“There’s a state horse?!?!” commented a recent visitor to the NCpedia’s Colonial Spanish Mustang entry (http://ncpedia.org/symbols/horse).
Yes! There is! It is a new addition to the list of Official State Symbols passed by the North Caroling General Assembly.
Why the Colonial Spanish Mustang and why now? Colonial Spanish Mustangs on the Currituck Outer Banks and Shackleford Banks are believed to have descended from a herd brought to America in the 1520s in a Spanish colonial mission. Students at Shawboro Elementary School in Currituck County recently requested that the North Carolina General Assembly designate them as the Official State Horse of North Carolina. Their request was approved in June, 2010.
The future of the herd of wild mustangs is uncertain as federal regulations address concerns raised by scientists and developers.
Once numbering in the thousands, attempts to keep it down to no more than sixty may be on the horizon.
For more information:
Breen, Tom. “North Carolina Wild Horses Face Uncertain Future.” Associated Press. Sept. 20, 2010. Accessed via WRAL: http://www.wral.com/news/state/story/8315939/
NCpedia’s NC State Symbols page: http://ncpedia.org/symbols