Once the registered and commercial Hereford operation was discontinued in the early 1980's, the Ray Ranch began to raise nothing but Corriente Cattle. The first bulls were imported from Mexico in 1969 in an attempt to ease the calving process of the first calve heifers. Dusty and Sandy Ray of the Ray Ranch and Dusty's Uncle Jack and Aunt Jenny Cates of the Cates Ranch are recognized as founding members of the North American Corriente Association and the Southwest Corriente Association.

The Corriente Cattle are one of the first breeds to have been imported to the New World. The Texas Longhorn is actually a descendent and cousin of the Corriente. Corriente Cattle are being used today primarily as rodeo cattle because they are so quick and agile. Even with the appearance of the Spanish and Mexican fighting bulls these cattle are docile and fairly easy to handle. The Corriente are particularly hardy, heat resistant, and not susceptible to diseases. Corriente Cattle are aggressive grazers and can survive on feed that most cattle might pass up. One of the primary reasons for the Ray Ranch discontinuing its Hereford business was because of the rough and rocky terrain. The larger beef cattle could not utilize the property as well as the Corriente.

Small framed, Corriente bulls average about 1,000 pounds and cows are about 750 pounds. They are short and small with fairly large horns that have large bases. Corriente Cattle do come in a variety of colors however solid colors are encouraged by breeders and associations. Brought to the New World by Spanish explorers in 1493, the Corriente breed of cattle is descended from a type of Spanish cattle. The cattle spread throughout the American southwest and up through California, as well as down through Central and South America. They are of Criollo type and have also been called Criollo or Chinampo Cattle, the words referring to common cattle. Corriente Cattle have long been thought of as being the best fit for rodeo purposes. In recent times the cattle have been crossed with European breeds of cattle to enhance their beef producing abilities. Isolated herds of full-breed cattle have been preserved throughout Central and South America and in many United States ranches such as the Ray Ranch.

Corriente Cattle are traditionally used for bull dogging and roping in rodeos. They rarely have horn or foot problems and are extremely hardy. They are able to subsist on little food and can survive under little care. With a thick horn base and a light bone structure, these athletic cattle have no comparison when put into Rodeo sporting events.

Corriente Cattle have easy calving and can continue to be fertile even under extreme climatic conditions. Corriente bulls are great to serve heifers in their first calving. Corriente calves weigh around 35 pounds at birth and are extremely hardy. The offsprings' size, agility, and health have turned many traditional beef ranches into producers of quality Corriente cattle.



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