Early in the history of the land that would become known as America, there were a lot of visitors. Sure, there were indigenous people already here but once the Spanish got wind there could be gold in this new world they came in a hurry. They also brought with them supplies and animals needed to survive in this new and hostile land.

A Texas A&M researcher may have found some of the descendants of the animals that could have been used by Spanish adventurers to explore the new world. The only problem with these horses is where they are. That place is Fort Polk, an active military base that doesn't seem to see the horses with the same historic value as a group formed to protect them does.

The Pegasus Equine Guardian Association is suggesting that findings by Gus Cothran, a geneticist at Texas A&M, are even more of a reason to protect the animals that run wild on the grounds of the military base.  His findings suggest the horses are related to the Venezuelan Criollo and the Puerto Rican Paso.

Meanwhile, officials at Fort Polk have been actively working to rid the base of as many of these wild horses as possible. In the eyes of the military, the horses are a nuisance The Army claims the horses are a safety risk, especially during training exercises at the facility. Members of PEGA hope the genetic findings and link to early exploration of America will help convince government officials to offer protection to the animals.

Cothran is expected to have more conclusive results from his tests and research by the end of the month. My guess is that the Army will find those results interesting and then proceed with the plans they had for the horses in the first place. It's good to be Army I suppose.


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