Our Native outlived two of his very famous contemporaries, Mr. Prospector, who he defeated in the 1973 Calumet Purse, and Secretariat, who he followed across the finish line in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) that year. But Our Native's age and health caught up with him on Aug. 26, when the 31-year-old stallion was euthanized at High Point Farm near Lexington.
Dr. E.W. Thomas bred Our Native, raced him with partners, and has lived almost every day since 1974 with the dark bay son of Exclusive Native. Thomas said on Aug. 25 Our Native's arthritis acted up. "He just couldn't make it getting up." He was euthanized in his stall the following morning, after farm manager Francisco Camancho stayed with him through the night.
"We here at the farm profited from his demeanor, intelligence, and way of living life," Thomas said.
Almost until his death, Our Native was turned out daily in his paddock outside the stallion barn. Thomas' office is also in the building, and the two old gents were as close as horse and human could be.
Thomas purchased the dam of Our Native, Our Jackie (by Crafty Admiral), privately after her racing career ended in 1967. Our Native was her third foal and one of two stakes winners she produced (Salud won the 1979 Alcibiades, gr. II).
Thomas bred Our Native with his sons James and William consigned him to the 1971 fall yearling sale where the $44,000 paid by trainer William J. Resseguet Jr. topped the sale. Mrs. Elizabeth Pritchard raced Our Native, until Thomas bought a quarter-interest after he won the Flamingo Stakes (gr. I). Resseguet also owned an interest in the horse.
Our Native made 37 starts and won 14 of them, and retired with a 14-4-7 record and earnings of $426,969. His best year by far was 1973 when he won the Flamingo, finished third to Secretariat and Sham in the Derby and Preakness, then won the Ohio Derby (gr. II) and the grade I Monmouth Invitational (gr. I). He raced four times at age four, won only once, then retired to Thomas' Matron Farm (now High Point).
Our Native stood his entire career at High Point with Thomas as syndicate manager. His last season at stud was in 1992, when he had a fee of $7,500. He sired 653 foals in 18 crops; 64% of those were winners. Our Native is the sire of 49 stakes winners, including 1979 2-year-old champion Rockhill Native and multiple grade I winners I'm Splendid and Zoffany.
It is possible Our Native's most impressive statistics are from his daughters. To date they have produced 73 stakes winners from 1399 registered foals of racing age and champions Estambul and Star Verse.
Our Native's last stakes winner was Doctor Trotter, who retired last year at the age of eight. Currently racing is a grandson of Our Native, Sure Shot Biscuit, who has won 11 stakes races and $862,073.
Both Our Jackie and Our Native are buried at High Point, where each also has a barn named in their honor. However, Thomas said he does not plan to mark either grave with a stone. "Our Native is buried in the midst of the activity on the farm," he said.
"He gave me a lot. It is really something in life for a little person like me to breed a horse like him, and to live life with him."