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It was a ride from Buenos Aires to Washington D.C. on Criollo horses (about 13,500 miles or nearly 22,000 km) that brought recognition beyond South America’s borders to the legendary breed of the Gauchos. Hardy and long-lived, the Criollo horse is famous for its exceptional stamina and resistance to disease. The breed evolved across the wide open plains of the Pampa after a shipment of 100 pure Spanish horses were brought to Argentina in 1535 and were released and abandoned. The word criollo, which means “of Spanish origin,” is now the breed’s name. Brawny and tenacious, the Criollo is popular as a working cattle horse and has contributed to Argentina’s world-renowned polo ponies. Dun-colored Criollos are especially appreciated.