Julie Davey and Inca NZPH – Photo Copyright KAMPIC/Kerry Marshall


The team behind New Zealand Performance Horses were as excited for themselves in winning the Fernhill Stud-sponsored leading breeders at the Bayleys National Young Horse Championship Show as they were for others succeeding with their horses.

“This is just huge for us,” says breeding manager Adele White. “It’s not just exciting for us, but also when we see NZPH horses being used by other breeders. It is just so cool.”

Her words are reiterated by co-owner Brigit Kirk. “It has certainly been a long haul to get to here,” she says. “It is just so exciting to get that recognition and know what we are doing is producing these fantastic horses. All the hard work over the years is really starting to pay off now.”

Key, according to Brigit, is striving for perfection at every turn. “We really want to keep the operation the size it is and just continue to focus on the best,” she says.

NZPH was established in 1995 by David and Brigit Kirk with Warwick and Juliet Hansen. In 2019 the business was divided between the founders, with the Kirks continuing with the NZPH brand.

“We are so excited about some of the young progeny coming through,” says Adele, who works closely with Arnaud Evain, president of the Group France Elevage to ensure the very best matches and bloodlines are used.

NZPH has around 25 mares but aim to breed 15-20 annually, as some retire to help look after the babies. Each year the best two or three fillies go into the mare herd too. “We are always looking to improve the brood mare herd.”

“Ideally everyone wants to breed a superstar but we need to breed what people in New Zealand can ride, and that covers everything from junior to World Cup.” Currently the biggest market was in the amateur division.

Adele started with NZPH in 1999, working her way up the ranks to now running the operation. “We are a real family operation here.”

At the Championships, NZPH had ties to the winners of the style prize winner of the NZPH Four-Year-Old in Lulu MSNZ, who also won the championship title, and the style prize winner of the East Coast Performance Horses Five-Year-Old Championship with Haupouri Incognito.

In the four-year-old they have bloodlines in the third equal placegetter Double J Lyric, and sixth equal placegetter Haupouri Jewellery. It was a quinella for the breeders in the five-year-old, with Icarus NZPH winning the title and Inca NZPH placing second.

Double J Odin with Sam Carrington – Photo Copyright KAMPIC/Kerry Marshall


The UltraMox Six-Year-Old Championship (co-sponsored by Diamond Lodge) the NZPH flag was flown by runner-up Double J Odin, as well as by fourth equal placegetter McMillans Swipe Right, while in the Matthews Hanoverians Seven-Year-Old Championship (co-sponsored by the New Zealand Hanoverian Society), it was third equal placegetter Haupouri Galileo NZPH.

Simon Wilson and McMillans Swipe Right – Photo Copyright KAMPIC/Kerry Marshall


NZPH is now based at Okawa Stud, a very old thoroughbred stud owned by Tom Lowry and been in his family since 1852.


The Jumping Team – 20 December 2022