John was a passionate advocate for the NZRC and envisaged it being available to all, no matter what horse they rode or their circumstances. He became National President at the AGM at Amberley Park Auckland after Scal Sweetman and Patron following the death of Brian Pyke, in 1986.

He attended every AGM until declining health prevented this and then maintained his interest through e-mails. Likewise NITE competitions were supported and he often did some judging for the Housekeeping and Uniformity Award.  In 1996 he donated the Quadrille Artistic Content Trophy for NITE.

In 1991 he was presented with a Life Membership badge at the National AGM in Taupo.

John joined the Wanganui Riding Club in the1982/3 season in the early days of the NZRC which was established in November 1980.  He found his special horse, a chestnut gelding called Rusty, after several attempts trying less suitable horses.    He rode mainly for Pleasure but did go to the Waverley Hunt, a McIntosh Riding Course and gained his first red ribbon at the Waverley (Carlyle) A & P Show. He gained Level 1 and 2 NZRC Proficiency Certificates under the watchful eye of Brian Pyke. Rusty did participate in one NITE event at Lichfield but was ridden by Sandy (John’s wife)

In 1989 they moved to Taranaki and John was asked to help the fledgling New Plymouth Riding Club grow and move forward, and later the Opunake Club had his guidance and help. He retained a very strong interest in all activities until the end.

Thank you John for all your many contributions and super long association with the NZRC at all levels.

John with Christine on left and Jane and Sandy at NITE 2017


Saturday 13th June

(Noeline Jeffries)


To action the Advertising  & Promotion Profile that both Judy Williams and I had offered to undertake on behalf of the NZRC at the last AGM held in June, it was agreed that we hold a stall at the Cambridge Equestrian Market Day held on Saturday 13th June at the Cambridge Trotting Club.

Denise Rewi couriered over caps, tee shirts, badges,  and laminated photographs from Hastings where the the last stall was held at the Horse of the Year .  The pull-up banner which we recently had made and the brochures, completed the items for display on this stall.  The Pull-up banner did look great as you can see from the photograph.

On the Saturday morning I drove to Judy’s place and loaded the boxes of items into Judy’s car and when we arrived I realised that I had left one of the boxes at home so had to quickly phone john who kindly brought the box of items over for us.

There was a good attendance at this market day and we were able to catch up on lots of people that we had not seen for ages including Fay and John Flintoff from Otorohanga.  John used to be our President many years ago.

There was a reasonable amount of interest in the Riding Club, also queries about Bridleways.  I took names and addresses of those who were genuinely interested and put them in contact with their  local Riding Clubs ie Cambridge and H.O.R.S.E. Club.   I handed on the contacts of those interested in Bridleways to Bev Birkett.   All those interested were also given brochures.

In summing up, I would suggest that if it is agreed that we hold another stall, that we only hold this type of stall annually as the cost of $90, although reasonable, needs to be considered as to whether or not it is worthwhile.

Unveiling Ceremony of War Horse Commemorative Memorial

 New Zealand horses that endured terrible suffering in war were finally given the national recognition they deserve on Saturday. The Official Unveiling of the War Horse Statue on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, which signifies Armistice Day was particularly poignant. 2017 marks 99 years since the end of WW1 and this year’s Armistice was uniquely held at Hamilton’s stunning Memorial Park in order to incorporate the unveiling. At a time when there is public anxiety about the potential for international conflict, acknowledging those who died in war 100 years ago still had a relevance people can relate to today. The assemblage of the Padre, the RSA, the bugle player, the bagpiper, the Waikato Mounted Rifles, the band, the cadets and the people of Hamilton who all came to the cenotaph to ‘remember’ created a strongly atmospheric service.
After the minute’s silence was held the crowd gathered in front of the statue which was flanked on each side by four stoic and sombre horses, creating a feeling of ‘brothers in arms’ and made a very moving scene. Together, Noeline Jeffries, Ngapare Hopa, Richard Stowers, and Major (Rtd) Simon Marriott unveiled the statue and Don Oliver, the Padre gave a blessing. With the formalities over, the band played on, from under a magnificent old oak tree. The river flowed by, the sun shone and the council served tea and baking. Fred Pilling and his awe-inspiring team of Clydesdales pulling a one and a half ton WW1 artillery gun paraded past one more time. People leisurely acquainted themselves with the “big, awesome, bronze war horse”, mingled with others in the crowd and enjoyed the day.

Noeline Jeffries

Noeline has won  the Hanleys Heros in the NZ Horse and Pony magazine.

Noeline is a well known member of the NZ Equestrian community. In 2012 Rodney Martin approached Noeline, asking if the NZ Equestrian community was going to commemorate the contribution of the horses in WW1 and donated some funds to start the ball rolling.

Noeline has organised commemorative parades on ANZAC day and  held ribbon days in Hamilton. In 2015 Noeline with the help of former Mayor of Hamilton, Margret Evans,  set up the War Horse Commemorative Board and raised $240,000. She has commissioned former defence artist Matt Goldie to create a life sized bronze war horse that will be installed in Memorial Park in central Hamilton. The unveiling will be on Armistice Day 11/11/2017 and will be followed by a free public event to honour the 10,000 horses that left New Zealand shores, with only 4 returning home.

Sadly Rodney (see below) passed away last year but Noeline communicated with him and he knew all her plans.

Noelines commitment and results are incredible.

Well done Noeline!!

We at NZRC are so very lucky, proud and blessed to know you and have you working with us.

A Short report from Noeline.

Rodney Wallace Martin:

It is with sadness that I let you all know that Rodney Martin died on 16th of this month.

He battled bone cancer and his death leaves me quite sad because I have written to him regularly ever since he first wrote a letter to the NZ Riding Club and it was printed in their RRU.

Rodney was very concerned that not enough had been done to remember the Fallen Horses in the World Wars both First World War and Boer War.

As you know I replied to him and as a result the War Horse Memorial fundraising was started to Commemorative the War Horses with plans to build one and gift it to the people of the Nation  and Rodney ‘kick started’ this fundraising with a very generous donation of $5,000.00.

After falling from the roof of his house several years ago now, Rodney admitted himself to Landsdown Court Rest Home in Masterton where he resided until his death.

He was always interested in the progress of the War Horse and always sent me clippings of news regarding animals mainly horses and horse events in the Wairarapa area.

I had plans  to visit him this week  but had to cancel my plans when I found out he had died recently so just as well I did not make the 6 hour trip which I was going to do.

He will be remembered as the person who ‘triggered the War Horse Memorial and will be sited in Memorial Park,  Hamilton’.  I will ensure that he is remembered at the Unveiling Ceremony next year.  He will definitely be in the Book of Memories.