Official State Animal of Vermont
The beautiful Morgan horse (Equus cabullus morganensis) was adopted as the official state animal of Vermont in 1961. All State Horses
Morgans are descendants of "Figure," a sturdy little bay stallion owned by schoolteacher and singing master Justin Morgan of West Springfield, Massachusetts. Born in 1789, and later known by his master's name - Justin Morgan - this horse outran and outworked any horse that was brought against him.
The horse Justin Morgan became a legend in his own time and beyond. Justin Morgan worked as a farm horse, hauled freight, won pulling bees against bigger, heavier horses, won races over racehorses, and was still considered stylish enough at age twenty-eight to be used as the mount for President James Monroe in a Vermont parade in 1817. The 1945 children's book "Justin Morgan Had a Horse" by Marguerite Henry was published in 1945 and is still in print today. The book was adapted into a Disney film released in 1972.
In 1821 the gallant little horse died at the age of 32. Justin Morgan became the foundation sire for the Morgan horse, considered the first American breed and still popular in the United States and around the world. Every Morgan horse registered today can be traced back to Justin Morgan. The Morgan breed is famed for its intelligence, beauty, gentle temperament, and versatility.