About Us

Henton Lodge Hanoverians is a privately owned and operated boutique breeding farm at Pukekohe, which is situated 45 minutes south of Auckland, New Zealand.

The soil is rich and it has a year-round temperate climate that allows young horses to graze on fertile pasture all year, allowing them to develop their bodies and minds in the most natural of ways. The property is also farmed with cattle and sheep.

Dave and Bridget Sutton along with their two children, Olivia and William, live on the farm. The whole family ride and compete. Dave and Bridget specialise in the discipline of eventing and the children, on their ponies, attend Pony Club and compete at low level show hunter, eventing and dressage.

Distinction by Distelfink

Distinction

Distancia by Distelfink

Distancia

Dresden China by Distelfink

China

Henton Dungarven

Dungarven

Debutante

Debutante

It all began back in 1982 when Bridget Sutton (nee Henley) had a desire to breed purpose- bred competition horses. The first foal was Distinction "Fink" who was one of the first crop of the Hanoverian stallion Distelfink (Diskus / Duker) from the stud's first thoroughbred mare Cleopatra Jones xx, by Silver Dream xx. Fink grew to an impressive 17.1hh. He competed at intermediate level horse trials, dressage and show hunter with Bridget and finally spent his last riding days on the hunt field. His quality was evident and he inspired Bridget to continue to breed only purpose-bred Hanoverian horses.

Over the next ten-plus years limited numbers were bred from selected Thoroughbred mares, mainly for personal use. One of the successes from this period was Distancia "Scope" by Distelfink from the Thoroughbred mare Miss Four (by Schwepshire Lad). This mare had a tremendous career in show jumping under the guidance and ride of the Cottle family after being started by Bridget. Scope went from a green five year old to a successful grand prix show jumper when a nine year old. This mare is now retired to the broodmare band at Henton Lodge. Another successful mare bred during this time was Dresden China, also by Distelfink from the Thoroughbred mare Irish Crystal (by Bletchencore). This mare was exported to Australia, where she competed very successfully in all disciplines. In eventing, however, she excelled winning her first one star three day event by a convincing 20 points. Unfortunately her potential was not to be fully explored as shortly afterwards, as a result of an accident, her life prematurely ended. Also during this period a number of others made their mark such as Henton Dungarven "Foxy" by Dynamit from the Thoroughbred mare Irish Crystal. Foxy was classified for entry into the Hanoverian Studbook as a three year old with a very promising overall mark of 8 out of 10. This mare, with Bridget, showed her wonderful movement and huge bold jump in the discipline of eventing. She has now been retired and enhances the broodmare band at Henton Lodge. Henton Ambiance was another mare from Irish Crystal by Anamour. She was most successful in dressage until an untimely accident saw her retired to the broodmare band.

Then in 1998 Dave and Bridget made a decision to take the breeding side of the farm to a new level. The remaining Thoroughbred mare was sold and two Hanoverian mares with Thoroughbred genetics were purchased, both by Distelfink - to bring into the genetic pool his wonderful jumping bloodlines - Distelene and Delphi. Both these mares were outstanding individuals closely related to many successful competition horses. Since that time many other Hanoverian mares, with Thoroughbred influence, have been included in the broodmare band, plus daughters of the early mares, many of whom have been successful in competition.

The year 2000 was hugely significant for Henton Lodge. Permission by the New Zealand Government to allow imports of frozen semen into New Zealand from Germany was granted. This gave the stud the opportunity to access the very best jumping bloodlines from the home of the Hanoverian itself. Now the stud was able to combine their top mares, sourced from almost twenty years of selection, with the frozen semen from the world's top jumping sires. From that year on the door has been opened for Henton Lodge to produce a superior jumping horse.

We look forward to many years of breeding top performance horses aimed at all competition disciplines - show jumping, eventing, show hunter and dressage.