The Criollo horse in Argentina, the tough one from the Pampa

The criollo horse comes from the first Andalusian and Arabian horses imported by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century.

Criollo horse
																															

The criollo horse comes from the first Andalusian and Arabian horses imported by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th century. Through the times, these horses, often wild, got adapted to their new environment, the Pampa plain, and became very tough and rough by natural choice. The aboriginal natives and gauchos who lived in the plains tamed and adopted the criollo horses for transportation and work with the cattle.
By the end of the 19th century, they were crossed with new breeds. But the amateurs imposed a strict selection to defend the criollo breed that is nowadays found throughout South America. The Association of Breeders of Criollo Horses has ensured their defense and control since 1923.

Small girl on a horse
																  															  

One of the essential characteristics of the criollo horse is its toughness: it may go along thousands of kilometers and carry heavy loads without weakening. It is small (1,5 m maximum) but the body is powerful and is still used in the greatest cattle farms and estancias. It is also easily adapted to traditional equestrian games, such as horse-jumping or the gauchos’ jineteada.

Riders in Mendoza
																															

The criollo horse has two heroes in the family: Mancha and Gato. In 1925, Swiss Aimé Tschiffely started a crazy expedition with his two criollo horses: to ride from Buenos Aires to New York. With his two faithful companions, he managed to go along 21,500 km in 504 stages in three years and a half, breaking the distance and height world record as he went through the mountain range several times with a stop at 5,900 meters high… Aimé, Mancha and Gato arrived at 5th Avenue on September 20, 1928; on such date the national day of the horse is celebrated nowadays.