The New Zealand Stud Book
The first New Zealand Stud Book was compiled by Charles Elliot in 1862 and was printed and published at the offices of the Nelson Examiner. The cost was met by 54 subscribers who were listed in the book. It contained the pedigrees of 145 mares and 58 covering stallions and listed two stallions and two fillies imported after the book had gone to press. It also listed stallions imported into Australia which had progeny appearing in Volume 1, as well as celebrated horses. Volume 2 appeared in 1866, listing 147 mares and 44 covering stallions, with a further 24 mares and five stallions in an appendix. In spite of great difficulties, Elliot continued to publish his stud book, though he had often to ask for financial aid from the metropolitan clubs. The first six volumes were printed in Nelson, and Volumes 7 and 8 by the Lyttelton Times in Christchurch. Volumes 9 and 10 were printed in Wanganui, the latter by Willis and Elliot. In 1896 the Racing Conference had recommended that metropolitan clubs support the publication of Volume 10 and authorised the president to spend up to 300 on this. This was a change from 1893 when a proposal for such a publication had been rejected because the 300 cost was thought too much for the conference to bear. There was, however, strong pressure for the Racing Conference to publish a stud book, even though in 1895 a subcommittee had recommended compulsory registration of all thoroughbred stock in the Australian Stud Book. (This proposal was strongly criticised, especially in Auckland.) When W. H. E. Wanklyn was appointed secretary, his recommendation to publish a complete New Zealand Stud Book was approved by the conference in 1899. The first volume appeared in 1900 and included most of the entries in Volumes 1 to 10 of Elliot's stud books. The book made money and a second volume followed in 1903, to be continued each three years until 1930 and, thereafter, each four years.
All breeders must send returns of mares and stallions at stud during any season, and foaling and covering returns each season. The fire branding of all foals was made compulsory from 1962 and the register of brands is kept by the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' Association. The latest volume of the New Zealand Stud Book contains the names of 5,358 mares and 298 covering stallions. The cost of publication is met by a levy on all clubs. More recently breeders have been contributing to the cost by way of stud book and annual entry fees.