11/20/2014 1:05PM

Oldest Secretariat stallion dies in Texas

Bob Coglianese/NYRA
Secretariat, shown here completing his Triple Crown sweep in the 1973 Belmont Stakes, is represented by two advertised sons at stud for 2015.

Country Side, believed to be the oldest living stallion by Secretariat, died Aug. 26 at Diamond J Farms in Needville, Texas, at the age of 29.

Country Side won 2 of 24 starts racing in the U.S. and France from 1987 to 1990, earning $26,232. Following his retirement from the track, the horse was sent to a California farm, which Diamond J owners Joycelyn and Jeff Kasmir visited in 1996. The couple purchased Country Side as a wedding present to each other, and sent him to stand at their Texas farm.

From 18 crops, Country Side sired 47 reported Thoroughbred foals; of those, 21 made it to the races, with nine winning. The stallion also covered Quarter Horse, Paint, Appaloosa, and Arabian mares, and produced performance horses in multiple disciplines.

Out of the Never Bend mare Constant Nymph, Maryland-bred Country Side was a half-brother to Grade 1 winner Equanimity, Irish jump stakes winner Son of Ivor, and French stakes-placed Tongue Tied Muse.

Secretariat, record-shattering winner of the 1973 Triple Crown, entered stud in 1974 at Claiborne Farm of Paris, Ky., and stood 16 seasons before being euthanized due to laminitis on Oct. 4, 1989. His final foals arrived in 1990, and are now 24. There are two remaining sons of the stallion advertised at stud: 26-year-old Innkeeper, who stands for a private fee at Virginia Tech’s Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension (MARE) Center in Middleburg, Va.; and 25-year-old Careless Secretary, standing for 1,000 euros at Ekoterra OOD in Bulgaria.

Innkeeper, a seven-figure yearling, won once from seven career starts. The half-brother to Irish Derby winner Sir Harry Lewis stood in Florida and New York before being purchased by sporthorse breeder Ursula Ferrier, who competed him as an eventer and dressage mount, later donating him to Virginia Tech.

Innkeeper sired nine winners from 16 Thoroughbred starters, led by multiple stakes-placed Motel Time, who bankrolled $140,299. At Virginia Tech, he primarily services Hanoverian, Dutch Warmblood, and Thoroughbred mares, with resulting foals competing in disciplines such as dressage, hunters, and eventing.

Careless Secretary, a multiple stakes winner in Ohio during his own racing career, is the sire of five winners from 12 starters.

The Secretariat son Count von Count, who failed to win in two career starts, was advertised as a 2014 stallion at Pendragon Equestrian Center in Manchester, Mich., servicing mares from various disciplines, but is not advertised for 2015. He is the sire of nine winners from 24 Thoroughbred starters, led by Ralleys Rebel, who finished third in the Michigan Sire Stakes.

A handful of other Secretariat progeny are still living – including Tinners Way, one of the final foals born from the champion’s final crop, on May 25, 1990. Tinners Way won two editions of the Pacific Classic and earned more than $1.8 million. Pensioned from study duty in 2010, he resides at Old Friends Equine Retirement in Georgetown, Ky.

None of Secretariat’s runners replicated their sire’s feats on the racetrack, although they had a fair amount of success; along with multiple Grade 1 winner Tinners Way, the group was led by Horse of the Year Lady’s Secret, dual classic winner and champion Risen Star, and Canadian champion Medaille d’Or. Secretariat made his biggest impact through his daughters, appearing among America’s leading broodmare sires four times, including in 1992 when he led the nation. That influence continued into the second generation, as stallions produced by his daughters included breed-shaping sires A.P. Indy, pensioned in 2011, and the late Storm Cat, pensioned in 2008.

There are 25 remaining sires out of Secretariat broodmares currently advertised worldwide, including Perfect Soul at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky.; and Holy Roman Emperor at Coolmore’s Irish headquarters.