Country Side, oldest Secretariat stallion, dies

Country Side had the stocky look of a Quarter Horse and the class and brilliance of his sire, Secretariat. He died in late August at age 29.

Country Side had the stocky look of a Quarter Horse and the class and brilliance of his sire, Secretariat. He died in late August at age 29.

Country Side, the oldest living Secretariat stallion, died peacefully at Diamond J. Farms in Texas at the end of summer, leaving many good-brained, big-strided offspring to continue the famous line in Thoroughbreds and in Quarter Horses. And an owner/caretaker who says she never met a horse like her polite, funny stallion.

“Country Side wasn’t one of those stallions walking in on his hind legs. He was a gentleman to work with and he was such a lover” with the mares and fillies, says owner Joycelyn Kasmir. “We had a teaser stall next to his and when he’d first a mare, he’d do a bravado routine, acting all big and proud. But it tended to scare the young fillies, who would back way up and stand on the other side of their stall. When Country noticed they were scared, all of a sudden he’d change his tactics, as if to say, ‘I’m really a gentleman.’

“When they walked over to him, he’d reach his head over the stall wall and lick the fillies up and down their necks, he’d put cowlicks all over them and nicker softly to them.”

Country Side kept her smiling and filled with admiration from the day she purchased him in 1996 until his death on Aug. 26, 2014. He was 29.

Country Side
Sire: Secretariat
Dam: Consant Nymph
Foal date: Feb. 4, 1985
Kasmir and her husband purchased the stallion from a California farm the day after they married, then moved shortly to Texas.

As a child Kasmir had dreamed of Secretariat, the great red wonder, and of breeding her own Quarter Horse to him. So when she had the opportunity to buy the stocky, 15.2 Secretariat stallion, she leapt at the chance.

“Before we bought him, I told his owner I intended to breed him to Quarter Horses, and he almost didn’t sell him to me,” she says. “But I felt Secretariat’s lines should be shared, and was confident any breed could be improved by them.”

Country Side’s personality and intelligence never ceased to amaze her, and the crop of foals he produced, including Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses, Paints, and performance horses did not disappoint.

Country Side was 25 in this picture.

Country Side was 25 in this picture.

“I got letters from people telling me how great his babies were. Racehorse people told me his (offspring) would pony themselves to the gate as though they’d been racing for years, and Quarter Horse people told me their horses were small enough to get around the barrels, but that they had that Secretariat surge, and were surprisingly fast,” she says. “I’ve heard from so many Country Side owners that their horses had a calmness to them, a regal quality; they had so much sense they seemed human.”

Toward the end of his life Country Side had a harder time dealing with the Texas heat. Despite fans, Chinese herbs, acupuncture, supplements and an abundance of care, he went off his feed a few days before he died, and days before Kasmir planned to call the vet out to euthanize him, he went peacefully in his grassy paddock.

His body has been buried near the barn, and Kasmir plans to plant an oak tree above it as a mighty testament to the warrior pedigree of a legend. ♦

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14 responses to “Country Side, oldest Secretariat stallion, dies”

  1. Keri

    Actually Innkeeper, the last Secretariat stallion is still alive in Virginia.

  2. Lisa

    What a beauty he was!! So happy to read he was so loved and cared for. Thinking of him and his legendary sire as the birthday celebrations in honor of Secretariat are in full swing.

  3. Never Bend fan

    Not to detract in any way from Secretariat, but Country Side’s intelligence may also come from his damsire Never Bend, whom he also resembles. Never Bend’s son, the great Mill Reef who won the Epsom Derby in 1971, broke one of his legs late in his three year old year and had a lengthy recovery period. His caretakers would notice evidence that he was lying down at night and couldn’t figure out how he was getting up and down without hurting himself. Upon watching him, they found that he would lean into the hay bales stacked against the sides of his stall and carefully inch himself down to the ground at night, then do the same thing to stand up in the morning. Pretty amazing.

  4. Kristi Barcelona

    An amazing horse. Beautiful story! Thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Callie1983

    For all Secretariat lovers(I include myself in this group)here is some very important reading to further our knowledge of Secretariat and his offspring. This is a site called ‘Reines de Course’ which translated into English means ‘Queens of the Turf’. Secretariat himself was a ‘Chef du Race’ which means King of the Race.

    Secretariat, just as Phar Lap, was a true freak of Nature because both had enormous hearts which gave them stamina and speed. The Mares are most important in breeding horses of any kind. If you look at the Reines you will find Secretariat’s Dam and many other great mares many of whom we have either forgotten or didn’t know of to begin with.

    Ellen Parker has been researching Thoroughbred pedigrees for about 35 years and works as a consultant. She says we will never see another Triple Crown Champion because we start them too young, they are given drugs (which means the entire sport could be shut down via RICO as drugs interfere with Gambling) and not enough rest between races. The races are run according to TRADITION, not what is best for the horses.

    I have in my Rescue now a horse called ‘Okay Renee’ aka Maddie. She is a great great granddaughter of Secretariat and she is the most unhealthy horse I have ever rescued. I didn’t know who she was but she had one foot on the truck to Mexico when I got the call so I took her. Her fancy Pedigree has done nothing to protect her health. She is eligible for the Holsteiner stud book due to her pedigree. There is no way I would ever breed her, or any of the other rescue horses, but there has been interest since 2004 when I rescued her.

    We have had a terrible impact on this most grand of the Breeds, it is a man made breed and that which men created they are now destroying.

    I don’t support horse racing of any type. I support the horses and the people who care for, and about, them.

    Please check out Ellen Parker’s site:

    Thanks and may all your horses be well, content and long lived.

  6. Nancy Bickford

    Great story! I was lucky enough to see Secretariat at Claiborne 3 times before his death. Each visit was awe-inspiring and has been forever enshrined in photographs and videos of him. I’ll never forget him. Great to see and hear of Country Side. Sounds like he was a wonderful horse!

    1. Nancy Sullivan

      I also had the privilege of meeting Secretariat at Claiborne Farms. What I noticed when I met him is that he Paddled on his front feet. The trainer told me I was one of only a few who knew he Paddled. Paddling made it possible for him to reach farther forward with his front feet, which propelled him forward for a longer stride. Paddling is considered a flaw but in Secretariats case it was one of the reasons he could run so fast, along with his over sized heart. Secretariat was absolutely magnificent and I can still visualize him running up to the paddock fence. I was able to stroke him on his neck, I’ll never forget him.!!!!

  7. Penny

    What a wonderful story about an amazing stallion! I’m so sorry for your great loss; thank you for sharing about Country Side. Secretariat was always my favorite – I was an apprentice jockey during his Triple Crown year and determined to get to see him run, because even at a young age, I knew he was history in the making. I made my way from Colorado to Belmont Park on the day that he and Riva Ridge ran 1-2 in the Marlboro Cup; Secretariat setting a new world record that day. I love that a whole new generation has discovered him through the movies, and I enjoy reading about his offspring. RIP Country Side

  8. Diane Crabtree

    It seems the horse loving world will never tire of Secretariat-related stories, and hearing about Country Side’s intelligence and athletic prowess, well, it still makes us smile and nod in approval to consider who’s genes we think he can thank. His passing seems to push Secretariat’s life further into the past. Country Side was his own legend for this ranch, however, and for his progeny, and that is terrific.

    I am still sad that I am old enough to have appreciated Secretariat while he was alive, but I did not have the interest then. Thank you Diamond J. Farms for sharing your story; I admire what you did for this lovely stallion, I appreciate why you wanted him at your ranch and I am grateful that you understand what it means to share the story.

  9. Callie1983

    What a loss. My heartfelt condolences to you and your family. You were one of a handful that found a Secretariat offspring that was long lived and hearty!

    His Dam more than his Sire was largely responsible for his longevity. My Secretariat Grandson lived to the age of 24. I have a great granddaughter however she is sickly from the constant drugs given to her at the Track. She is a gorgeous Mare but very nervous and has Gastric Ulcers. I keep her comfortable and safe and she is part of my 23 year old Quarterhorse geldings Harem.

    Check out Ellen Parker as she is an Expert at finding matches for Thoroughbreds. She has been doing this for years and her predictions are always on target. Interestingly, she says we will never see another Triple Crown Champion in our lifetime. Having rescued more off track Tnoroughbreds than any other Breed I know why this is true. Inbreeding on 2 remaining lines in the US. This gives us horses that break down and are Euthanized at the track.

    1. Carl (horseman) bowman

      Read your comments on Country Slide
      Hats off to you and countries
      As for as your ulsered mare I have found
      the least expensive treatment is Aleovera
      juice mixed with tang or flavored jello
      Give 60cc twice daily orally then on food
      60 days this should cure a pasture horse
      I keep my TB’s in training on it as long as
      They are stalled (stressed)
      Ala is under $10 a gallon (32 day treatment)
      Cheep when compaired to vet treatment
      Just a note I was diagnosed with bled ulsers
      In 2010 I self medicated with my horse rem
      and am clear to this day and have always ate
      Good luck all be blessed

  10. Jean Smith

    Thank you for this nice story about Country Side. He was beautiful. I live near Meadow Farm and always love learning about any and all of Secretariat’s family. Thank you to Mrs. Kasmir for giving him a wonderful loving life and how lucky she was to have been able to do this.

  11. Annette Murphy

    We have had several Secretariat family TB’s as riding horses and they all have had good temperaments and have been great to work with.
    We still have a Secretariat granddaughter we bred who was a terrific foxhunter.

  12. Cynthia

    Nice story! I love that he is buried on the farm.

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