Friday, February 22, 2019

Foundation Sire: Voltaire

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!

16.2 hands
Breeder: E. Kuwet 

A son of Furioso II, Voltaire was really the first of the superstar performance stallions to go on and prove himself equally important as a breeding stallion.
In an obituary in Breeding News, September 2004, Henk Nijhof commented on his offspring: “The Voltaires have the perfect attitude for showjumping horses. They want to get across the barriers, they have the nerve to do this and combine this with power and carefulness, two issues that are very important for good showjumping horses. Usually, Voltaires have good manners for showjumping. But sometimes they are a bit short in the back, which you can see in the way they jump.”
Voltaire was represented by a staggering 28 jumpers in the WBFSH standings for 2000/2001 – and ranked 9th in the top 50 sires in the ten years from 1991 to 2000.
Jenneke Smit makes the point that Voltaire bred better stylists than he was himself: “As a showjumper, Voltaire was on the phlegmatic side; his short-coupled conformation and the way he finished his jump were far from ideal. Nevertheless, he produced blood-type, long-lined horses with good jumping form. Among these are Finesse (out of a mare by Gag xx), and the successful showjumper Altaire (Pele). Both horses excelled many times at the Grand Prix level under their respective riders, Emile Hendrix and Beth Underhill.”
Jan Greve sums it up:
“Voltaire meant a lot to me personally. Without him, I may not have started a stud farm. He was such a nice horse and so easy at a young age, and he’s been invaluable to the breeding industry. Perhaps he has been more influential as a damsire than as a direct sire. In any case, he’s a true foundation stallion whom we couldn’t have done without.”
Voltaire was in 11th place on the Monneron list with 19 representatives.
On the WBFSH standings for 2007, Voltaire was 22nd. In 2008 and 2009, Voltaire ranked 12th, by 2010, he had blown out to 24th, but shot up the standings again in 2011 to 11th, largely on the basis of the exploits of Michel Robert’s Kellemoi de Pepita (out of a mare by the Almé son Jalmé des Mesnuls) who won at Vigo in 2011, and at La Coruna, Chantilly, La Baule and Vejer de Frontera in 2010. By 2013, Voltaire had slipped to 56th.
Voltaire appears on the 2015/16 KWPN breeding values in 43rd place with a value of 126 (98%). He has produced 2749 progeny over the age of four, with 908 registered for competition (33.03%). On the 2016/17 KWPN standings, Voltaire has moved to 40th, with 2756 progeny over 4, and 914 competitors (33.16%). He has a jumping value of 125, conformation – 103, free paces – 99, free jumping – 107.

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

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