Commemorating New Zealand War horses…

On 25 April 2016 we mark the 101st anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli. There were many brave men who fought in this war, and

How many NZ horses went to war?

Between 1914 and 1916, the NZ government acquired over 10,000 horses for the New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Before these horses were sent overseas, they were examined in remount depots based in Christchurch, Palmerston North, Dunedin and the Hutt Valley. Here the horses were classified for either troop work (riding), artillery (draught and heavy draught) or transport (pack).

Where were the horses sent?

Nearly all of the 10,000 horses were deemed fit to be sent overseas. They were transported by boat to locations where NZ soldiers served – German Samoa, Gallipoli, the Middle East and on the Western Front. New Zealand Veterinary Corps attended the transportation of the horses to ensure their care on the long journeys.

How did the horses help our troops?

These brave horses were essential to pull heavy guns, to transport weapons and supplies, to carry the wounded and dying to hospital and to mount cavalry charges.

What happened after the war?

Like the men they fought beside, not all of our horses survived the War. Due to transportation shortages and quarantine restrictions, very few made it back to NZ either. Those that were healthy and well were sold on to help alleviate transportation shortages or kept to use by the British Army.

ANZAC Races at Trentham

Trentham has a long history with the New Zealand Armed Forces, serving as both an army camp and a hospital during both World Wars and hosting farewell lunches for troops leaving New Zealand to join the campaign overseas. This April, Wellington Racing Club is hosting an ANZAC raceday to pay tribute to our fallen heroes. Head along to Trentham Racecourse this April 23 to honour the 101 year anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli.

To find out more about NZ war horses, visit


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