The white markings on Little Peppy’s nose show up against his Sorrel red hide and the hides of five hundred pure bred Santa Gertrudis cows and their calves, the white horns of the herd lit by the morning sunlight. The trimmed horns indicate the number of years this herd has been worked, each time cows are roped and their horns trimmed to protect their skulls.
This is more than a century of the dedicated breeding of livestock for the purpose of delivering protein to Americans beginning with Captain King’s purchase of the Rincon de Santa Gertrudis Land Grant in 1853. He delivered more than 100,000 longhorn cattle to the rail heads during the era of cattle drives, while experimenting with breed improvements for his cattle and horses.
His grandson’s Richard Kleberg Sr. and Robert Kleberg Jr. continued the quest for hearty, productive cattle and horses adapted to the subtropical climate of South Texas. This herd, Little Peppy and the horses of the era represent the combined lifetimes of generational dedication to this quest. The descendant of a King Ranch mare, Little Peppy went on to produce the next generation of horses carrying the genetics of great working cow horses and cattle that would continually be hearty and productive into future generations.