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Our Founding Equines 

Meet the Arizona State Heritage Horse

10 a.m., Sunday, March 30

Tubac Presidio State Historic Park1 Burruel St., Tubac

520-398-2252;tubacpp.com

There's no shortage of stories about the people who discovered and settled America hundreds of years ago. But what about the four-legged helpers that made making such history far more manageable? On Sunday, you can learn more about (as well as meet direct descendants of) the horses used by the conquistadors, explorers and missionaries who came here from Europe. Approximately 10 Spanish Barb horses will be on display Sunday at Tubac Presidio State Historic Park. "They are the foundation horse for all North American breeds," said Maureen Kirk-Detberner, a board member for the Spanish Barb Horse Association. "How they're different (from most horses) is primarily their size. They're a smallish horse." Kirk-Detberner said there are only about 2,000 Spanish Barbs left in the United States, but the ones in Arizona have earned special status, being named by Gov. Jan Brewer as the Arizona State Heritage Horse. "All but one (that will be at the event) come from Father Kino's breeding program in Mexico," Kirk-Detberner said. "They have strong ties to Arizona." The horses on hand Sunday will include a state champion jumper as well as horses performing traditional equestrian dressage. While the horses will be penned, Kirk-Detberner said some will be ridden around the park, and all will be available for petting. Representatives of other historical associations also will be on hand at the event. The event is included in admission to the park, which is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 7 to 13. Kids 6 and younger get in free.

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