At HR Fisken & Sons, business really is all in the family. Generations of Fiskens have been racing horses, three generations have been producing quality horse feed and that combination is one pedigree that’s hard to beat!
The family pedigree
The family owes its racing lineage to Bob (‘Fuff’) Fisken, who started his business life as butcher in Gisborne and went on to become a successful stock buyer, sending off mobs of up to 5000 sheep on the epic journey all the way from Gisborne to Morrinsville for selling.
Fuff had a life-long passion for racing, setting up the Gisborne Trotting Club and fast becoming the uncrowned king of Poverty Bay racing. He made his mark as a star harness horseman on the NZ racing scene with his mighty American-bred stallion Peterwah. This famous trotter was one of the greatest square-gaiters ever raced in NZ, winning the Dominion Handicap at Addington in 1926, and bagging a place in racing history as the first trotter to get to 4.30 for the 2 mile event.
The birth of HR Fisken & Sons
The legacy continued with Fuff’s son, Harold (‘Chappy’) Fisken who farmed a block of land on the shores of Lake Rotorua before buying the family farm at Pukekohe in the early 1950s. Chappy trained and drove winning trotters such as Faux Pas, Knighthood, Zakariah and Pukepoto and when his mates wanted to know the secret to his successes…he started selling them his favourite basic feed. Very quickly he saw this as an opportunity to make and sell good quality racehorse feed and the rest is history.
As demand snowballed, Chappy’s sons would return from school to find their bedrooms full of oats! However, before long new buildings and silos had sprung up at the family farm.
In 1957, HR Fisken & Sons was officially born.
As good now as it was back then
Today the family feed business in Pukekohe has continued through two generations, Firstly by Chappy’s eldest son Graham and more recently, the reins have been passed to his grandson, John. From humble beginnings, Fiskens has expanded to supply 12 specialised horse mixes, as well as calf, chicken, goat and dairy feeds.
The person in the saddle may have changed, but Chappy’s commitment to the best lives on. John and HR Fisken & Sons continue to supply superior stockfood just as they did in 1957…albeit with a few modern additions. These days John makes use of computerised technology and every feed is designed by an expert nutritionist making it as good now as it was back then!