Voltigeur (GB)


Voltigeur defeating The Flying Dutchman
in the Doncaster Cup of 1850



Sire Line

King Fergus


Voltigeur br c 1847 (Voltaire - Martha Lynn, by Mulatto). Sire Line King Fergus. Family 2-h.

One of six winners produced by his dam he was bred at Hartlepool, Durham, by Robert Stephenson, who also bred his sire, and purchased by Thomas Dundas (1795-1873), the 2nd Earl of Zetland. Initially offered at the Doncaster sale he failed to attract a bid due to the prejudice of the time against Voltaire colts who were perceived to be too heavy of neck and body. At the request of his brother-in-law, Lord Zetland allowed the colt to be brought to Aske where he was tried, making a good enough acquittal of himself that Lord Zetland was willing to pay £1500 for him.

Standing fifteen hands three inches his action was said to be excellent. He was described as having fine, sloping shoulders with a good depth of girth, powerful quarters, good knees and hocks with plenty of bone, although he was thought a trifle coarse through the head and neck. Quiet and docile in temperment, his favoured companion was a cat.

In 1860 he was exhibited in hand at the Cleveland Horse and Hound Show where he was judged most likely to "improve and perpetuate" not only the production of sound and stout racehorses but also horses employed in other pursuits, winning £100 and defeating The Cure (b c 1841 Physician) and Lord Fauconberg (b c 1850 Birdcatcher). Despite this vote of confidence Voltigeur covered at Middlethorpe, York, for the modest fee of fifteen guineas whilst The Flying Dutchman at the nearby Rawcliffe Paddocks commanded a fee of forty guineas. Somewhat ironically his son Vedette when mated with a daughter of The Flying Dutchman produced the mighty Galopin (b c 1872) who in turn sired one of the great horses of all time in St. Simon (br c 18881). His only classics winner, the aforementioned Vedette (br c 1854), won the Two Thousand Guineas Stakes. Another son, Billet (b c 1865), was exported to America and became a Leading Sire there in 1883. Among his daughters, Bonny Bell was the taproot mare of Family 10-b, and Woodcraft (b f 1861) produced the Derby winner Kingcraft (b c 1867 King Tom).

A kick from a mare was said to have broken his thigh and shortly thereafter Voltigeur was shot at Aske in February of 1874.
Voltigeur Voltaire Blacklock Whitelock
Coriander Mare
Phantom Mare Phantom
Overton Mare
Martha Lynn Mulatto Catton
Leda Filho da Puta
Race Record
In 1849 he won the Bright Stakes at Richmond, beating Mr Dawson's Mark Tapley (b c 1847 The Hydra) and two others.

In 1850 he won the Derby Stakes at Epsom, beating the Two Thousand Guineas winner Pitsford (ch c 1847 Epirus) by a length along with twenty others. He next won the Great St Leger at Doncaster in a run-off following a dead-heat with Mr Mangan's Irish-bred Russborough (ch c 1847 Tearaway). The following day he walked-over for the Scarborough Stakes and the day following that he won the Doncaster Cup, beating Lord Eglinton's very fast The Flying Dutchman (br c 1846 Bay Middleton), who carried seven pounds more and an allegedly drunk jockey, by half a length.

In 1851 he renewed his rivalry with The Flying Dutchman in a legendary match for 1000 sovereigns at York, where the Dutchman conceded eight and half pounds and prevailed by a "short" length. At the same place he lost the York and Ainsty Cup to Mr Martinson's Chester Cup winner Nancy (b f 1848 Pompey) to whom he was conceding thirty-three pounds.

In 1852 he won The Flying Dutchman Handicap at York, beating Mr I'Anson's Haricot (br f 1847 Mango or Lanercost) and nine others. He later finished fifth in the Ascot Gold Cup won by Joe Millar (b c 1849 Venison). He started twice more at York in August without success and was retired from the turf.


Vedette (GB) br c 1854 (Voltigeur - Mrs. Ridgeway, by Birdcatcher). Sire Line King Fergus. Family 19-b.