• Quel Veinard

    Quick quiz: who was the first French stallion in the US? If you guessed Revenue you're off by around 50 years. The story of Quel Veinard is both strange and fascinating but more than anything also the story about an almost forgotten horse.

    Quinauderie and Qui Qui IV were perhaps the best of the French Q-crop (born 1938) but Quel Veinard was a fairly good horse and stood stud for the first time in 1945. He produced relatively well from the start and became a popular stallion.

    At the same time, Leo McNamara at the Two Gaits Farm in Indiana was busy thinking wildly outside the box. He got the seemingly crazy idea to bring in a foreign stallion that would be a complete outcross alternative to both the Axworthy and Peter the Great lines so dominant at the time. Not speaking a word of French, he brought along the French-speaking Woody Lawlis, then associate editor of The Horseman & Fair World, on a long scouting journey there they looked at many stallions. Some where not for sale and others did not pass conformation standards. In the October 1986 Hoof Beats article "The Noble Experiment" McNamara's son recalls "seeing a son of Kairos, a chestnut horse with a Roman nose that he admired very much but since the horse had yet to prove his mettle, he passed on him." The description seems to perfectly fit the 1947 Criterium des 3 ans winner Abd El Krim D, a chestnut son of Kairos who was the only chestnut son of Kairos standing stud in 1951 - and who was also an unproved stallion at the time. McNamara was also blended by Elope, winner of the 1951 Criterium des 3 ans and Prix de Vincennes as well as the 1952 Criterium des 4 ans, but the owner did not want to sell and with McNamara preferring a proven stallion they passed on him and instead looked at Elope's sire, which is how they arrived at Quel Veinard. What they did not know in 1952 was that the G-crop, born 1950, would include Gutemberg A, winner of the 1955 Elitlopp.

    As quoted in the same Hoof Beats article, Lawlis would later write an article in The Horseman & Fair World declaring that "We consider this a move in which every chance for success has been weighed and in which 99 percent of that chance has been removed by the judicious selection of the outstanding young male of the French trotter." However, despite high expectations, the Quel Veinard foals were almost all huge disappointments and and Lucky Lure (earnings of $94882) can be considered a good trotter in her day.