Friday, June 11, 2010
The North Carolina State Horse
It’s official! The Colonial Spanish Mustang has been designated as the North Carolina State Horse. These unique horses have been residents of our coast for nearly 500 years. With the help of nearly 1,000 school children from Currituck, Dare and Carteret counties, the wild horses of the Outer Banks and those living as domestic horses after being adopted have been elevated to the status they so richly deserve.
Their story is one of survival against some of the harshest odds. They have persevered through centuries of hurricanes, nor’easters, droughts, and floods. They have silenced their critics who refused to understand and accept the science proving their Spanish origin. They personify the rugged and determined spirit of the Outer Banks and its original inhabitants. The wild horses of the Currituck and Shackleford Banks are living history – a treasure chest of genetic events – an integral part of the history of our county, our state, and our country.
Our special thanks to the administration, teachers, and students of the Currituck County School District for taking an idea presented to them in March of last year and bringing it full circle. Thanks also to the students and teachers in Dare and Carteret County who participated as well.
I will never forget the thrill of reading the legislation for the first time and will be eternally grateful to Representative Bill Owens for taking the lead, and to Representative Tim Spears and Senator Marc Basnight for their support.
Let us all celebrate the North Carolina state horse by renewing our commitment to ensuring that they remain safe, healthy, wild, and free for generations to come.