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House Bill No. 106 was crafted to honor the Morgan horse, (E. f. caballus,) by making it an official symbol of the state.
After passage by the Vermont State Legislature, House Bill No. 106 was signed by Governor F. Ray Keyser, Jr. and the Morgan horse became the official state animal of Vermont effective March 23, 1961
The Morgan is a breed descended from a horse named Figure, owned by Randolph music teacher and composer, Justin Morgan. Morgan brought Figure, a small colt of unknown heritage, back to Vermont with him in 1795 from Springfield, Massachusetts.
Morgan soon came to find that the little horse was very versatile, having a great deal of endurance. The horse's short, muscular body, with its thick, arched neck and wide, finely chiseled head made for a strong, fast and well-mannered creature. Farmers all over Vermont began to seek out horses of Figure's line because the fine looking animals could be used for both work and leisure. The breed, which became known as the Morgan, is considered the first American breed of horse and is today bred all across the nation. The Morgan Horse was adopted as Vermont's State Animal in 1961 not only because its origins lie in the state but because the very nature of the horse exemplifies the versatile, hard-working, and well-mannered character of Vermont citizens.
No. 42 of the acts of 1961, effective March 23, 1961, designated the Morgan Horse as the official State Animal. The forebear of
all Morgan horses was a rugged little stallion which belonged to Justin Morgan of Randolph, a late-18th-century teacher of singing and penmanship and
a composer of some renown.
From this exceptional horse sprang a new breed which traditionally could "outdraw, outrun, and outtrot" any other horse.
By the mid-1800's, the Morgan horse had proven its many virtues throughout the expanding nation. Today, the Morgan breed, still bearing the unique traits of its Vermont sire, is one of the favorite saddle, family and endurance breeds in America.
------- from Office of the Secretary of State,
Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual,
Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 14.-
The law designating the Morgan horse as the official Vermont state animal is found in the Vermont Statutes Online, Title 1, Chapter 11, Section 500.
Title 1: General Provisions
Chapter 11: FLAG, INSIGNIA, SEAL, ETC.
1 V.S.A. § 500. State animal
§ 500. State animal
The state animal shall be the Morgan horse. (1961, No. 42, § 1, eff. March 23, 1961.)
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Morgan Horse
Species: E. ferus
Subspecies: E. f. caballus