FEI.org - Full article
02 May 2020
Words by Patricia Salem
Visitors to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, or Uruguay may have seen the beautiful Criollo horse in action.
This breed has a long history in the South American pampas, the grassy eastern plains where both native dwellers and European settlers have long had ranches and livestock.
Here’s a look at this venerable breed, known for its hardiness and stamina...
History of the Criollo
The Criollo comes from early Andalusian horses brought to the Americas by conquistadors. These horses were closely related to the Spanish Barb, which had Moorish origins. During the early years in South America, there was likely some mixing with other horses of the region, including the Peruvian Paso and the Venezuelan Lllanero.
Originally bred for war in North Africa and Europe, the Criollo’s bloodlines gave it a compact, sturdy body and tremendous endurance. Able to thrive on little food and water and to survive in both heat and cold, the Criollo was a natural at handling the vast reaches of the pampas to help plantation owners cover ground in tending the fields and herding farm animals...
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