmax says:

        All well and good Rynski, but how many are still around? The mission is still there, but Eusebio and his horse are long gone.

      • Rynski says:

        perhaps check out the state horse project site for more information.
        last time i answered a slew of questions for you, all you did is ask more – hahah.
        gotta help sawyer with his blog and update murders.

      • radmax says:

        Just as I suspected, long gone. Perhaps I’ll change my vote, seems a fitting epitaph for our state as well. 😉

  2. Carolyn Classen says:

    Yss, Ryn, when I wrote my article about Arizona statehood day on Feb. 14th, I  die notice this serious deficiency in not having a state horse:

  3. azmouse says:

    I didn’t know most of the stuff on the list, and I consider myself quite a fan of my home state.

    I’m all for the state horse, and the state spider should be a tarantula, because I think they’re so cool.

    When I was in the first grade we sang a song every morning:

    A-R-I-Z-O-N-A is my state. Arizona U.S.A., I think you’re great! I loved that song.

    • Rynski says:

      hey azmouse,
      i was thinking of the tarantula when i mentioned the need for a state spider  – most definitely!
      only song i recall from first grade was “roll on columbia, roll on…” don’t know why. that’s cool you sang about your home state – i don’t think columbia roll on had much to do with michigan…hahaha. come to think of it, don’t even think it was first grade….

  4. Mike Brewer says:

    No horse, no work today. Ahhhh.. now I see what happened to the State Legislature!   All road apples, no horse.

  5. tiponeill says:

    Who needs one – at least according to Dataport we have a State’s Ass 😉

  6. leftfield says:

    Lots of horses’ asses; no state horse.

  7. Press Release
    For immediate releaseMay 14, 2010Contact:  Anthony Merrill, J.D.  602-650-2310                Patricia Haight, Ph.D. 480-430-4011 Historical Documents Point to Introduction of Wild Horses in Arizona’s Apache Sitgreaves National Forests by Coronado Expedition as Early as 1540 Compelling evidence discovered dating first introduction of Apache Sitgreaves wild horses to 1540 Coronado expedition (Phoenix, AZ, May 14, 2010) Recent research by a Conquistador Program representative has led to the discovery of several books by authorities on the 1540 expedition of Francisco Vásquez de Coronado.  This material presents compelling evidence that Coronado, in his expedition to the Cibolas in New Mexico, spent a considerable amount of time on the Mogollon rim, traveling near to what is now Pinetop, McNary, Vernon and St. Johns on his way to New Mexico in search of the Seven Cities of Gold.  There also is considerable evidence from this material and muster logs of the 1540 Coronado expedition that the explorers had scores of Spanish horses as mounts and additional horses handled by servants as remounts much the same as Father Eusebio Kino who also brought horses to the area in the 17th century. The muster records of the Coronado expedition provide numbers of horses per soldier.  Logs of the conquistadors also show that the horses brought to Apache Sitgreaves and other areas of North America are the prototypical colors of the Barb and Andalusian used by Coronado and later by Eusebio Kino.  These colors include chestnut, black, buckskin, gray and bay, the colors of many of the Apache Sitgreaves horses today.

    The recently reviewed historical material also indicates that Coronado, like Father Eusebio Kino, let his horses roam free when he camped in places on the Mogollon Rim where there were meadows and forage.  Some experts on indigenous species in North America date the horse in North America to prehistoric times.  The ancestor of the horse then migrated to Eurasia where the wild horses there were domesticated and ultimately their ancestors ended up in Europe including Spain.  Thus the Coronado Expedition is credited by some experts with re-introducing the horse in North America (not just introducing the horse) because the early ancestor of the horse was here thousands of years ago until the Eurasia migration.  The evidence is compelling that the Apache Sitgreaves horses were re-established in the area in 1540 with the Coronado Expedition, then again with the Kino Expedition in the 17th century and that later; soldiers may have introduced more in the 1870’s. The horses of Apache Sitgreaves have a long history of military equitation in the region.  In his extensive article on the Coronado expedition for Arizona Highways Magazine, Stuart Udall wrote on his discovery of a river location where the Coronado expedition crossed at one point in Eastern Arizona, “I am reminded of the extent to which, for many centuries, horses played a major role.  This very forest has been the scene of a dramatic pageant of military horsemanship.   If we had a time machine to go back, we would have watched young Spaniards in the summer of 1540 astride the first European horses ever to stomp the ground in what is now the American Southwest.”** Photograph of young Apache Sitgreaves wild black stallion with his herd taken by Gerri Wager in April 2010 and used with permission, all rights reserved.###Patricia Haight, Ph.D.
    (480) 430-3702
    (480) 430-4011
    The Conquistador Equine Rescue & Advocacy Program
    A nonprofit 501c3 equine welfare organization
    Federal tax identification #20-8776240    1 Attached Images

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