Dolly Blue.
Dolly Blue. © Jane Thompson

While we strive for the breeding of talented sport horses for the dressage, jumping, eventing and driving disciplines, our horses are also equally suited for the recreational and amateur riders, who make up a large proportion of the riding population. 

The Verband motto, “Erfolg in aller Welt” translates into English as “Success all over the world” and this is truly the case.

Many New Zealand bred Hanoverian horses have competed successfully both at home and overseas. More recently, Waikare and Gabana have both represented New Zealand in dressage at an Olympic Games.

Hanoverian stallions standing in New Zealand and registered with the New Zealand Hanoverian Society, have been selected and approved for breeding by the German Hanoverian Verband under strict guidelines. In addition, modern equine reproductive technology has enabled our New Zealand breeders to use frozen semen from some of the most highly regarded Hanoverian stallions available in Europe, a practice that is enhancing the expansion and improvement of our gene pool.

It is no longer necessary to travel overseas for your next performance superstar; our breeders have them growing up right here in New Zealand, where we enjoy the best horse rearing conditions in the world.

Whether you are a breeder, a competitive rider, or a pleasure rider, there is a New Zealand bred Hanoverian just waiting for you to find it. We hope you will enjoy browsing through our website for more information about these magnificent and versatile animals.

Hanoverian breeding in New Zealand

The breeding of Hanoverians in New Zealand began in 1977 when a small group of enthusiastic breeders established a connection with the Hanoverian Verband in Germany.

New Zealand’s reputation as a world-class producer of thoroughbreds convinced the officials of the Verband to allow New Zealand breeders to use high-quality thoroughbred mares as the foundation for the New Zealand Hanoverian.

A syndicate was formed and New Zealand’s first Hanoverian stallion, Winnebago, was imported from Germany, arriving here in February 1977. German Inspectors traveled to New Zealand and Australia to inspect and classify the foundation Thoroughbred mares for admission into the New Zealand Hanoverian Studbook. The Hanoverian Society of New Zealand Incorporated, a daughter society of the Verband Hanoverscher Warmblutzutcher e.v. of Hannover, West Germany, was formed.

Eric Ropiha and Eric White were trained in Germany to be our first New Zealand classifiers.

As a daughter society of the Verband we gained international recognition for our pedigrees, access to Verband breeding values and data, and the maintenance of the highest Hanoverian standards through inspection visits from Verband officials. We administer our own Studbook, established according to the Verband guidelines.

Since the arrival of Winnebago, 12 more Licensed and Performance tested Hanoverian breeding stallions have been imported into New Zealand. The Hanoverian mare pool has expanded with the use of female Hanoverian descendants from the original foundation Thoroughbred mares, and also with the importing of Hanoverian mares. In recent times the use of imported frozen semen has given our breeders access to some of the same stallions used by German breeders.