Argentine Criollo

Argentine Criollo

horse breeds
The Argentine Criollo is a branch of Criollo horse breed. It was developed from the early 16th century when bloodlines from Arabian, Barb and Andalusian stock were brought from Spain. Explorers and conquests from Portugal and Spain brought the toughest and hardiest horses in South America.

The travel was full of unexpected events and very tough conditions with insufficient food and water, thus only the best survived. Generally, all Criollo, including Argentine Criollo resemble the ancient Sorraia wild horse of Portugal and Spain, as a result of the primitive characteristics in the wild conditions of the New World or being already primitive Iberian horses in the first place. Many horses escaped and were driven into the wild, after the destruction of Buenos Aires by Indians. That`s way survivors became progenitors of the Argentine Criollo breed with natural physical hardiness.

The name of the breed Criollo in Spanish and Crioulo in Portuguese was referred to Spanish and Portuguese pure-bred humans and animals that were born in the Americas. Today it is simply referred to native breeds of Americas. Criollos are considered to be the best horse breed in the world known for its endurance. It is even better in long-distance races than the Arabian. Thanks to its basal metabolism it can prolong races over a week with no supplemental feed.

It is most popular in its native countries, especially valued for its good health, longevity, hardiness, and stamina. The Argentine Criollo is distinguished by its brawny, short, thick neck and convex, long-muzzled head and with wide-set eyes. The back is a short, muscular and strong body with a broad chest and well-sprung ribs. Its a hardy horse with good bone structure. Legs are short and strong and have resistant joints.


Argentine Criollo

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Hocks are low-set and they have to sound hard feet. The main and tail are thick. An average height of the Argentine Criollo is between 13.3 and 15 hands. They are generally small in size and have a great ability to adapt itself to the environment. The coat color appears mostly in dun with stripes, but the breed can come in bay, brown, black, grullo, buckskin, palomino and pinto.

It is said that dun is a mark of a strong and tough animal. Chestnut appears usually in the area of the hocks. In 1923 was formed the first Criollo breed association in order to create new breed standards to keep the pure breed Criollo; because the many crosses with the Thoroughbred nearly ruined the native Spanish horse type.

There are rigorous endurance event tests for the horses of this breed known as La Marcha- where the horses ride over 750 km course in 14 days, with no supplemental feed. Beside that horses must carry heavy loads of 110 kg on their backs and are allowed to eat only grass that will find along the trail. Many examples made these horses famous and known for their fantastic endurance rides in incredibly long distances.
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