Texas Longhorns are descended from the first cattle first brought to the Americas over 500 years ago. Christopher Columbus brought Spanish cattle to Santo Domingo in 1493 and within 200 years their descendents had spread into Mexico. In 1690 a herd of about 200 head of cattle was driven from Mexico to a mission near the Sabine River, an area of land which would later become known as Texas. The missions and early settlers would not survive all of the harsh elements of this wild and rugged country, but the Texas Longhorn would. A century or so of running wild made the Texas Longhorn a tough and hardy breed, able to survive blizzards, droughts, dust storms, attacks by other animals , and Indians. They became good foragers, surviving on limited amounts water, and whatever vegetation was available.