An ‘honorary grandmother’ leaves her herd

By on August 1, 2021

Hazel and Bridget, who was born this April. (Corolla Wildhorse Fund)

(Corolla Wild Horse Fund)

On the afternoon of Aug. 1, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund posted on Facebook this sad news of the passing of one of the herd’s mainstays.

We have some sad news to report this evening. Hazel, one of the oldest mares on the beach, has passed away. Hazel was well into her 20s, perhaps closer to 30.

She was a part of Amadeo’s harem for many years, then once Amadeo was rescued, she lived with Junior, Anne Bonny, and June, and then over the last couple years, she could be found with other harems in Swan Beach that had foals.

She seemed to enjoy her role as honorary grandmother to the foals and could be seen babysitting while their moms grazed and rested. We have identified several offspring and relatives of Hazel’s and expect to find more as we continue to collect DNA samples from the herd.

Hazel lived and died as every wild horse should — free, and on her own terms. We will miss seeing her on the beach but take comfort in knowing she lived a great life and left a huge mark on the herd. She was laid to rest near Penny’s Hill, where she spent all of her 20+ years. Rest easy, Hazel.

For more information on the Corolla Willd Horses or to support them visit


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  • C A

    Very sad news about Hazel. I remember back in the late 70’s, and early 80’s how big the herd was as well all the territory they had.

    I also remember the advent of the 80’s building, and development boom, and the horses being killed by growing traffic on Highway 12 up that way. Quite sad.

    Thankfully many good minded folks herded the horses behind a new fence to the north, and began protecting them as they deserved.

    Always believed that was a great thing, what natural treasure they are.

    Sunday, Aug 1 @ 9:53 pm
  • hightider

    I remember the Banker ponies in the early 60’s when a few would end up in private hands. Like the original OBX’ers (Hightiders), they were transplants who became a part of the fabric of this vanishing place and way of life. Hazel lived a long wild life and she will be missed. Carova was the only place on the northern OBX not ruined by over-development and now it is losing its way of life too. I’m glad a number of foals have been born this year and hope Hazel rests in peace having lived her life as an honored elder of the herd.

    Monday, Aug 2 @ 5:43 am
  • Dottie

    This breaks my heart RIP Hazel the babies will all miss you and your love, we will all miss you… your with your other family now running and playing

    Monday, Aug 2 @ 8:52 pm