Our Story

Waikato Stud is a world-renowned, record-setting Thoroughbred nursery dedicated to the breeding, rearing and development of elite racehorses.

The stud was originally purchased in 1967 by Nelson Bunker Hunt, from the United States, and encompassed 188 hectares of idyllic Waikato pasture. Waikato Stud’s modern-day reputation as a birthplace of champions began in 1993 following its purchase by Garry and Mary Chittick.

Currently owned and operated by son Mark Chittick, the Matamata-based nursery has grown to 688 hectares and has forged an undisputed record as New Zealand’s number one producer of international Group One winners.

Recognised as Australasia’s leading Group One breeder of the last decade, Waikato Stud achieved a record of six individual top-flight winners of nine Group One events in 2008-09. This elite team was made up of Vision And Power (Doncaster Handicap, George Ryder Stakes), Metal Bender (Rosehill, Randwick Guineas), Alamosa (Toorak Handicap), Swick (VRC Classic), Markus Maximus (WA Derby) and Daffodil (AJC Oaks, NZ 1000 Guineas).

Waikato Stud averages 12 stakes winners per season and to date has bred 36 individual Group One winners of 70 Group One races.

Waikato Stud’s 34 Group One horses bred comprise: Alamosa, Alf, Arenti, Costume, Courtza, Critic, Daffodil, Derobe, Diademe, Embellish, Glamour Puss, Great Command, Guyno, Hasahalo, I Do, Imposera, Kapchat, Kinjite, Lachlan River, Legs, Marju Snip, Markus Maximus, Metal Bender, O’Reilly, Our Pompeii, River Rough, Sacred Falls, Savvy Coup, Scarlett Lady, Slight Chance, Starcraft, Swick, Taupo Retreat and Vision And Power.

The stud created history in 2005-06 when it became the first New Zealand breeder to produce a Group One winner in Europe. During this time they also bred five individual Group One winners in five different countries. Of these, star ambassador Starcraft triumphed in two Group One races in Europe, earning him the World Champion Older Turf Miler title and a third consecutive title as New Zealand Broodmare of the Year for his dam, Flying Floozie.

Waikato Stud has been awarded the Leading Vendor at Karaka in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

Stud patriarch Garry Chittick was inducted into the NZ Racing Hall of Fame in 2016, and his services to the industry were further acknowledged through his receipt of the Racing Excellence and Outstanding Contribution Award in 2006.

Group One Stallions to have stood at Waikato Stud since its establishment 50 years ago comprise: Pretendre, Decies, My Friend Paul, Brigand, Magnesia, Barcas, Diagramatic, Ace of Aces, Zephyr Bay, Pompeii Court, Dahar, Masterclass, Defensive Play, Centaine, Danasinga, O’Reilly, Pins, No Excuse Needed, Savabeel, Fast n Famous and Rios.

Of Waikato Stud’s 21 Group One-producing stallions, eight have been awarded champion sire status. These stallions include: Decies, Pompeii Court, Dahar, Centaine, O’Reilly, Pins, Savabeel and No Excuse Needed.

The stud’s exciting 2018 Roster of Stallions comprises Savabeel, Sacred Falls, Ocean Park, Pins, Tivaci and Rock ‘n’ Pop.

View Gallery