Henton Armada ridden by Christen Lane

By Sally Reid
Photography: Take The Moment, Pegasus Communications, and courtesy NZSH

From an international point of view (especially a German one), Hanoverians are still new to New Zealand. That is to say, there’s quite an interval between the 1730s when the State Stud was established in Celle, and the 1970s, when the breed reached NZ shores. However, from a New Zealand perspective, they’re the longest-established Warmbloods of all.

In fact, the New Zealand Warmblood Association began life as the Hanoverian Breeders’ Association and the first three European Warmblood stallions to arrive here were pure Hanoverians: Winnebago (Winnetou - Wulfine x Wulf), who came in 1977; Distelfink (Diskus - StPr Doreen x Dueker) in 1981; and Allermund (Absatz - StPrSt Alcantara x Aumund) in 1982. So, it’s fair to say that a stud which was founded that same year (1982) is a true pioneer of NZ Hanoverian breeding.
That stud, Dave and Bridget Sutton’s Henton Lodge, has certainly grown since its inception, but remains a ‘boutique’ establishment where quality is prized above all else. Its focus has always been on producing horses who can jump, but of course there have been (and currently are) some super Henton dressage stars. However, jumping blood prevails, and the stud has had three winners of the Top Jumping Bred Foal at the annual NZ Hanoverian inspections, and has twice won Best Jumping Bred Family. The winning foals are the 2018 fillies Henton First Impression (French Buffet xx -Showtime MH x Stolzenburg) and Henton Finesse (French Buffet - Henton Exclusive x Escudo I), and the colt Henton Viceroy (Viscount - Henton Elite x Escudo I), who was also born in 2018. Interesting that the fillies were both by the approved Grand Prix jumper French Buffet xx.

Dave and Bridget Sutton

From humble beginnings...

It was indeed a very small beginning – a single foal by Distelfink – for the Suttons, but by 1998 they were ready for total commitment. They had been using Thoroughbred mares in the intervening years, and replaced these with two Hanoverians, Distelene and Delphi. Both had Thoroughbred genetics, both were sired by the D-line stallion Distelfink, and both played a crucial role in the establishing of Henton Lodge.
The broodmare Delphi (Distelfink - Isla Park xx x Crown Lease xx) has been a particular stand-out for Henton. She was bred by Berny Maubach, whose own stud, Vollrath, was, like Henton Lodge, established in 1982. Her dam, Isla Park xx, was an unraced Thoroughbred with a lot of British blood through the sire. Delphi had five foals for Vollrath, including three full siblings by the imported Hanoverian Dynamit (Dynamo - Elfi x Eger II). One of these, Vollrath Dornkaat, was the National Novice Dressage Champion in 2006... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber

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