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Stories of Standardbreds, Part IV: Witch Hazel

In the next installment on Standardbreds, we meet Witch Hazel, a nurse mare foal who has a bright future ahead of her.

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

If you have been paying any attention to Standardbreds over the past several years, you have undoubtedly seen pictures of Brielle Roman. Brielle is passionate about Standardbreds and helping them to transition into riding careers. She is even known as the “Standardbred Whisperer” for her unique ability to get Standardbreds to canter under saddle, which is no mean feat. 

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

Brielle has an unraced and unregistered Standardbred mare who was a nurse mare’s foal. Brielle met her mare, named Witch Hazel, when she was just a foal. Brielle purchased the foal for a mere $400 to keep her from going to auction. Brielle’s beloved chestnut mare, Cruise, adopted the foal and helped raise her. 

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

Hazel was semi-feral when purchased. She was barely halter broke, had been kept inside and had very little idea how to be a horse. But Cruise showed her the ropes, and Brielle started the task of training completely from scratch. It was her first experience teaching a horse to pick up its feet, or lead on a rope, and it was her first experience with a Standardbred. Hazel helped Brielle to fall in love with the breed, and since then Brielle has helped countless Standardbreds find new careers.

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

In the past three years Hazel has blossomed. She has a phenomenal temperament and a loving personality. She is a wonderful ambassador for the Standardbred Breed and is a ROC the Standardbred Ambassador representing Team Tan. 

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

A quick learner, Hazel picks up new things quickly and is even teaching lessons. She has recently been started over fences, and she is showing at local schooling shows and at national rated competitions. She has competed at many prestigious shows in hunter breeding classes. As a two-year-old she was 3rd at Monmouth at Gladstone, and as a three-year-old she was 8th at Devon. 

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

For a three-year-old Hazel has had an incredible career, and I can’t wait to see what her future holds. 

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

Photo courtesy of Brielle Roman.

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