Standardbred Breeding at Alert Level 4

The breeding season is officially upon us as of September 1, and with the Auckland Region remaining at Alert Level 4 for the time being, this presents some challenges for a sector that is incredibly time sensitive.

MPI has confirmed that Equine Breeding has been deemed an essential service.

Stud farms and veterinary practices conducting breeding services are to continue at Alert Level 4, and will operate on a business as usual basis with the obvious physical distancing and other restrictions applying.

It is expected that some breeders in the Level 4 affected areas will be foaling or having mares scanned and served at home.

Your local Vet will be well versed in the appropriate Alert Level protocols, however please be mindful of the environment you expect them to enter, and mitigate any obvious risks prior to their arrival. You will need to be familiar and comply with the Government requirements for the Alert Level where you are based. The requirements for the Alert Levels are shown here

The following exert from the NZ Veterinary Association outlines :

All welfare related veterinary breeding activity needs to be conducted within the framework of disease transmission reduction; like physical distancing from stud personnel and reduction of human to human aerosol passage.

Standardbred Breeding at Alert Level 3

At Alert Level 3, equine veterinarians can continue to provide a full range of veterinary services including breeding activity.

This must be within the safety framework where workers and members of the public are kept safe, per the government directive.

Services are NOT divided on welfare versus non-welfare basis.

Horse Movements

It is imperative breeders abide by strict government COVID guidelines and regulations to ensure the safety of our people and welfare of our horses.

It is encouraged where possible you use a commercial transporter to move mares to and from farms as there are strict rules around the movement of people.

If this is not feasible, animal welfare is paramount and the breeder can transport the mare to a stud or breeding base to foal and/or be served.

The New Zealand Government has been very clear that there will be no inter-regional travel unless people have a travel exemption. Applications for exemptions are open and you can apply for your travel exemption at the link here 

Yearling Sales Inspections

NZB Standardbred are back on the road at Alert Level 3 with the inspection of yearlings entered in the 2022 sale underway once more.

Entries for the forthcoming sales catalogue closed on the 1st of August and just as the inspections were gaining some momentum, the two week lockdown at Level 4 understandably ground things to a halt.

With the Auckland and Northland regions remaining at Level 4 for at least a further week, no inspections will be taking place until such time as a drop in alert level.

Cam Bray is on the road in Canterbury at present and will be working his way down to the deep south in the coming weeks.

Vendors and preparers are asked to follow the strict Covid protocols in place and wear a mask at all times.


The 2021/22 foal crop is set to become the first in the history of the New Zealand studbook to be formally registered with the studbook by microchipping only.

With the new Horse Identification (HI) season (approximately October to March) almost upon us HRNZ has been looking at the ability of its contractors under the various Covid Alert Levels to provide this service .

What is clear is that the microchipping process can only happen at levels 1 & 2, which at this stage will create a delay to the start of the identification season, particularly in the North Island.

We will stay in touch with breeders regarding any updates.


Related Category News

25 July 2024

HRNZ breeding announcements

Harness Racing New Zealand is announcing some important changes to its breeding bonus schemes.

22 July 2024

Alabar's new breeding initiative

Leading stud Alabar is "gifting" 30 of its mares to breeders around the country.