The fully computerised NZ Sport Horse Breeders & Owners Association was started in 1987 by two established studs - Anne & Rupert Vallance of Longspring Stud whose sire Distelfink was producing world class jumpers; and Gay & John Meyer of Mamaku Stud who bred NZ’s double Olympic Gold champion Charisma.
For six years the Register had regular newsletters, produced a stallion register with over 100 stallions listed and had over 1600 horses on the books. We started and sponsored a circuit of Led Sport Horse classes at A&P Shows around the country. It is a point of pride that many of these classes are still happening at A&P shows around the country today.
We even started Led Dressage classes for 1 to 3 year olds which were a great hit. So if your horse wasn’t pretty enough to win the led classes but you trained the young horse well, this was something else you could do. They were popular classes to watch!
We worked through guidelines for a selective breeding programme with Dr Chris Rogers at Massey University and continue to work with him. A leaderboard of breeding is something that Dr Rogers continues to publish in association with the ESNZ over the Age Series based on points earned.
As Anne was the editor for the ESNZ Bulletin in the early days when there was a printed magazine, each year she compiled and published statistics in the Bulletin on the leading sires for each discipline based on $ won as well as the leading horses and riders on $ won over all levels.
In 1993 the Register was handed on (admittedly with great reluctance!) to a newly formed NZ Sport Horse Promotion Board Inc. based in Auckland. After several years with fewer and fewer horses being recorded, it was then handed to the ESNZ to run and after a few years there, it was handed back to Anne Vallance. No one else wanted it.
Partnership with Main-Events online
The new era starts today ... 31 March 2022.
The digital age is upon us! A new generation of breeders is pushing for more more information and transparency in the industry and thankfully the day of filled in forms that needed to be entered manually into the database are gone! The original records are so old there are no such things as email addresses listed! So we are starting fresh.
The old records are still on file and if anyone is interested, they can contact us below.
Main-Events.com who operates the most comprehensive online entry system for equestrian shows in NZ is coming on board. In a new partnership with the NZ Sport Horse, they are able to offer an online registration service that is open to all and where you can search for a horse by name or year born in some cases.
Main-Events has always included the Sire name in all their class lists online so they see this as a natural extension to improving knowledge about bloodlines out there.
FEI World Breeding for Sport Horses Championships
Once upon a time, the NZ Sport Horse was a full studbook affiliated with the FEI World Breeding Federation for Sport Horses (WBFSH). Believe it or not, the NZ Sport Horse was one of the FIRST to sign up to the World Breeding Championships. And not only that, we were 11th in the standings for showjumpers in 1992-93 out of 18 recognised studbooks! Ah ... the good old days.
Now there are 56+ studbooks recognised for jumping and 60+ studbooks for eventing.
However, to their credit, both the NZ Warmblood Association and the NZ Hanoverian Society have gained accreditation under the FEI World Breeding Championship and we can look forward to gains on this front for NZ. You can view the rankings here - Rankings | WBFSH - World Breeding Federation of Sport Horses.
In fact, the last year the NZ Sport Horse operated on any significant level was in the 2009 or thereabouts. If you go through the horses competing in eventing over the previous 5 years it operated on the FEI World Rankings List for Event Horses and this is what NZ missed out on.
2003/4 1st for NZ Horses
2004/5 2nd for NZ Horses
2005/6 3rd for NZ Horses
2006/7 3rd for NZ Horses
2007/8 2nd overall combined; 4th for NZSH and 5th for NZTB.
What a wasted opportunity for this country and for all those breeders trying to gain a bit of recognition!
But we have to get our own house back in order before we reach out to the world again. Don’t worry. NZ bred sports horses are represented on the world stage even if the studbook isn’t.
Now we have to get our NZ riders back on NZ horses if we are to make real progress. But that is another story!