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.
Henton Lodge specialises in the discipline of Eventing, but also produce show jumping and dressage horses. Dave and Bridget Sutton along with their two children, Olivia and William, live on the farm. The whole family ride.
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.
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, have been included in the broodmare band, plus daughters and granddaughters 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.