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Argentine Criollo Horse

Country of Origin: Argentina

Argentine Criollo Horse

Image from Luciodec


The Corillo breed has overcome a great deal of adversity & intense living conditions during its existence. The resulting animal is smart, loyal, tough as nails & can cover astonishing distances.


The Argentine Criollo bloodlines come from selective breeding of the Baguales horses, feral horses of the Pampas. These animals were bred for use as cattle & riding horses. Their ancestors came from Spanish stock brought during exploration of the South American continent. Many animals escaped or were left behind to formed feral herds that roamed the Pampas.

The feral animals of the Pampas were influenced by imported animals over the years. This included Portuguese & Dutch breeds, the blood of which distinguishes the Argentine Criollo from the animals found in Peru & Columbia. These herds proved useful to the local tribesmen who began to depend on them & became great horsemen.

Outside Influence

During the early 19th century both the English Thoroughbred & the Percheron were introduced to Argentina. Subsequently, their bloodlines were added to the Criollo mix. They were crossed with Thoroughbred for refinement & elegance, with the Percheron for size & strength. Sadly, with all of this cross-breeding the original bloodlines of the Pampas had become diluted & extremely rare by the end of the 19th century.

Preserve Heritage

In 1917, the Sociedad Rural de Argentina was created to preserve the “creole” horse of Argentina. They located a herd a mares with pure breeding which became the foundation for regenerating the breed. At first the breed was called the Argentinean, then Argentine Criollo, they are simply Criollo, (the horses of Brazil & Uruguay have been determined to be of the same type & ancestry).

Modern Criollo

Today the Criollo is known for their remarkable endurance & stamina – it is said to be unmatched in the horse world.

Every year The Criollo Breeders Association organizes an endurance ride or which tests the stamina of the purebred Criollo. The ride lasts covers 465 miles, 14 days & must be completed in less than seventy-five hours. Horses carry a minimum of 250 pounds & are allowed no food other than what is found along the trail. This trial is what determines quality breeding stock to keep the robustness of the breed.


Average height 14 hands
Strong and hardworking
Incredible endurance
Robust and thick


Head is straight and usually has concave profile, although Barb influence can create a convex head
Short, strong back
Solid bone structure & sound feet
Thick mane & tail

Traditional Colors

Most colors except for pinto white pattern
Dun coloring favored because it is said to be the mark of a strong animal.


Hardworking & agreeable
Tenacious, fearless & tireless
Independent yet once trust is gained they are very affectionate


Working cow horse
Endurance racing
Pleasure riding
Rodeo horse

Helpful Links

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Country of Origin: Argentina | Colors:
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