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List of U.S. state horses facts for kids

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Official Horse States with Pending
A map showing the states with official state horses marked in red and those with proposed designations marked in yellow

Twelve U.S. states have designated a horse breed as the official state horse. The first state horse was designated in Vermont in 1961. The most recent state designations occurred in 2010, when North Carolina and South Carolina both declared state breeds. There have been proposals to designate a state horse in Oregon as well as in Arizona (where an ongoing campaign sought to designate the Colonial Spanish Horse as the state horse prior to the state centennial in 2012), but neither proposal is yet successful. In one state, North Dakota, the state horse is officially designated the "honorary state equine." Two additional states have not designated a specific state horse, but have designed a horse or horse breed as its official state animals: the horse in New Jersey and the Morgan horse breed in Vermont.

Some breeds, such as the American Quarter Horse in Texas and the Morgan horse in Vermont and Massachusetts, were named as the state horse because of the close connection between the history of the breed and the state. Others, including the Tennessee Walking Horse and the Missouri Fox Trotter, include the state in the official breed name. School children have been persuasive lobbyists for the cause of some state horses, such as the Colonial Spanish Horse being named the state horse of North Carolina due to the presence of the Spanish-descended Banker horses in the Outer Banks, while others have been brought to official status through the lobbying efforts of their breed registries.

Official state horses are one of many state symbols officially designated by states. Each state has its own flag and state seal, and many states also designate other symbols, including animals, plants, and foods. Such items usually are designated because of their ties to the culture or history of that particular state. In addition to being state symbols in their own right, horses have also appeared in state symbols; for example, a horse's head appears on the Seal of New Jersey.

State horses

State Breed Description Image Year designated Ref
Alabama Racking Horse The Racking Horse is a breed of horse known for its ambling gait. The breed association is headquartered in Decatur, Alabama.
Florida Florida Cracker Horse The Florida Cracker Horse was first brought to what is now Florida in the 1500s by Spanish explorers, and it played a large part in the development of the state's cattle and general agriculture industries. Remington A cracker cowboy.jpg 2008
Idaho Appaloosa The Appaloosa has made a substantial contribution to Idaho history, mainly through its association with the Nez Perce Indian tribe. THIEL 619.jpg 1975
Kentucky Thoroughbred The Thoroughbred is the center of a multi-billion dollar breeding and racing industry in Kentucky. Horseracing Churchill Downs.jpg 1996
Maryland Thoroughbred Maryland has a long history of breeding and racing Thoroughbreds, and today maintains an extensive network of breeding farms, training centers and racecourses. Horse-racing-4.jpg 2003
Massachusetts Morgan The foundation sire of the Morgan breed, named Figure, was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts in 1789. American Morgan Horse cropped.jpg 1970
Missouri Missouri Fox Trotter The Fox Trotter is a gaited breed developed in the Missouri Ozarks. Quick Trigger Missouri Fox Trotter.jpeg 2002
New Jersey Horse (state animal) As of the designation of the horse as the state animal, New Jersey contained over 4,500 horse farms housing almost 40,000 horses and played host to a horse industry that extensively contributed to the preservation of natural lands in the state. Mangalarga Marchador.jpg 1977
North Carolina Colonial Spanish Mustang This state breed references the Banker horse of the Outer Banks, descended from Spanish stock. SpanishMustangsOfCorolla.jpg 2010
North Dakota Nokota (honorary equine) Nokota is a name given to a population of horses in the badlands of southwestern North Dakota, named after the Nakota Indian tribe that inhabited the area. Nokota Horses.jpg 1993
South Carolina Carolina Marsh Tacky The Marsh Tacky was developed in the swampy Low Country region of South Carolina, and has played an integral part in the state's history. Carolina Marsh Tacky.jpg 2010
Tennessee Tennessee Walking Horse The Tennessee Walker is a gaited breed initially developed in middle Tennessee. MiltonHorseShow.jpg 2000
Texas American Quarter Horse The history of the Quarter Horse is closely intertwined with that of Texas, where the breed was used for ranching and racing. The American Quarter Horse Association is headquartered in Amarillo, Texas. Buckskin mare left flank.jpg 2009
Vermont Morgan (state animal) The Morgan breed was developed mainly in Vermont, where the founding stallion, Figure, lived most of his life and died in 1821. American Morgan Horse cropped.jpg 1961

Proposed breeds

State Breed Description Image Year proposed Ref
Arizona Colonial Spanish Horse The Colonial Spanish Horse has a long history in Arizona, mainly through the Wilbur-Cruce strain originally bred near Arivaca. Gypsypasturepic1.jpg 2010 (re-proposed in 2011)
Oregon Kiger Mustang The Kiger Mustang is a strain of Mustang found in a feral state only in southeastern Oregon. Mesteno.jpg 2001

! scope="row" |Wisconsin | Clydesdale ||

State symbols

Horses, both official state horses and not, are present in the emblems of several states.

State Symbol Image Date Ref
Delaware State quarterCaesar Rodney on horseback 1999 DE Proof.png 1999
Idaho License plate – Appaloosa
Kentucky State quarterThoroughbred 2001 KY Proof.png 2001
Maryland State Seal – Knight on horseback Obverse of the Seal of Maryland.svg 1969
Minnesota State Seal – Native American on horseback Minnesota-StateSeal.svg 1858, 1971, 1983, 1987
Nevada State quarterMustang 2006 NV Proof.png 2006
New Jersey State seal and coat of arms – Horse Seal of New Jersey.svg 1928
Pennsylvania Coat of arms and flag – Horses Flag of Pennsylvania.svg Coat of arms: 1875
Flag: 1907
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