Racehorses

New Zealand and horse racing are old acquaintances. The first thoroughbred named Figaro arrived in the country in 1840. However, the first recorded race in New Zealand was in 1835 in the Bay of Islands.

Issue information

The “Sport of Kings” is a well recognised feature of New Zealand life. The big meetings attract huge crowds and generate much excitement with harness racing also making a big impact along with the more established gallops. The horse racing industry that employs tens of thousands of people and New Zealand-bred yearlings attract buyers from around the world and bring in millions of dollars in export earnings annually. Six of the country's more recent crowd-pleasers were featured in this special Racehorses stamp issue.

A special miniature sheet booklet was produced in conjunction with the stamp issue incorporating seven miniature sheets - six of which contained one of the six stamps from the issue with the seventh containing all six of the Racehorse stamps.

Miniature Sheets

Seven miniature sheets, six incorporating one of the stamps from this issue and one incoroprating all six stamps were produced as part of a special miniature sheet booklet.

Limited Edition

A miniature sheet that incorporated all six stamps from the Racehorses stamp issue was produced for inclusion in a special Limited Edition collectors pack. Each sheet was individually numbered in gold ink (0001 to 2000) and gold foiled with the words 'Racehorses - Limited Edition'.

Product listing for Racehorses 

Click on image to enlarge.

Image Title Description Price
Single Stamp

Single 40c 'Kiwi' gummed stamp.

A memorable, storming run from the back of the field to win the 1993 Melbourne Cup assured Kiwi of legendary status.

$0.40
Single Stamp

Single 80c 'Rough Habit' gummed stamp.

Well-travelled internationally, Rough Habit was Horse of the Year in 1992 and 1995 and has won more than $5 million - more than any other New Zealand racehorse.

$0.80
Single Stamp

Single $1.00 'Blossom Lady' gummed stamp.

Blossom Lady has so far paced her way to 43 career wins and earnings of $1.3 million, the most by any harness racing mare in Australasia.

$1.00
Single Stamp

Single $1.20 'Il Vicolo' gummed stamp.

The 1995 Harness Horse of the Year, Il Vicolo, a four year old and still racing, already has some memorable victories to his credit including the New Zealand Derby-Great Northern Derby double and the New South Wales Derby. Recently Il Vicolo won the New Zealand Cup-Air New Zealand Free For All double.

$1.20
Single Stamp

Single $1.50 'Horlicks' gummed stamp.

Horlicks had already established a proud record in Australasia before lining up in the 1989 Japan Cup. Her victory in that event elevated her to greatness.

$1.50
Single Stamp

Single $1.80 'Bonecrusher' gummed stamp.

A horse that caught the imagination of the entire country with some stunning victories from 1985-1988, Bonecrusher will be remembered most for a wonderful win in Melbourne’s 1986 Cox Plate.

$1.80
First Day Cover  First day cover with stamps affixed. Cancelled on the first day of issue. $6.95
Miniature Sheet Booklet This colourful booklet contained 28 pages, including seven souvenir stamp sheets in miniature sheet format and a wealth of information about horse racing and the horses.  $13.40
Limited Edition Limited Edition collectable containing exclusive stamp products not available anywhere else. $135.00

Technical information

Date of issue: 24 January 1996
Designer: BNA Design, Wellington, New Zealand
Printer: Joh Enschedé, Netherlands
Stamp size: 40mm x 28mm; Miniature Sheet Size: 99mm x 124mm
Sheet size: 100 stamps per sheet; Miniature sheets of one and six stamps
Process: Lithography
Perforation gauge: 14.25 x13.75
Paper type: Red phosphor coated, unwatermarked
Period of sale: These stamps remained on sale until 24 January 1997.