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The NZTBA represents and advocates for New Zealand breeders on a variety of national and international issues

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association

The New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association (NZTBA) was established in 1948 with the first annual meeting held on January 25th 1949 in Wellington under the direction of the inaugural president Ken Austin.

The NZTBA represents and advocates for New Zealand breeders on a variety of national and international issues. The current membership stands at approximately 1300 and is split into eight regional branches; Auckland, Waikato, Taranaki-Wanganui, Central Districts, Hawke’s Bay, Wellington, Canterbury-Marlborough-Westland-Otago and Southland.

The NZTBA are actively involved in the following:

  • Working with government agencies

  • Equine research

  • Producing the annual NZ Stallion Register

  • Developing equine welfare initiatives and awareness

  • Bloodstock taxation

  • Environment and sustainability

  • Lobbying ACC

  • Health and Safety regulations

  • Equine health and biosecurity issues

  • Education and scholarship opportunities

  • Providing accurate and easily accessible information about the thoroughbred industry


The history of thoroughbred breeding in New Zealand goes back to the middle of the nineteenth century when people such as Henry Redwood, "father of the New Zealand turf", bred, raced and imported thoroughbreds and began the proud Kiwi tradition of raiding Australia's major races.

The first National Yearling Sale was held in January 1927 and the first meeting of people interested in forming a breeders' association took place in January 1948. At that time a provisional Council was set up consisting of several of the country's leading breeders: Messrs Ken Austin (Chairman), Bob Stead, J.G. Alexander, James Fletcher, J. Donald, Jack Higgs, Charles Robertson and Alister Williams. This committee then set about contacting people likely to be interested in forming an association of breeders. The response to their canvassing efforts was remarkable, with responses from almost 500 people.

The first general meeting of the NZTBA was held in Wellington on 16 March 1948 and a full-time secretary, Mr L.R. James of Wellington was appointed, beginning work on October 1st 1948. The first annual meeting of the NZTBA was held on 25 January 1949 in Wellington. Mr Ken Austin presided over the meeting and gave a comprehensive description of the purpose of the Association. His words still guide the NZTBA's activities today: ' to encourage, promote, advance generally and ensure co-operative efforts in all matters pertaining to the production and improvement of the Thoroughbred and the interests of Thoroughbred breeders.'

By 31 July 1949 the Association had 460 financial members and 140 applications for membership. The annual subscription was two guineas.

On 8 February 1998 the NZTBA celebrated its 50th birthday with a memorable luncheon at Patrick and Justine Hogan's Cambridge Stud.

The current annual subscription is $NZ225.00 and the Association's membership stands at approximately 1200, spread among eight regional branches, the Studmaster branch and overseas members.

Major NZTBA Activities & Initiatives include:

Successful representation with Ministers and government agencies on key industry issues including totalisator duty, bloodstock depreciation and ACC levies.

Industry education & training initiatives:

  • New Zealand Equine Training Scheme - established and supported by the NZTBA Waikato branch

  • Sunline International Management Scholarship - sponsored since 2002 by the NZTBA Auckland branch

  • Overseas Training Scholarships - formerly sponsored since 1991 by the NZTBA Wellington branch, and now the Keith and Faith Taylor Family Trust.

National breeding awards:

  • Broodmare of the Year (since 1953)

  • Dewar Stallion Trophy (since 1965) - champion New Zealand-based sire by combined Australasian earnings

  • Grosvenor Award (since 1991) - champion New Zealand sire by domestic earnings

  • Centaine Award (since 2009) - champion New Zealand sire by international earnings

  • Broodmare Sire (since 2002) - champion New Zealand sire of broodmares

  • Breeder of the Year (since 1991)

  • Small Breeder of the Year (since 2021)

Regional awards & events:

  • Annual Breeding Awards & Stallion Expo at Karaka - NZTBA Auckland branch

  • Annual Group One Dinner & Weekend Stud Tour - NZTBA Waikato Branch

  • Annual Awards Dinners, Foal Walks, Stud Tours, Yearling Parades & other special events organised by the Hawke's Bay, Taranaki/Wanaganui, Central Districts, Wellington, Otago & Southland branches

The Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series

The NZTBA administers the hugely successful Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series which offers bonuses of up to $2.9 million per season to registered southern hemisphere-bred fillies and mares.

With eligibility from ages two to five, bonuses for each race total $28,000, culminating in a $100,000 final.

The Series has been designed to benefit owners, trainers and breeders of fillies and mares running in New Zealand and races are run in all regions of the country.

Dragon Queen - winner of the Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m) - Photo: Race Images
Dragon Queen - winner of the Entain - NZB Insurance Pearl Series Lisa Chittick Plate (1400m)

Photo: Race Images


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