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Santa Cruz

Continuing the tradition of innovation that engendered King Ranch’s famous quarter horses and the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle…

photo_santa_cruzKing Ranch has more recently developed a composite breed of cattle that, in addition to withstanding harsh South Texas and semi-tropical climatic conditions, better responds to the changing tastes of many contemporary beef consumers.

Recognizing that many consumers desired a better marbled and tenderer cut of beef, King Ranch, under the leadership of Tio and Scott Kleberg and aided by breeding specialists, over the course of more than a decade of intensive research and development, created a new composite beef animal that reflected this shift in consumer preferences. To produce this new composite, King Ranch breeding specialists first crossed Santa Gertrudis cows with Red Angus and Gelbvieh bulls.

This initial union produced 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Red Angus males and females, as well as 1/2 Santa Gertrudis and 1/2 Gelbvieh males and females. These half bloods were then crossed back on each other to produce a 1/2 Santa Gertrudis, 1/4 Red Angus and 1/4 Gelbvieh composite animal, now known as the Santa Cruz. King Ranch is continually upgrading the cattle through a rigorous selection process.

The early innovations of the first King Ranch breeding specialists continue to inspire their modern-day counterparts on the ranch and the development of the Santa Cruz composite proves that this spirit of innovation continues to thrive at King Ranch.