Secretariat's Texas link: Love and siring in Needville

NEEDVILLE, Texas (KTRK) -- You've likely heard about Secretariat and one of the greatest races of all time, but did you know the historic Triple Crown winner had a Texas connection?

The stallion Country Side was believed to be Secretariat's oldest living offspring, and lived at the Diamond J Farms in Needville until his death in 2014.

Born and bred in Maryland, the dark bay Thoroughbred won two of 24 starts, with races throughout the United States and France from 1987 to 1990. He earned $26,232 during his racing career, DRF's Nicole Russo reports.

PHOTOS: Country Side, Secretariat's stallion, at 25 years old

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But Country Side's Texas adventure wouldn't begin until 1996, when newlyweds Jeff and Joycelyn Kasmir reportedly found the retired racing horse at a California farm and fell in love.

While Country Side wasn't born in Texas, he got here as soon as he could after the Kasmirs purchased him as a wedding present.

For 18 years, the stallion stood at the Needville farm, siring a reported 47 Thoroughbred foals. According to DRF, 21 made it to the races, with nine winning.

The stallion sired Quarter Horse, Paint, Appaloosa and Arabian mares.

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The Kasmirs described Country Side as having a "wonderful disposition" and a winner on both dirt and turf.

Country Side died on August 26, 2014 at the age of 29, but he wasn't Secretariat's only stallion. According to American Classic Pedigrees, Secretariat sired 663 named foals, including 341 winners and 54 stakes winners.

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Some of Country Side's siblings include:

  • General Assembly, the winner of the 1979 Travers Stakes
  • Lady's Secret, the 1986 Horse of the Year
  • Risen Star, the 1988 Preakness and Belmont Stakes winner
  • Kingston Rule, the record-breaking 1990 Melbourne Cup winner
  • Tinners Way, two-time winner of the Pacific Classic (1994 and 1995)
  • Weekend Surprise, 1992 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year

Secretariat was the winner of the 1973 Triple Crown, shattering records and winning the adoration of racing fans around the world.

PHOTOS: Secretariat, celebrated Triple Crown winner

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In 1974, he entered stud at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky.

Experts believe there are 25 remaining Secretariat broodmares, DRF reports, including Perfect Soul (found at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Kentucky); and Holy Roman Emperor in Ireland.

Google Street View shows the fields where Country Side likely spent his remaining days in Needville.


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