Denny Baker first went to work for John Malcolm at KINROSS STUD on June 16th 1969. At the time the Champion Australasian stallion Summertime was standing at Kinross. He was Dewar Stallion Trophy and Champion sire on several occasions.

In 1974 the property changed hands by which time Denny had become the Stud Master.

Summertime, Dewar Stallion Trophy winner,  the Sir Tristram of his era.
Summertime, Dewar Stallion Trophy winner, the Sir Tristram of his era.

After several years, Denny and his wife Lyn decided to go out on their own and purchased a small property, 50 acres of bare land, on the Eastern side of State Highway One, about 1.5kms down the road from Kinross and so established Hallmark Stud. 

In the ensuing years Hallmark Stud established a strong reputation in Breaking, Weaning, Breeding and Sales preparation. 

Multiple group winning graduates are testimony to this. "Diamond Lover", "Carsons Cash", "Lycra", "Kingdom Bay", "Cosmetique" to name but a few.  In 1989 the business had outgrown the original Hallmark Stud property, hence more land was required. The old Kinross property had just come on the market.

The opportunity presented was too good to miss. So it was purchased combining with son Mark's desire to pursue a vocation dedicated to the Thoroughbred industry. Whilst gaining several years experience with various Studs, Stables and Bloodstock Agencies throughout the world, Mark had also spent 18 months with the legendary Dr. Vincent O'Brien as his assistant, at the reputable 'Ballydoyle', County Tipperary, Ireland. Now the base of the all conquering Aidan O'Brien/Coolmore team. 

For some years the property had been run as a dry stock farm prior to Denny, Lyn and Mark Baker purchasing it, which was a positive, as the land and pastures had been rested of horses, enabling the Hallmark Stud operation to move on to a very "clean" farm. Even today sheep and cattle play a big part in the up-keep and care of the pastures. 

Kinross Stud in the 1960's
Kinross Stud in the 1960's

In 2012, a bare 60 acre block on the southern boundary of the stud, was purchased. This block had never had a horse on it but just this year saw the completion of it being totally re-fenced in Magnum horse safe material, new troughs, a water system, a one kilometre raceway and a re-grassing program set in place. 

2013 also saw the acquisition of the exciting young, three times Group 1 winner, " SUPER EASY". He arrived on the farm on the 17th September, where he covered a quality book of mares. 2020/21 saw one of his best seasons date headlined by four individual stakes winners.

The stud comprises 260 fertile rolling acres, with a two kilometre tree-lined driveway winding it's way through the farm, allowing  convenient access to all paddocks. 30 stables, covered serving barn-lungeing ring, safe colts yards, undercover vet-crush, 24 hour mare and foal unit. 

The Stud offers the complete range of services, backed up by decades of experience, including breeding, foaling, weaning, rearing, agistment and sales preparation. We also offer a walk in/walk out service of mares to outside stallions. Whilst Breaking and Pre-training was a large part of the farm's success, we now send our graduates out to recognised experts in those respective fields.

Located on State Highway One, half-way between Auckland and Hamilton, making it only 40 minutes drive to each of these two Cities and just 25 minutes from the New Zealand Bloodstock, Karaka Complex. We welcome visitors by appointment only. 

Autumn view of the lake at Hallmark
Autumn view of the lake at Hallmark