Survivor by Ragan Gennusa
Survivor - Cattle originally from Spain and Portugal were introduced into Mexico in 1521. Stocked at the Presidios in northern Mexico and southern Texas by the Mexican government, these cattle ran wild in northern Mexico and the south Texas brush country between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River and north and east to the Louisiana border, after the constant Comanche Indian raids forced their abandonment. Only the strong survived predation, drought, disease and the dreaded fever tick. For two to three CENTURIES these incredible wild cattle existed in a closed gene pool emerging as a unique breed, the Texas Longhorn. The painting Survivor depicts a longhorn cow exhibiting not only the traits mentioned above, but who also was extremely fertile calving without problems until well in their teens, enabling this breed to multiply into the millions. It is estimated that between 1866 and 1890 ten million cattle were driven to northern markets, not only pulling the State of Texas out of bankruptcy, but creating wealthy cattle barons and establishing Texas as a rich state.