The 58-year history of Haunui Farm has been crafted by three generations of the Chitty family - an aspect of the operation which is a source of great pride to present day studmaster and Managing Director Mark Chitty.
The stud’s founders in 1955 were Mark’s grandparents Geoff and Peg Chitty, with the foundation broodmares having been acquired from the estate of Peg’s late parents. It was one of these mares, Foxona, whose descendants were to leave an indelible imprint on both Haunui Farm and the Chitty family.
In 1955 Geoff and Peg Chitty saw themselves as primarily sheep and cattle farmers indulging thoroughbreds as a hobby. But 20 years on, at the time of Geoff Chitty’s untimely death in 1975, the broodmare band had mushroomed, stallions were in residence and home-breds had become stars of the racetrack.
Haunui continued its operation at Whitford under Ron’s guidance while at the same time expanding the facilities and his own Bloodstock interests at his Pukekawa property. It was in 1981 that Ron and Carolyn Chitty, decided to move to Whitford and purchased the family property. As part of a full-on commercial approach they increased acreage and facilities and set about long-term planning and investment in high quality bloodstock.
The initial stallion Karayar arrived in 1973 and was followed by Ruling in 1974, both of whom were to prove most successful sires. Ron identified that a successful stallion operation was essential to the on-going development of Haunui Farm.
Part of his innovative planning was entering into a joint venture with the neighbouring Ra Ora Stud and Trelawney Stud, to pool resources and actively support the concept of high quality northern hemisphere stallions shuttling to New Zealand for our breeding season.
The joint venture’s trail-blazers in 1995 were Last Tycoon and Bigstone followed by Housebuster, Groom Dancer, Soviet Star, Almutawakel, Marju and Carnegie.
When Ra Ora was dispersed to make way for commercial development Haunui Farm re-assessed its own future and, after careful assessments of options, chose to relocate from Whitford to Karaka in 2010.
The modern day Haunui Farm has been readily recognised as one of New Zealand’s finest thoroughbred nurseries. It embraces all the hopes and aspirations of the Chitty family, supported by a proven record of high quality animal husbandry, meticulous pasture management, friendly client relations and rewarding sale-ring results.