With over 50 staff and offices, stables and/or depots in Auckland, Cambridge, Matamata, Palmerston North, Bulls, Christchurch and Invercargill, we can provide the best care in safe environments for your horse. Animal welfare is incredibly important to us. We are dedicated to providing the best comfort to your horse during transit and a stress-free experience for both you and your horse.
Our entire team of reluctant heroes and horse whisperers are passionate about horses, the industry and what we’re doing here at Majestic. We are completely invested in what we do and we are experts at transporting horses to and from anywhere. Our fully trained and incredibly experienced team have the capacity to serve our clients 24/7.
Most of our team have been with us for many years. Some staff have been in the business for over 40-years, you simply can’t buy this kind of experience.
It’s our genuine care and experience that sets us apart and makes all the difference to our clients, both horses and humans.
Majestic have a proud 80+ year history of successfully transporting horses around New Zealand. Since Majestic’s incorporation in 1938, Majestic Horse Floats has grown to be the largest equine transport company in New Zealand.
Majestic was started in 1938 with Sam Brown who had two horse floats in Awapuni, Palmerston North. Jack Muir was a trainer at Awapuni Racecourse at the time and purchased Majestic off of Sam, Jack Muir also had a workshop on Long Milford Road in Awapuni where he maintained the floats. Over the 6 years he owned Majestic, Jack Muir continued to grow the business and Majestic ended up with half a dozen floats.
Jack Muir was in a partnership with Arthur Fell for a stallion they owned together in 1952 called “Taloch”. Arthur’s son – Gerald, recalls a trip with driver Len Crawford in one of the first articulated Bedford trucks. Gerald said “At one point, driving down dessert road, the truck had to stop and reverse to get around the corner!”. Apparently, when the trucks had a full load and had to go uphill Gerald said he could “walk faster than the truck!”. The Fell family has been using Majestic for over 70 years and continues to do so.
In the 1970’s Majestic was purchased by Bill Reeves who was based in Hastings. Bill had recently returned from the war and owned a large general carrying business there as well as the horse floats. Bill’s old employer – Dave Walker gave him a couple of licences to drive horse trucks (which were hard to get in those days) and started Bill off.
Bill Reeves eventually decided to expand Majestic and purchased Cunningham’s, this meant Majestic now covered Otaki, Palmerston North and Hastings. When Bill purchased Cunningham’s, he met John Kenny who had been working for Cunningham’s since 1974. John was then put in charge of managing all of the transport coming out of Otaki.
In 1981 the market was saturated with horse transport companies so Bill made the decision to purchase Self Source Horse Transport which was based in Te Awamutu, so John was moved from Otaki to manage the Te Awamutu operations. Majestic did a lot of work for Bill and Graeme Sanders at the time, they had over 100 horses in work, this was huge at the time and was a massive learning curve for John who says that Bill Sanders had “a huge influence” oh his career.
In 1983 Bill continued to expand Majestic and made the decision to purchase Thoroughbred Horse Transport who were based in the Waikato and Auckland. At the same time, Bill brought White Star horse transport off Jack Stormont- on Melbourne cup day. Jack’s daughter, Lorraine still works at Majestic today!
After these purchases Bill sent John Kenny to manage all of the transport coming out of Auckland. The Majestic head office was relocated to Takanini in 1989 and also signalled a time to upgrade a tiring fleet. By the late 80’s, Bill had also established depots in both Christchurch and Invercargill.
Sadly, Bill Reeves passed away in 1992 and in 1996 The Kenny’s purchased 50% of Majestic off of Bills family. A major upgrade of vehicles was underway by this stage and boasted a modern well maintained fleet of 17 trucks and numerous trailers of varying sizes. John purchased the remaining 50% shareholding in 2003 and through his expertise in the Takanini workshop offered a truck building and conversion service to the equine industry.
After John brought out the remainder of Majestic, he decided to take a huge risk and held an auction at the Takanini depot. At this auction, John sold all of Majestics old equipment and trucks and used the money to fund brand new Nissan trucks and update all of Majestics gear.
Shortly after this, Nationwide Horse Transport was started up in Auckland and Christchurch by Pacer Kerridge. Nationwide purchased 4 brand new trucks at once and even poached some of Majestics staff. Pacer arranged for John to come and see their new trucks and told him that they were going to “run Majestic out of town”. However, Nationwide failed to deliver and Majestic started to win back their customers. John says “If you are on time and have good communication you will be successful, that’s what I’ve always prided my company on”. Eventually, Nationwide faded away and John managed to purchase their brand new trucks off them- for cost price.
After this, Majestic was going well but Interisland Horse Transport and another Nationwide started up, so between them it became a fight to get customers. John was good friends with Neil Pilcher who owned Interisland at the time and John asked if he would be interested in selling. Neil told John he was “mad”- among other things, and declined. However, a few years later in 2007 John got what he wanted and purchased Interisland off Neil. Along with Interisland, came its staff which strengthened Majestic enormously. Neil’s Daughter; Leanne still works in the Majestic Christchurch office today.
After this acquisition Majestic started to get all of the interisland and airport work, this on top of the increasing number of staff and drivers made a huge difference. Because of this, John was able to buy out Woodville Horse Floats in 2012 and another Nationwide in 2013.
In 2016 Castlerock partners, approached John and asked if he would be interested in selling. John mentioned his family were builders so they weren’t interested in taking over Majestic, therefore “it made sense to sell”. Castlerock are a private equity firm who invest in firms that they believe will be great Kiwi businesses for years to come. John remains on as a director and Ward Austin began in 2016 as the new CEO to manage the day to day running of Majestic. Castlerock’s purchase of Majestic has allowed for ongoing investment into expanding facilities and resources which allows for continued growth and reinforcement as New Zealand’s leading equine transport provider.
Today Majestic dominate the industry with over 50 staff and a fleet of over 35 transporters, ranging from 7-horse to 15-horse capacities. Two of Majestics original drivers; Grant Mclean and Dave Ruff still work for Majestic today and have over 40 years’ experience each. Majestic have ultimately grown because they understand the financial and emotional investment that clients have in their horses, whether it’s a beloved family pony or a multi-million dollar race horse we treat them all with the same care. Majestic’s rich 80+ year history has provided the company with a wealth of industry knowledge, experience and expertise that is second to none.
-Many thanks to Gerald Fell and John Kenny for sharing Majestic’s history