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Three generations


Have shaped the beautiful property we call Mapperley Stud

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A stud with a rich history, Mapperley Stud has been in the Davison family for three generations. Developed for the sole purpose of breeding and raising young thoroughbreds, Mapperley spans over 600 acres of beautiful rolling Waikato country. Large, undulating paddocks are a prime feature at Mapperley and have proven time and time again to be the key ingredient to the success of many great racehorses who have been born and raised on the farm.

Family owned and operated, Mapperley Stud is managed by Simms and Margaux Davison who share an exciting vision to re-establish Mapperley Stud’s stallion roster and return the Matamata based stud to its former position as one of New Zealand’s leading thoroughbred studs.


Mapperley Stud has a great reputation for raising thoroughbreds, So You Think, Dundeel, and Brutal are prime examples, and now Simms Davison, the third generation of his family at the helm of this operation, is heading in a new direction by standing three high-class young sires at the Matamata property. It’s a challenge the former star rugby player is relishing and he can’t wait to see the results.

  Since the turn of the century luminaries such as High Chaparral ’s sons So You Think, a nine-time Gr.1 winner and now Coolmore stallion and the six time Gr.1 winner and Arrowfield sire Dundeel are among those reared on its undulating green pastures.  So are the likes of ATC Doncaster Hcp winner Brutal who has recently been retired to Newgate Stud, AJC Australian Derby-Gr.1 Nom du Jeu, triple Gr.1 winner Sangster, the gutsy warrior Sir Slick, who won six Gr.1 races. While this list, and there are many others, is testimony to Mapperley’s proclivity for growing out young horses, Simms has taken the stud back to the days of having a stallion roster.

  “When I first took over the farm it was all client based and used mainly for rearing young horses, preparing them for the sales and agisting dry mares,” he said. “While we are still very much an agistment farm I’ve been building up my broodmare numbers and I’ve got a nice lot of nice young mares who are well performed on the racetrack. We are starting to see their progeny hit the track so it’s an exciting part of our recent expansion”

  “I felt the next step for me after building up my broodmare band was to begin standing stallions,” Simms said. This new phase in Mapperley’s history began in 2013 when he secured He’s Remarkable. In 2015 that Group-winning son of Pentire was joined by Gr.1 winner Atlante (AUS) (Fastnet Rock),and two further Gr.1 winners, Contributer (IRE) (High Chaparral (IRE)) and Complacent (AUS) (Authorized (IRE)), were added in 2016. The following year, Davison secured Puccini, the Champion 3 year-old son of Encosta De Lago.


In 2022, Mapperley Stud secured the high-class son of Galileo – Armory in partnership with long term associates Windsor Park Stud. With two of the leading Waikato Stud’s behind the young stallion, he went onto become the most popular first season sire in his year. On the back of the success shared with Armory, the two studs joined forces again in 2023 to secure Gr.1 winning son of Deep Impact – Profondo, who stands at Windsor Park Stud.

  “Standing stallions is a large part of our business, but we also find it important to support other studs when they announce new stallions by taking shares and breeding rights in them. It’s great to support other studs as we know its’ a big commitment and it’s hugely important for our industry to have stallion firepower down in New Zealand.”

  Simms is also well aware of the responsibilities he has to the Davison family’s legacy. “It’s been great to come back to such a beautiful property like Mapperley, which has produced so many great horses,” he said. “I was very fortunate to be given the unique opportunity to come home, take over the farm and be able to put my own signature on the place.

  “My father was quick to remind me that I am the third generation of stud masters at Mapperley. The farm has been handed down from my grandparents to my father and to me and hopefully in the years to come I can do the same.”

  John and Doreen Davison founded Mapperley Stud in 1964 on the lush pastures of Matamata in the Waikato region of the north island. With Doreen having been born in England, the Davison’s were regular visitors to the old country and generally returned to New Zealand with a mare of two when running a property on the South Island.

  This practice intensified once they moved north and their astute judgment brought success. Among the notable mares they imported were Some Swallow (GB) by My Swallow (GB), Petwood (GB) by Petingo (GB) and Super Show (GB) by Great Nephew (GB).

When mated with Sound Reason (GB), Some Swallow produced Gr.3 winner Some Reason, who in turn was responsible for ARC New Zealand Derby-Gr.1 winner So Casual, who was by Casual Lies (USA).

  To a joining with Low Row (GB) Petwood foaled WATC Railway Stakes-Gr.1 and BATC Rothmans 100,000-Gr.1 winner Getting Closer, while the mating of Star Way (GB) and Super Show resulted in (Our) Waverley Star. A winner of the AJC Chipping Norton Stakes-Gr.1, Waverley Star was involved in one of the most memorable renewals ever in the MVRC Cox Plate-Gr.1 in 1986 when he went down narrowly to Bonecrusher after they singled out from their rivals 700m from home.

  As the Davison’s were aging their sons Mark and Kit began running the farm, which then spread over some 526ha (1300 acres). With Mark and Kit being young and enthusiastic, they began standing stallions at Mapperley, beginning with Long Row, who was a Gr. 2 winner at Newbury by Linacre. As the 1970s were moving into the 80s the multiple Gr.1-winning Godavari (IRE) horse Little Brown Jug and the New Zealand Derby and STC Canterbury Guineas-Gr.1 winner Ring The Bell, by Rangong (GB), were added to the roster. Then in 1990 the property was split, with Mark “taking the front portion and Kit taking the back part”.

  “A number of other stallions, including Piperhill, Chem and Piazzetta also stood at Mapperley, which led through to Straussbrook, Stylish Century and then Volksraad came here in the 1990s,” Simms said. A winner at Ascot by Green Desert, Volksraad (GB), who began standing in 1994 and died in 2011, sired 640 winners, with 14 of the highly successful sire’s 57 stakes winners scoring at the elite level.

  Mapperley Stud has continued to invest heavily in stallions over the past couple of years and their current roster is one that Simms is very proud of.


“It’s wonderful to have a proven stallion like Contributer spearheading our roster, he’s a proper Gr.1 sire and his performance statistics are very good. It takes a lot of hard work, to get them to this point but it’s tremendously rewarding seeing his offspring perform so well on the track’


“We have supported Armory and Profondo with some of our best mares, add this to fantastic support from the greater industry, both stallions have covered really good books and they have been given an excellent platform to be successful. It’s a truly exciting time for our stud as we look forward to the next wave of Mapperley graduates to hit the ractrack’


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