Keeping things in the family is one of the traditions of Haunui Farm, including veterinary services.
Not only is Mark Chitty (BVSc) studmaster and Managing Director, he is also the resident vet providing a 24-hour service. Before taking up his managerial role in the family business he was with the Auckland Veterinary Centre at Takanini, founded by Dr Charles Roberts and Dr Andrew Grierson in 1985.
An expert in animal reproductive medicine, Charles Roberts began his association with the Chitty family during the formative years of Haunui Farm, but in even earlier days he tended horse’s owned by Mark’s great grandfather Ernest James Schofield and his great grandmother Winifred.
With this long association Charles Roberts is almost a family member himself and was definitely an influence on Mark’s career path.
Though he had a love of thoroughbreds, Ernest Schofield made his mark with mechanical horse power as General Motors’ leading New Zealand dealer based in Newmarket. To help defend New Zealanders from a possible Japanese invasion in the 1940s he designed a tank, weighing 6.75 ton and powered by an 83.5 horsepower Chevrolet engine.
When British and American models hit our shores it never got into production. But full marks for patriotism.
However, his services to thoroughbred racing have been everlasting due to one critical decision, to ignore Foxona’s inability to win a race and have faith in her as a broodmare.
Also a man true to his opinions, Charles Roberts has been rewarded by being honoured as both Thoroughbred Breeder of the Year and Standardbred Breeder of the Year – a feat unlikely to ever be matched. His advice, contribution and support especially in stallion selection and purchase has been invaluable to Haunui Farm’s development.