Many countries and states, provinces and municipalities within countries have adopted horses as their official animals. Here is a look at the horses and horse relatives that are part of many countries' symbolism.
Azerbaijan is a small country located at the corner of southeastern Europe and the top of southwest Asia. Azerbaijan's national animal is the Karabakh horse, a leggy riding horse descended from Arabian, Akhal-Teke, Turkish and other eastern European breeds.
Canada made the all-purpose Cheval de Canadienne an official animal symbol by a Parliamentary act in 2002, although it had been the official horse breed of Canada since 1909. The Cheval de Canadienne shares the honor of official animals with the beaver.
The nordic country of Norway has three official animals one or which is t the Fjord horse. These are strong, small horses developed to survive and work in the mountainous regions of Norway. Their manes are often hogged to highlight their distinctive bicolored manes. The Fjord is one of the world’s most ancient breeds,
The official animals of Scotland are mythological; the unicorn and the dragon. Both animals appear on the country’s coat of arm
One of the world’s most ancient and influential breeds is the national symbol of Saudi Arabia. It is one of four official animals
In Botswana, a horse relative is the official animal. Botswana is in the center of the southern part of the African continent and largely desert. The common plains zebra lives in the more northern area of the country.
In North Korea, the Chollima is an official symbol. A chollima is a pegasus type creature, that is beautiful and fast, but unrideable by humans.
Many other countries have horses in their symbolism, such as Turkmenistan, which features a horse, most likely an Akhal-Teke on their coat of arms, but do not designate them as national animals.
State, Territorial and Provincial Symbols
Many U.S. states have horses are their symbols.
Alabama - Racking Horse Florida - Florida Cracker Horse Idaho - Appaloosa Kentucky - Thoroughbred Maryland - Thoroughbred Massachusetts - Morgan Missouri - Missouri Fox Trotter and Missouri Mule New Jersey - The horse is the state animal North Carolina - Colonial Spanish Mustang North Dakota - Nokota Horse South Carolina - Carolina Marsh Tacky and Mule Tennessee - Tennessee Walking Horse Texas - American Quarter Horse Vermont - Morgan
In Canada, the province of Nova Scotia has adopted the Sable Island Pony as their official animal for its ability to survive in a harsh climate. The island province of Newfoundland has the Newfoundland pony as an official animal.
National Equestrian Games
Pato is the national game of Argentina and is played on horseback. It’s a cross between polo and basketball. The national sport of Chile is a rodeo event involving two riders and a calf. The sport is played on Chilean horses and wearing traditional gaucho costume. Iran has three national sports, one of which is polo. Mexico’s national sport is a rodeo event called charreria, which has ten separate competitions showcasing the riding skills required for working cattle.
Paso Fino is a breed of horse, and it's also the national sport of Puerto Rico that includes horse racing and riding competitions. Paso Fino racing showcases the ability of the horses to travel smoothly over a variety of terrains. Uruguay celebrates the gaucho tradition with rodeo events, trick riding and horse breaking competitions.
The national sport of Afghanistan is goat grabbing or buzkashi. The games used to take days, but now, timed matches are held. The goal is for teams of riders and horses to pull a goat carcass over a goal line.
What is the national, state, provincial, or territorial animal where you live? If you could choose, what would it be?
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