Appaloosa Stallion

Registration:  ApHC #401602
Foaled:  November 15, 1974
Died:  February 17, 1993
Color:  Chestnut

First Secretary
First Secretary
(The Horse That Wasn't Supposed To Be)
(photo courtesy Appaloosa Journal)
First Secretary

No one knew for sure if Secretariat would produce offspring. Lab results found the Triple Crown winner and Throughbred legend had "immature sperm in differing amounts." So the Claiborne Farm staff decided to test breed the stallion. By chance, they chose a nurse mare named Leola, an Appaloosa. Secretariat was fertile, and the breeding took.

Several Appaloosa enthusiasts contacted Claiborne Farm to buy the mare and her unborn foal. John and Lynn Nankivil of Winona, Minnesota, prevailed with an undisclosed amount of money and purchased Leola and the chance that she carried a colored colt. Even before the foal's birth, several breeders had purchased breeding rights to Secretariat's first foal, without knowing if Leola would produce a colt.

On the cold Minnesota night of November 15, 1974, Leola produced Secretariat's first foal, a blanketed Appaloosa clone of the great Thoroughbred. First Secretary grew to a full 17 hands, an inch taller than his sire. And like his sire, First Secretary owned a rich red coat, three white socks and a blaze.

The foaling made national news, and even forced President Gerald Ford to apologize for a remark he'd recently made at a Republican fundraising event. He'd said that his critics, like Secretariat, were "fast on their feet but not producing much."

Secretariat had produced something for the Appaloosa world. First Secretary's November birthday made him ineligible to race, so instead his owners used him as a stud. He sired 247 foals including 39 race starters and 33 point earners. First Secretary lived into old age and died in 1993 after suffering from colic.

{This article originally appeared in the Appaloosa Journal, June 2001, Vol 55, No. 6, as a part of the article "The Thoroughbred Influence" by Michelle Berg, and is used here by permission.}

Copyright © 2001 All rights reserved.

COALIE (Unreg)
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