Ark of Taste
The Corriente breed, also called Criollo, can be traced to the first cattle brought to the Americas by the Spanish explorers in the late 15th century. These cattle were chosen for their hardiness so they could survive the ocean crossing and adapt to a new land. Eventually, the descendants of the first transported cattle spread across the southern US and up along the coast of California.
Few animals remain of this original bred as new breed were introduced in the early 1800s and by the 1900’s many ranchers in the Americas were upgrading their herds with modern beef cattle that gain weight more rapidly and efficiently and appear to be more muscular. A few pure descendants of the original Spanish cattle managed to survive with little human intervention in remote areas of the southern US.
Corriente are small, narrow, lean and agile cattle with medium-length curved horns. Today, Corriente cattle are bred for their sped and dexterity as excellent roping cattle, and are not raised for beef. Consequently, most North American cattlemen and ropers know of the Corriente bred. The North American Corriente Association was established in 1982 in an effort to preserve this historical breed.