Stud History

The stud was established in 1982 with the importation of DISTELFINK a fully licensed Hanoverian stallion from Hunnesruck in Germany. He stood at stud until 2004 and set the stud on a sound foundation with his immediate success.

Foundation Sire - Distelfink 

When we started the stud in 1982, our first job was to promote the warmblood and in particular the Hanoverian breed to NZ riders. This was in the days that most show horses were ex racehorses and riders didn't breed horses. The warmblood was still an unknown commodity. How times have changed.

We had been involved with breeding hanoverians as early as 1980 as one of the syndicate shareholders in WITZBOLD. We formed a new syndicate in 1981 to buy another hanoverian and set about looking for just the right horse. Tony Vallance  selected DISTELFINK (Disraeli then) from a group presented for sale while on a trip to Germany as a mare inspector in 1981. Distelfink was due in NZ in Sept 81, but a series of problems in quarantine in the UK (with another horse!) delayed the entire quarantine of 30 horses until well after January.

So Distelfink arrived in New Zealand as a young four year old flying into windy Wellington in the middle of the National Sales at Trentham in 1982 - too late for the 1981 season. He covered 3 mares, only one held and that foal born in February 2003 died as a yearling. In 1983, his first crop of 12 Foals arrived.

In 1983, we produced a brochure on DISTELFINK that said he represented … "the strongest jumping bloodlines available in NZ. Those of top international jumpers SIMONA, ANAKONDA, ASKAN, AGENT, DER LORD, DUX, DONALD REX and DIESTER, dressage horses DOUBLETTE, LIOSTRO, LUCKY BOY & SLIBOWITZ; and eventers LAPIS LAZULI to name a few."

The Syndicate that owned DISTELFINK was strongly aligned with the Hanoverian breeding program and indeed NZ was one fo the few areas outside of Germany itself breeding Hanoverian TB cross horses with the full branding and registration rights of the Verband Hannoverscher Warmblutzuchter. The thorougbhred mares were inspected and then registered in the top studbooks so progeny were eligible for the hanoverian brand.

First crop of foals

That first crop of foals had immediate success winning in hand classes as yearlings, showjumping classes and interest from overseas. Four out of our five youngsters were eventually sold overseas and included KIWI LOGIC became a top equitation horse in the USA. The only foal retained was the first Distelfink filly DISTELETTE (a sister to DENVER and DEALER) who is still at the stud and producing foals.

The second crop included FALCON and DENVER and the third crop SUPER MOTH, DEALER and DUTY FREE. All top horses in their day!

National Champions Produced

A full list of champion horses bred by the stud or other customers can be seen (eventually) under OUR HORSES but in particular, Rupert initially started the following horses in competition that went on to be top horses on our circuit or overseas.


Over the later years the fickle breeding market has meant outside mare numbers have been disappointing, but the stud has continued to produce consistently winning combinations from at times very limited offspring. Despite Distelfink being the leading NZ showjumping sire since computer result records were started in 1993, he has in fact had very few outside mares and as a result limited numbers of offspring. In Europe, he would be getting 100+ mares a year.

New Beginnings

In line with our own breeding using international semen over Longspring mares, we are setting up a professional facility to collect and freeze semen from sport horse stallions, import top bloodlines and provide a specialised breeding centre.

The arrival of daughter Victoria back into the family breeding operation has taken the Longspring Stud activities to a new level. Victoria is currently studying for her Masters in Veterinary Science and studied cyropreservation techniques with Dr Paul Mennick in California. She has started her own business in association with the stud under the banner of Syenz Technology providing equine reproductive service to the wider community.

The stud has fully equipped equine labs, large animal operating theatre and all equipments required for collecting, freezing and or shipping semen around New Zealand. The whole system is being computerised professionally to ensure records are accurate and of a high standard in order to qualify for certification as an export semen centre so that NZ based stallions can be used all over the world.

Through an association with Massey University, we are also providing a training opportunity for 4th & 5th year vet students looking for practical hands on experience with horses and related operations and/or activities.

Early Racing History

The interest in racehorses is not new to the family. The Vallances have a long tradition of producing race horses as well as jumpers and hunters.

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