New Zealand Post has celebrated the Chinese Lunar Calendar with a stamp issue since 1997. For 2002 Year of the Horse - New Zealand's Group One Winners, we featured six superstars of New Zealand racing.
Horse racing begain in New Zealand shortly after Europeans first settled here. Since then it has become an important part of our national life, bringing us success on an international scale. So, what better horses were there to feature in this issue than our champion gallopers and trotters?
The stamps featured six of our most successful racehorses of recent years. Along with Christian Cullen, a household name with all sports fans, the line-up included Lyell Creek, Yulestar, the magnificent mare Sunline, Ethereal and Zabeel - all true champions in every sense of the word. The fantastic action shots on these stamps really captured the grace and beauty of the equine athlete.
Standardbreds and Thoroughbreds
Thoroughbreds first reached New Zealand in 1840 and race meetings were held that year. Since then, they have competed successfully world-wide, particularly in Australia, contributing to a multi-million dollar export trade.
Harness racing, which had its origins in bygone days when buggy drivers travelling in the same direction began competing, was slower to make its debut. However, New Zealand standardbreds have competed successfully on the harness racing international stage.
The Typical Horse Personality
People born in the Year of the Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990 and 2002) are spirited and independent, cheerful, skilful and perceptive. The Chinese associate the horse with energy, happiness, confidence and success.
Sheets and Gutter Pairs
Bringing these lively and action-packed images together in sheets of 25 created real impact. Horizontal gutter pairs with the striking Year of the Horse image were also available. Highly visual, these sheets and pairs made attractive collectables.
Our miniature sheet incorporated the $1.30 and $1.50 stamp.
Product Listing for 2002 Year of the Horse - New Zealand's Group One Winners
Click on image to enlarge.
|Date of issue:||7 February 2002|
|Number of stamps:||Six|
|Denominations and designs:||40c Christian Cullen, 80c Lyell Creek, 90c Yulestar, $1.30 Sunline, $1.50 Ethereal, $2.00 Zabeel|
|Stamps and first day cover designed by:||Kevin Dunkely of Wellington|
|Miniature sheet and first day cover miniature sheet designed by:||Kevin Dunkely|
|Lunar illustration:||Lindy Fisher, Auckland|
|Printer and process:||Southern Colour Print, Dunedin by offset lithography|
|Number of colours:||Four process colours plus one special|
|Stamp size and format:||30mm x 40mm (horizontal)|
|Paper type:||103gsm red phosphor coated litho stamp paper|
|Number of stamps per sheet:||25 stamps plus one strip of 5 gutter images|
|Special blocks:||Plate/imprint blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least six stamps from a sheet. Barcode, value blocks and logo blocks could be obtained by purchasing at least two stamps from a sheet. Barcode blocks were available in both A and B formats for sheet stamps.|
|Period of sale:||These stamps remained on sale until 6 February 2003.|