Horselands and Chevalier - 100% New Zealand family owned and operated. Proudly providing a wide range of quality equestrian and lifestyle products for over 40 years.
1975 - 1980
It all started in 1975, after Rod Simpson returned to Auckland, having worked for some years for Europe’s most famous riding apparel manufacturer, “Harry Hall”. Rod is convinced New Zealand can manufacture riding apparel to world quality standards and together with his brother Jim, Chevalier is created.
The company is named “Cheval” (French for horse), but due to difficulty in obtaining this company name, it is later changed to Chevalier.
Caulders Saddlery and a cut measure and trim business called Allenco are acquired, enabling a skilled workforce, some of whom are still with the company today.
A collaboration with Auckland knitting mills results in the local production of world leading innovative 4 way stretch nylon fabric for jodhpurs. Chevalier is ready to go and sales boom, especially of jodphurs with this new fabric.
1980 - 1990
A large new factory and showroom is set up at 399 New North Rd Kingsland, employing over 50 people. All things equestrian are manufactured, including saddles and horse tack.
Jodhpurs are made under license for European brands such as Georg Schumacher and local fashion labels.
Supplies are sourced from 22 different countries, which is not easy with the requirement of “hard to get” import licenses.
Chevalier Equestrian becomes the largest equestrian wholesaler in New Zealand, supplying all major retailers and exporting to Australia, the USA and Japan to name a few. A distribution base is set up in Australia.
1990 – 2000
New Zealand manufacturing comes under pressure from imports and production is reduced.
National Feildays works very well for the company. The farming community appreciates the quality of Chevalier moleskins and Dricoat oilskins. To this date Chevalier and Horselands have visitors to their Fieldays site who relate stories of how their Dad still will not give up his Chevalier Dricoat Oilskin, so they need a new one for themselves.
Chevalier kits out the successful New Zealand Olympic three-day event team at the 1996 Altanta Olympics.
Chevalier enters the retail market with Horselands stores opening in Hamilton, Takanini, Kumeu, Tauranga and Northshore.
2000 - 2010
In 2003 employees become shareholders, as the business faces more pressure from imports and Rod Simpson retires. Horselands Silverdale becomes owner operated. The Takanini store relocates to Drury.
In 2006 Chevalier and Horselands are taken over by a mother and daughter duo, one with a passion for horses, animals and everything retail and the other experienced in the global corporate world and keen to build a sustainable New Zealand business with less travel. The family culture endures and staff remain.
2007 saw Kumeu Grain being purchased, adding further equine and stock feed to the customer experience.
The business goes online with Chevalier.co.nz developed for wholesale customers and Horselands.co.nz launched for online retail sales.
2010 - 2020
With new landlords at Kingsland, Chevalier moves its factory and flagship Auckland store to extended premises at Horselands Kumeu Grain in Kumeu. The factory equipment is relocated, as is the capability with key employees from the 1970’s also relocating to Kumeu.
The original factory still operates albiet in a very reduced scale, Many Auckland businesses seek out the Kumeu factory for bespoke items while there is still a healthy demand for items such as Chevalier Dricoat Souwester hats and show rugs.
Horselands extends its presence at Horse of the Year and Equidays while continuing with National Fieldays.
Horselands becomes the major supplier of Bates saddles and Mark Corner becomes a CAIR/HART specialist.
The 2nd generation family member, who has been immersed in Horselands since she was 2 years old, starts working to support the team.
The team at Horselands all share a love for horses and animals, they are chosen to provide a wide range of knowledge. Amongst the Horselands whanau you will find saddle fitters, pony club instructors, jockeys, vet nurses, grooms, competitors, trainers and judges all keen to help you source the best products for your needs.
The Horselands Vision is to provide a world class shopping experience, in a sustainable, caring and New Zealand focused way.