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Celebrating Gerzanne Arabian Stud

In February 2024, Gerzanne Arabian Stud was inducted into the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition and we are honoured to share their story here in TheArabianMagazine.Com. 

An icon of Australasian breeding, Gerzanne Stud was the first straight Egyptian breeding farm in New Zealand. Founded in 1966 by Sue Spratt, the farm is run with her long-time friend Bev Jones, who came as a manager for the farm’s kiwi harvest one summer and stayed.

SS Tifla -Gerzanne Arabians Sue Spratt Bev Jones
Sue Spratt (centre) with Bev Jones and Gerzanne Arabian Stud’s North Island Championships Champion Purebred SS Tifla

Like so many around the world, the Gerzanne breeding programme began with Crabbet lines. Having begun with breeding ponies, Sue imported the Crabbet stallion Zarife from Australia. Sue fell in love with the charisma and temperament of the purebred Arabian and her focus changed. Gerzanne Stud, as we know it today, was born.

To watch the video inducting Gerzanne Arabian Stud into the Australasian Breeders Coalition Hall of Fame, click here.

Gerzanne’s original foundation mares came from Mrs McLean’s acclaimed Fenwick Stud. Then, in the mid-70s, Sue looked outside of Australasia for a pure-bred stallion to import. This was the moment that the Egyptian Arabian entered their lives, changing the direction of Gerzanne Stud forever, as they went to England and visited Major and Mrs Maxwell’s Lodge Farm Arabian Stud. While she continued to breed Crabbets, Sue’s mind kept thinking back to the elegance of the Egyptian Arabians she had seen at the Maxwells.

Three Crabbet daughters of Suumah, Beenie and Robinia - Farrah, Kalinka and Ibanez
Three Crabbet daughters of Suumah, Beenie and Robinia – Farrah, Kalinka and Ibanez

With Bev having joined Gerzanne, it was an inspiring visit from Simeon Stud’s Marion Richmond to Gerzanne Stud in the mid-1980s that truly changed the course of destiny. In 1988, Sue imported an El Shaklan grandson Simeon Shomer to Gerzanne. “This stallion more than fulfilled our dream,” Sue tells me. “He truly put Gerzanne Stud on the map, through his results in the show-ring as well as his get. It was at this time that I adopted the prefix ‘SS’ for our horses – for Simeon Shomer, as well as Sue Spratt. It is wonderful that the foals being born at Gerzanne today honour Simeon Shomer in this way.”

Simeon Shomer

Simeon Shomer sired numerous National and A class champions and he himself was awarded the 2001 New Zealand National Champion Stallion title. He was honoured with the Elite Roll of Merit for both his halter results and the progeny he produced, many of whom are also Elite Roll of Merit winners.

In 1995, an outcross was sought for Simeon Shomer’s daughters, and Sue again looked to Simeon Stud. “Having dreamed of owning a straight Egyptian stallion for almost 20 years, this vision became a reality as we fell for the Asfour son, Simeon Shemini. He was just three months old, and we knew he was the one for us. ‘Shem’ became an integral part of Gerzanne Stud, and he was, quite simply, the love of my life.”

Simeon Shemini Gerzanne Stud

Three mares from Simeon Stud swiftly followed – Simeon Seviat, Simeon Saharon and Simeon Setami – resulting in, in 1996, Gerzanne Stud becoming the first straight Egyptian stud in New Zealand.

Simeon Seviat
Simeon Seviat

Sue says: “Shem proved to be the exact cross that I had been searching for my whole life, and with the arrival of the Simeon mares, Gerzanne was in the exact position I wanted to be in. From his first foal crop, he produced the stallion SS Barabas, exported to the Royal Stables in Jordan, and SS Mahsaali, crowned New Zealand National Champion Filly in 2000. Simeon Shemini himself was twice named New Zealand National Champion as well as Supreme of Show, and he became the Leading Sire in New Zealand, siring a significant number of National Champion progeny.”

Simeon Setami
Simeon Setami. Credit Samantha Mattocks

In 2004, Sue realised that Gerzanne needed a complete stallion outcross, and they imported TF Fezzan from Talaria Farms in the USA. This decision proved to be significant for the stud, and just five years later, TF Fezzan took the New Zealand National Champion Stallion title with his son, SS Farid awarded Intermediate Reserve Champion Colt alongside his sire.

TF Fezzan
TF Fezzan
The mare groups at Gerzanne Stud remain strong. The last daughter of Simeon Shomer, Rula, who represented five generations of Gerzanne breeding, produced nine daughters by Simeon Shemini. This extraordinary family includes many New Zealand National Champions, as well as SS Abida, an extremely rare maximum Sabino filly and very much one of a kind. Rula herself was awarded the 2014 WAHO Trophy for New Zealand in recognition of her achievements as a dam.Anthony Geyteman, Bev Jones, Robyn Edwards & Sue Spratt w a garlanded SS Abida
Anthony Geyteman, Bev, Robyn Edwards, and Sue with SS Abida
Rula and Bev with the WAHO Trophy
Rula and Bev with the WAHO Trophy

The mare SS Barzani traces back to Robinia, Gerzanne’s first Arabian mare and her daughter SS Bahiya, full sister to SS Barabas, is noteworthy, through her many New Zealand Champion progeny, such as SS Seth, while her daughter, SS Emeera represents the new generation of Gerzanne Stud as they utilise the frozen semen of international stallions such as Emerald J, Shiraz de Lafon and E.S. Harir.

SS Bahiya
SS Bahiya – her daughter, SS Emeera, is the cover horse

One very special mare at Gerzanne is SS Tiflaa, one of three full sisters by TF Fezzan and out of Simeon Setami. “Tiflaa was the star of the stud the moment she was born,” says Sue. “She has an extreme length of neck, an absolutely beautiful head with a large, lustrous eye, and superb movement.” She was named National Champion Mare in 2018, having made the 1,000km journey down to Christchurch in New Zealand’s South Island.

SS Tifla
SS Tiflaa

Her full brother, SS Kais, remains an important stallion at the stud. Despite her now 90 years of age, Sue makes sure she goes to give Kais a carrot or two every night as the sun sets. “We believe that Kais is one of the best colts we have ever bred,” she explains. “From a young age, he had international interest, and he, too, has New Zealand Champion titles to his name.”

SS Kais
SS Kais

Even now, with 58 years of breeding behind them, Gerzanne Stud is still competing. Just last year, SS Sirius, a great-grandson of Rula – and representing eight generations of Gerzanne breeding – was named Reserve New Zealand National Champion.

SS Sirius
SS Sirius

Sue and Bev truly are at the heart of the New Zealand Arabian horse community, and they have been named New Zealand Purebred Breeder of the Year four times. Sue has been recognised by the New Zealand Arabian Horse Society with a Lifetime Achievement Award, and we are now honoured to induct Gerzanne Stud – Sue Spratt and her lifelong friend, Bev Jones – into the Australasian Arabian Breeders’ Hall of Fame. Thank you, Sue and Bev, for your extraordinary vision and devotion to the Arabian breed.

Postscript: Following their induction into the Australasian Arabian Breeders Coalition Hall of Fame, Sue and Bev experienced that extraordinary high and low that so many breeders have. They lost SS Kais in an accident, bringing much heartbreak for them. Just a few days later, SS Sia (TF Fezzan x SS Ari) was named North Island Champion Mare and New Zealand Top Five Mare. SS Sula (Simeon Shemini x Rula) and SS Remus (Zeus x SS Sula) were named Top Five Mare and Gelding respectively.

SS Sula
SS Sula. Credit Unicorn Images Photography

Meanwhile SS Pax (Emerald J x SS Aliha), who is now co-owned with Cyprus Arabians, was North Island Reserve Champion Stallion and New Zealand National Champion Stallion. The life of a breeder goes full circle once more.

SS Pax
SS Pax. Credit Unicorn Images Photography
To watch the video inducting Gerzanne Arabian Stud into the Australasian Breeders Coalition Hall of Fame, click here.
Read more about Gerzanne Arabian Stud in their Breeders’ Interview in The Arabian Breeders’ Magazine.


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