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Despite the fact that the Royal Dutch Warmblood Studbook has only been open since the 1960's, Dutch Warmbloods have arguably become the most popular competition horse since the end of World War II. Thanks to a rigid testing and breeding program and exportation to all corners of the globe, Dutch Warmbloods can be found on equestrian teams and it winners' circles all over the world. Here are just a few of the most famous Dutch Warmbloods that have made a name for themselves:
"Olympic" Ferro was once considered to be the number one dressage horse in the Netherlands. Nicknamed the "Black Pearl" by the KWPN, Ferro rose to fame in 1998 when he won the team silver at the World Equestrian Games, the European Championships in 1999 and the Olympics in 2000. Under the direction of rider Coby van Baalen, their career highlight is said to be their second place finish at the World Cup Finals in 2000 when they scored an impressive 80 percent for their kur to music. Unfortunately, Ferro died suddenly at the tragically young age of 18 after a sudden case of colic in 2005.
Idocus is, at the time of this writing, a stallion that is still at the top of his game. Paired with American rider Courtney King, Idocus has recently be ranked in the top five dressage horses in America and was a member of the United States team in the World Cup Finals in 2007.
Kennedy, sired by Ferro, is another stallion that received accolades for his championship performances, even from a young age. At four years old, he was the winner of the NHS/WPN Stableforce Stallion Competition, and has continued to rake up the awards in competitions all over Europe in the years since.
Milton was an extraordinary show jumper that was born in 1977. The stallion started his professional career in 1985 with internationally renowned rider John Whitaker and went on to win an impressive number of awards. Milton was the first horse outside of the racing world to win over one million British pounds in prize money. Extraordinarily popular on the show jumping circuit, Milton would often celebrate the end of a jumping course with a rousing leap. Milton died in 1999 and is buried on the Whitaker's farm in Yorkshire, England.
Another famous show jumper and dressage horse was
Voltaire, who lived from 1979 until 2004. Voltaire, whose original name was meant to be Vertuoso, had a successful Grand Prix jumping career. The high of his success came in 1988, when he won the Nations Cup classes at Wembley, Wiesbaden, Helsinki, Lanaken, Stockholm, and Calgary. After his retirement in 1989, he stood to stud until his death at age 25.
Royal Kaliber lived a short but successful life as a show jumper. Sired by the "Stallion of the Century," Ramiro Z, Royal Kaliber had a promising future as the AGA Horse of the Year of 2002-2003 and the 2003 US Equestrian Horse of the Year. He was a member of the US Show Jumping Team at the Athens Olympics in 2004, but was injured in the final round of individual competition. Despite the fact that he was pulled from the competition, he earned the bronze medal thanks to his previous performance. Unfortunately, Royal Kaliber became increasingly worse after the fall, suffering from colic. Veterinarians tried to save him through surgery, but eventually found that his illness was untreatable and he was put down on October 8, 2004.
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