Brielle is an avid equestrian who has been riding since she was 8 years old. Horses have been her friends, and often the only constant in her life since her turbulent childhood, and she has dedicated her life to helping them as they helped her. Her love for standardbreds began when she acquired a standardbred foal in 2016, that she would name Witch Hazel, who would go on to become a champion show horse, and take her to great events like Devon Horse Show. This newfound passion led her to working with standardbreds in a rescue, and later on the track. She developed Trot-Trot as a program to help educate the public on the retraining and history of the off-track standardbred, promote them in second careers, and to create an adoption program that worked with the racing industry, not against them.
Read more about Brielle in the September 2021 issue of USTA's Hoofbeats!
Hazel was born at Blue Chip Farms in 2016 as one of their nurse mare foals. She arrived at a farm Brielle was at in November of that year, and the rest was history, as they say. She was purchased for a mere $400, the price she was going to go for at her next stop, the auction. Though she was semi-feral, and resembled a baby yak, Brielle saw the diamond in the rough, and Hazel would blossom into a champion show horse and star standardbred ambassador. Hazel has won ribbons all over the east coast, often against warmbloods that cost more than 100x her purchase price, competing at prestigious events like Devon and the Princeton Classic. Hazel continues to compete in hunter/jumper shows from the local to "AA" rated level.
Stormy and Brielle first crossed paths in late 2018, when she began her first harness racing job as a groom at Jimmy Takter's farm. Stormy was one of the original horses she cared for, and one that she learned the basics on, as he was a trotter and wore simpler equipment. He was originally purchased for $120k as a yearling, and there were high hopes for him! Unfortunately, this dream was shattered, along with his leg, in a stall accident when Stormy was still a yearling. He had life saving surgery to put a plate in his leg, and spent four months in a sling. Stormy was always a resilient horse, and despite this setback, along with several other life-saving surgeries, made it to the track and had a moderately successful career. However, Stormy was still regarded as a big disappointment, and was sold to various, cheaper homes as his career circled the drain. Brielle made multiple attempts to purchase him during this time, and eventually he was lost to the Amish. Through the help of friends and strangers, Brielle was able to track him down to a low end auction, and raise the rest of the money needed to buy him back. These donations, combined with her life savings, finally brought Stormy home! It was a long road to recovery, but Stormy has more than repaid her, and continues to surpass every expectation as he thrives in his new career. Stormy loves to jump and competes and wins regularly at open breed shows! In one year, Stormy went from crippled and broken down at a low end auction, to Champion Standardbred of the entire state of NJ. All he needed was someone to give him a chance.
Luck N Roll K
Lucky is more than your average racehorse! Originally purchased from the $7500 claimer ranks, Lucky has blossomed into a competitive racehorse! His winnings help support the adoptable horses while they are here for evaluation and training, and his fun, loving personality helps bridge the gap between the worlds, by exposing and educating off track standardbred fans to the racing side of things.
When he's not racing, Lucky enjoys going for trail rides, pleasure drives, and even competing at horse shows! He truly shows the amazing temperament that standardbreds possess. Despite being a young, active racing stallion, Lucky is always a gentleman to handle, ride, and drive, and eager to try anything! At the conclusion of his racing career, he will stay with us and be retrained as a show horse.