Arizona residents are especially proud and honored after learning that United States Congressman Raul Grijalva read a tribute to wild horses living in Arizona's Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest into the record of the United States Congress recently.
Congressman Grijalva read a tribute to these magnificent and unique horses in Washington, D.C. on June 6, 2007, according to Dr. Pat Haight of the Conquistador Equine Rescue and Advocacy Program.
The Rim Country wild horses are culturally tied to Arizona for more than 400 years since Father Eusebio Kino visited the Rim Country on horseback, bringing as many as 130 horses or more with him on each trip in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Father Eusebio Kino, the padre on horseback, was known for his ranching abilities and horsemanship and visited the Arizona rim area while exploring for places to establish new missions. Historical documents verify that Father Kino took extra horses with him as remounts. Historical research on these unique horses also establishes the connection of the Rim Country horses to Father Eusebio Kino and possibly to the Spanish explorer Coronado, as early as 1508.
The Rim Country wild horses are descendants of Spanish horses brought by Father Kino and other Jesuit missionaries from Spain to Mexico, where they were kept by the Yaqui people for the Jesuits and then brought on ships around the coast to California for mounts during explorations by the Jesuit missionaries and Spanish soldiers throughout Arizona and California. Many of the horses demonstrate the traditional Spanish colors of buckskin, bay, chestnut, and black.
In his tribute, the congressman described the Rim Country wild horses as a precious natural resource to be preserved for our children and for generations to come.
Dr. Pat Haight of the Conquistador Equine Rescue and Advocacy Program said," "We are thrilled and proud that Congressman Raul Grijalva honored our beautiful Rim Country wild horses in the United States Congress," said Haight.