Friday, December 28, 2018

Foundation Sire: Laudanum

Here is the next installment of Warmblood Stallions of North America’s Foundation Friday.  Every other Friday we will be featuring a foundation sire - one who has been influential in the development of warmblood breeds. We pull from the incredible archive of The Horse Magazine, published by Chris Hector of Australia. Thank you, Chris, for permission to draw on your expertise!

162 cm
Breeder: André Laurans

Laudanum was the first stallion purchased by French breeder Bernard le Courtois, who syndicated him at the end of 1984. At that stage, Laudanum’s oldest progeny were five and he was far from popular with the breeders – standing near Bordeaux, he had only bred nine mares! Le Courtois moved him to Normandy at the Haras de la Gisloterie, before moving to his own stud at Brullemail. In an article in the 1996 edition of the Annuaire de l’Étalon Sport Français, Bernard le Courtois explains what attracted him to the stallion:

“Laudanum’s pedigree has two assets – first of all his sire Boran had produced several good Thoroughbred jumpers before being used to cross-breed towards the end of his career. He was himself a son of the very remarkable Mourne, a foundation sire in his own right of sport horses, although he himself was never cross-bred but only bred to Thoroughbred mares. Mourne was the sire of Alcatraz (N. Pessoa), Croquette (G. de Balanda), Alistro, Shel Tox… The second asset in Laudanum’s pedigree is his 3 x 3 inbreeding with the famous broodmare Ballynash (by Nasrullah, one of the best sons of Nearco with Royal Charger). Ballynash is none other than the dam of Mourne (by Vieux Manoir) as well as that of Montaval (by Norseman), Laudanum’s two grandsires!”

“Laudanum has been an exemplary success as a stud. The first generation of his offspring, born in 1979, only numbered 13, but amongst which we find the two Grand Prix horses, Nashville 111, and Neurine. In 1980, with only five foals born, there are again two Grand Prix winners, Obéron du Moulin and Odanum (now in Brazil) both of which were still winning in 1995… Laudanum’s offspring are brave, careful not to touch the jump, with excellent temperaments, qualities which make them admirable national level amateur horses, and with regularly some of Grand Prix level.”

Despite his death in 1997, Laudanum was in 2002, the leading sire of showjumpers in the United States, with six of his progeny competing in 2001 for winnings of $228,259 – mostly won by the stallion Oh Star ridden by USA Games Team reserve team member Todd Minikus. The Belgian bred Oh Star (out of a mare by Ramiro) finished second behind Margie Goldstein Eagle’s Hidden Creek’s Perin on the money rankings on the 2001 US Grand Prix jumper circuit. Oh Star’s wins include the $50,000 HITS Grand Prix, the $100,000 USET Championship, the $50,000 Rio Vista Grand Prix, the $25,000 Bentley Motorcars Grand Prix and the $175,000 Cargill Grand Prix. Other good performers in the USA include the Selle Français stallion Elu de la Hardière ridden by Candice King whose successes include the Elizabeth II Cup at Hickstead and Eric Lamaze’s Ezior Danum, a consistent performer on the US and Canadian circuits.

On the WBFSH standings from 1992-2001 Laudanum ranked 71st, with 21 international performers in that period. In 2007, he is still ranked 42nd on the WBFSH standings.

Laudanum was represented at the Athens Olympic Games by the stallion First de Launay.

Laudanum is the dam sire of Jaguar Mail – who is by the Thoroughbred stallion Hand in Glove out of a mare by Laudanum, out of an Almé / Gotthard mare. In the 2007 Sires of the World Final at Lanaken, Jaguar Mail beat a field of 42 licensed sires to take the title. Jaguar Mail was started in the sport by Patrice Delaveau but moved to Sweden where he is ridden by Peter Eriksson who rode him at the 2008 Olympic Games and the 2010 WEG. He is now standing in the United Kingdom.

Jaguar Mail has since proven an excellent sire of eventers, and his son Tenareze won the 2013 World Young Eventing Horse six-year-old title and the 2014 seven-year-old title.

In the survey of the world’s top 75 jumping sires which appears in the French publication, Monneron 2007-2008, compiled by Bernard le Courtois, Laudanum ranks 43rd with 7 CSI winners. He is also represented by his son Oberon du Moulin (out of an Invincible mare) who is 65th with 7 CSI winners.

To read the entire article, with pedigree, details of Laudanum's sons and daughters, on the Horse Magazine website, click here.
There are several stallion descendants of Laudanum in North America. Click on the following links to read about each of the ones on

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