NZ Warmblood Assn brings sport horse auction to Equitana

Katie Laurie and Dunstan Springfield on their way to winnning the Norwood Gold Cup at New Zealand's Horse of the Year show on Wednesday.
New Zealand sport horse Dunstan Springfield winning the Norwood Gold Cup at New Zealand’s Horse of the Year show in 2015, with Katie Laurie. © Jane Thompson

An auction of New Zealand sport horses will take place for the first time at Equitana in Auckland later this year.

Many countries and breed organisations host annual auctions for the best of their produce, but the inaugural New Zealand Warmblood Association (NZWA) Performance Horse Auction in November is thought to be a first for the country.

Offshore, auctions are the preferred method of sale, but performance and sport horse auctions have not traditionally been a preferred method of selling in New Zealand, said Equine Productions New Zealand chief executive Rod Lockwood.

“But as the market grows and the outstanding international reputation of New Zealand-bred horses becomes more broadly known, the auction system is coming of age,” Lockwood said.

“It is an efficient way of bringing buyers to a marketplace under the pressure of time and also delivers an economy for a marketing campaign. We will be offering a fabulous selection of well-bred horses.”

Equine Productions has already run auctions at Equitana Melbourne.  The New Zealand auction will include young stock right through to fully produced elite performance horses and is scheduled as part of the Equitana’s Jumping Day on Saturday, November 23.

Clarke Johnstone and New Zealand sport horse Balmoral Sensation, pictured in 2016. © Barbara Thomson Photography

NZWA representative Jody Hartstone said that while auctions haven’t historically been a big part of the New Zealand sport horse scene, she thinks once foreign buyers coming for the auctions, Kiwis will become more confident in the process.

“I think auctions like these could be very important to New Zealand.

“What makes this auction is so unique is that most of these horses have been pre-assessed – not only are they fully registered with proven pedigrees and DNA testing as required, but a lot will have been through the (warmblood) classification process too,” Hartsone said.

“They will have had a top German expert look at them to assess their conformation and movement, and those scores will be available, so you aren’t going in blind as a purchaser.

“The horses are hand-picked by the staff at Equitana, the NZWA and a couple of experts in the sport horse field, so we will be only allowing the best quality into the auction.”

All the horses have papers and will be microchipped, with most also carrying international passports.

For more information or to submit a horse for consideration for the auction, contact

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