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Weltmeyer, the incomparable dressage sire, has died. He was 27 and was put to sleep following a bout of colic.

Widely accepted as the most influential Hanoverian of all time, Weltmeyer leaves an incredible legacy with 86 licensed sons and 433 State Premium mares. The chestnut son of World Cup I sired more than 4,000 foals in his lifetime, winning €2.3 million to date. Some of his best-known progeny include Wie Weltmeyer, Warum Nicht, Wolkentanz and Wolkenstein II.

“I knew he was something special as soon as I saw him,” remembered breeder Hermann Meyer. “It is only once in a lifetime that you breed such a horse.”

Weltmeyer’s frozen semen is still on offer at the state stud in Celle, Germany, and the stud will unveil a memorial fountain later in the year.