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 temperament, 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.