Tors Rattray with Galileo CSNZ (Grand Slam VDL/Lansing/Oldenburg) a Cheleken Equestrian-bred colt who won one of two NZWA Tour excellence awards that came to the sisters this year. Photo by Cheleken Equestrian

Cheleken Equestrian, co-sponsors of the Cheleken Equestrian and UltraMox Six-Year-Old Series

It’s fair to say Ana and Tors Rattray are all about horses.

The sisters from Mangatangi live and breathe breeding, raising and producing young horses at Cheleken Equestrian. It’s been a lifelong commitment and one they aren’t likely to step away from any time soon. The stud has a long history of breeding ponies, thoroughbreds and New Zealand sport horses, having been established in 1977 and moving to their current North Waikato base in 2006.

It was an easy decision to step in to co-sponsor the six-year-old series. “We love the satisfaction that comes with breeding, raising and producing young jumpers through to competition stage,” says Ana. “We are also very much aware and recognised the skill, horsemanship, patience and hard work it involves, so it felt appropriate to support those who were successfully producing young showjumpers.”

Between the sisters they have more than 60 years combined experience in breeding, training and educating both horses and riders through Cheleken Equestrian. They love nothing more than watching the stars of the future as they start their journeys in the sport. “If you run a horse business and your passion is not 110% for the love and welfare of horses, then you are in the wrong business,” says Ana.

Ana and Tors currently run a small group of broodmares, breeding between four and six foals a year using both New Zealand Stallions and imported frozen semen. “It’s a process that involves much research, understanding and consideration of dam lines and a tiny bit of intuition,” says Ana. During this year’s NZWA Tour Cheleken received two excellence awards – one for the colt Galileo CSNZ (Grand Slam VDL/Lansing/Oldenburg) ( pictured ) and also for Fanciful CSNZ (Lincoln GNZ/Voltaire II), a Broodmare purchased as a youngster from Tegan and Christine Fitzsimon.

Ana and Tors were keen to acknowledge and thank everyone who supported their business, alongside all who sponsor the sport. “Riders should remember just how important it is to thank sponsors large and small, for their contribution to our sport. Without that financial input, our sport just wouldn’t exist. A simple thank you email takes all of five minutes but means so much to those receiving it.”

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By Diana Dobson

3 June 2020