This family started at Haydon Horse Stud back in the 1880’s and has evolved to produce two of the all-time great special horses in Hazelwood Romance a hundred years later in 1981 and her sire son Hazelwood Conman in 1999. Romance’s pedigree is filled with the bloodlines that have produced many, many champions over the years.
Her family’s history parallels the evolution of the stock horse from the early colonial pioneering days, droving trips to the Gulf, to the Walers fighting in the Light Horse regiments overseas, the early days of campdrafting through to the prominent position it has today. Her pedigree is built upon the selection of best early colonial riding, racing and cattle horses, to the Light Horseman’s Walers who were recognised as the best military horses in the world, to champion campdrafters both before and after both world wars to culminate in the top camdrafters of today. It is a blend of the top working thoroughbred lines with the horses that showed unique ability working cattle.
She combines the Romeo sire line of Reality, Dimray, Radium and Cecil with some of the old proven thoroughbred lines of Young Valais, Coronation Day, Bobbed Steel right back to renowned sires Rocket and Tester whose daughter Midnight, ridden by Guy Haydon represented the Australian Light Horse against the British Cavalry at Cairo in 1916 before being shot jumping a trench in the famous Charge of Beersheba 31 October 1917.
The Romance story started at Haydon Horse Stud when her fifth dam Haydon Kitty was foaled in 1898 by Highlander, who was by the imported sire Goldsborough. She was joined to the home bred stallion Haydon Tester Bay by the renowned sire Haydon Tester to produce a bay filly Haydon Puss in 1910.
Haydon Tester (1885-1904) was the undefeated champion in the then popular quarter-mile races. He was never actually trained for these events but was never beaten. In those early days, the short distance races were called “Bridle Spurts” with the winner receiving a bridle. They were the most popular form of racing with numerous meetings held on make shift courses.
He was foaled in 1885, a black stallion bred by “Brumby” Jack Mullins from Nundle. He was purchased by Bernard Haydon as a three year old. His sire The Tester (1870) was imported by Otto Baldwin to Durham Court, Manilla. His dam Phyllis was by the well known sire Yelverton (1862), also imported by Otto Baldwin. He was by Gemma Di Vergy a son of Sir Hercules.
He stood at Bloomfield from 1888 to 1904, siring a total of 440 foals;
- 190 foals for Haydon Horse Stud, Bloomfield
- 250 foals to outside mares
Tester’s stock were outstanding horses and renowned for their speed in the quarter-mile the Bridle Spurts. They were recognized as some of the best horses in the Hunter and the colony. His stock were also exceptionally good riding, working and bush horses, showing a lot of cattle ability. In those days the droving team took cattle and horses from Bloomfield all the way to their properties in Gulf.
Good horses were highly prized. On one occasion aged only twenty-one years old Fred Haydon was sent up by his father to drove a mob of bullocks back down from the Gulf to fatten. When they were ready to market he then took them on to Homebush in Sydney swimming the big Hawkesbury River on the way. They travelled over 2,600 kilometres. Tester’s stock were worked under the harshest of conditions to pass with flying colours. That is why the Haydon’s bred from so many of his daughters.
His legacy lives on through all the Haydon horses today who go back in a direct breeding line to Tester including Romance.
Some of his more notable stock formed the early foundation families of the Haydon horses including;
- Patty Brown (Patty Brown Family) undisputed spurt champion of her time and full sister to such well known winners as Gentleman Jim, Harvest Home, Santa Claus, Broken Bay, Pearl Bay, Lavender Bay, Rose Bay, Betsey Bay, who were all successful racing, and Tester Bay who sired many good horses.
- Bangle (Jewel Family) Bernard Haydon’s top mare, showing exceptional ability and endurance. His favourite mare to chase brumbies in the rough hill country.
- Gunner (Lottie Family) a top riding mare and her full sister Buttercup, another useful mare.
- Jam Tart (Thora Family) a top sporting and riding mare.
- Little Mary (Winsome Family) a mare who won many quarter mile bridle spurts.
- Pieman (Deerfoot Ladysmith Family) whose full sister was taken by Bert Doyle to the Boer War.
- Charm gifted to Mrs. J. H. Doyle (nee Pearl Haydon) Merawah, Boggabilla, by her father Bernard Haydon, was dam of Witchery, a brilliant mare, winning many campdrafts.
- Doongar winner of numerous metropolitan races.
Many horses sired by Tester were sold as remounts for the Indian Cavalry and a number went with the Australian Light Horse to the Middle East in WW1 including Lt Guy Haydon’s famous mare Midnight, Lt Barney Haydon’s gelding Polo, Hughie ridden by their brother in law Cyril Regg and Bloomfield neighbour Max Wright’s Fred, given to him by Fred Haydon.
The legendary mare Midnight was ridden throughout the war by Lt G B (Guy) Haydon in the 12th Light Horse Regiment. She was selected to represent Australia to compete against the British Cavalry in Cairo winning all three events. Firstly, she won the quarter mile race, which is not surprising given she was by the undefeated champion of the event, Tester. Next, she won a utility type event as Guy was a top sportsman. They won the final event, the equitation test which the English specialised in as they had no idea that Guy was such an accomplished horseman.
They become the heroes of the Light Horse to win all three events at the “Desert Olympics” and do Australia proud. In the famous charge of Beersheba as Guy jumped an enemy trench, Midnight was shot from underneath. The bullet passed through her, the saddle, the bedroll and then lodged in Guy’s back just missing his spine by the smallest of margins. He was later taken to Cairo hospital where the bullet was removed which he sent back to Bloomfield as a Christmas present for his mother accompanied by a very moving letter describing the charge. He was very lucky as it was in the very early days of X-rays and they just managed to locate the bullet and go in and pull it out but without antibiotics he had to battle the infection which nearly killed him. His home bred Tester mare had saved his life. They have had a book written about them called “Midnight-The Story of a Light Horse” and were included in the 2015 documentary “The Waler”.
Polo was ridden by Lt B B (Barney) Haydon in the same 12th regiment as his brother Guy. They were the last to be evacuated from Gallipoli and we reunited with their horses back in Cairo. Polo was ridden throughout the entire Light Horse Middle East campaign, from the Suez Canal to the Turkish border through some of the most inhospitable country in the world, including the Sinai Desert. This was a feat achieved by only a very few special horses.
Hughie was ridden by C L Regg, who was married to Guy and Barney’s sister Madge. He too was ridden throughout the entire campaign.
Fred was given to neighbour Max Wright from Bickham by F B (Fred) Haydon to take to the war. He also survived the entire campaign and on his “last ride” Max took a piece of hair from his tale which he then made into a switch, giving it to Fred when he returned home. His switch of his gallant horses’ tail is still in the Bloomfield Archives today.
Tester’s homebred son Tester Bay was used at Bloomfield as a sire from 1905 to 1910. He was from Actress by Somnus and sired many good horses including Haydon Puss the fourth dam of Romance and others like Bubbles, Cinderella, Lorn Tester and the sire Billycan. He was shown to win Champion Blood Horse awards and won three races.
Haydon Puss to produce the bay filly Haydon Puss II in 1927 by Rocket who was by Rocklight by Glenrock by Eclipse, all prominent sires. Rocklight was also the sire of Mountaineer the sire of Medlow. Glenrock’s daughter Meretha was the dam of Cecil, giving Romance, Cecil blood on both the top and bottom of her pedigree. The Cecil legend grew from the athletic ability he showed and he was so successful he was barred from local campdrafts. Ridden by Arch Simpson from Glenrock he would win the downhill races so easily. The story goes that Arch would get to the bottom of the hill well in front of all the others, then pull up and wait for them to arrive and then race them along the flatter land to the finish at the pub.
Rocket was out of the very good mare Scotch Lassie whose dam was by Marvel and by Scotts Grey who was by the champion racehorse and sire Carbine by Musket.
Rocket was bred by the Simpson Family, Glenrock and produced 28 very good foals, outstanding cattle and riding horses, at Bloomfield in the two seasons he was used. These included Fidget-open campdraft winner, Berry-another campdraft winner, Juliet-brilliant camp mare showing exceptional
cattle ability as did her full brother Romeo, Snip-very successful performer winning campdrafts, hack and best type of stock classes, as did his full brother Mr Brown, the smart mares Gumnut and Wonga, Moonlight-sire used at Glengarry, Coffee, Sadie, Julia and the influential sire Haydon Starlight from Haydon Trinket. Starlight was a very good riding horse showing exceptional cattle sense, good temperament and was very tractable and trainable. He passed these traits on to his stock, as they were all just so easy to train. Starlight was a notable Bloomfield sire, whose blood has had a significant influence throughout the breed Australia wide. This influence has been carried on today in the pedigrees of the Haydon Horse Stud mares, through Star Black Minstril, Rosebrook Cedar, Dalkeith Woraki, Glenray, Red Ray, Dina, Glengarry Matlock, Coopla Ming, Wansey Leon, Sensation, Stanton Stud Jan, Wiljohn Rabone, Haydon Flossie, Haydon Bright Valais, Little Chan, Haydon Nightwatch, etc. It is a fitting tribute to the “trainability” traits he has passed on to the future generations as trainability is now such an important and sort after characteristic.
Haydon Puss also produced Felix by Jingo Joss in 1925 who went on to have four foals including the fillies Persian Cat by Bullseye in 1935 and Freckles by Starlight in 1937. Puss foaled a daughter Dosey in 1921 by Dart also had four foals including Kitty 11 by Bobbed Steel.
In 1942 Haydon Puss II foaled a bay filly by Bobbed Steel called Haydon Tabby the granddam of Romance. She was sold to David Cowdery at Nundle and played good polo for many years. Her full brother was sold to Hunters Vale, near Ellerston as a sire. Puss II’s daughter by Haydon Starlight was used as a breeder by John Haydon.
Haydon Tabby’s sire Bobbed Steel foaled in 1933 was renowned for the quality he put into his stock. He was described as a “beautifully shaped black horse, very quiet, a good horse to ride, showing a lot of quality”. He was shown four times to win Champion Blood Stallion on each occasion.
He was by Wedge by The Welkin (imp). His dam was the outstanding mare Gooia who won Champion Hack at Sydney RAS and at Brisbane. She was by Cremalto by Malster from Fog by Prodigal.
Bobbed Steel progeny included the brilliant all round mare Winsome, Bringa-campdraft winner, Wriggle-campdraft winner, Bobbin-successful sire used at Timor, Storm Cloud-brilliant polo mare in 1950’s, Clasp a good campdraft mare and dam RAS Champion Polo mare Haydon Gem by Young Valais, Opal-played very good polo for Jim Maple-Brown, Lakatoi-won many champion hacks, Lubra-Champion Hack Brisbane, Sunset-campdraft winner, Bambina-top all round mare for Judy Doyle, Boggabilla, Colt out of Twilight to D Wormwell, Mooni, Kitty, Glow and Rossita a good polo mare for David Cowdery.
Not only did David Cowdery purchase Haydon Tabby and Rossita by Bobbed Steel from Haydon Horse Stud he also purchased the stallion by Young Valais, Haydon Just Fred from FB (Fred) Haydon. When he was registering the stallion, he was asked what we called him and he replied well “just Fred” after Fred Haydon. The name stuck and it became his official registered name. He sired many good horses and has 70 registered progenies. In his era, he was apparently always the one the beat in campdrafts having a very impressive record.
Just Fred is the sire of Romance’s dam Cardonis Breeze out of Haydon Tabby. He was out of Haydon Rose by Rosewing II, sire of the renowned Hayes and Cameron’s Simmer, winner of numerous open campdrafts and champion hacks. Her mother was an exceptional polo mare but due to being blinded in one eye as a foal, Rose was only used as a broodmare and her descendants are prominent in the Haydon horses today. She was a mare of exceptional conformation with a long rein and produced many good foals including;
- Lubra by Bobbed Steel was Champion Hack at Brisbane Exhibition;
- Rosetta by Bobbed Steel, mother of Star and Rosalea, a top polo mare;
- Bambi by Young Valais, a brilliant all-round performance mare winning Champion polo pony awards, show jumping and sporting events. She had an impressive performance record including Champion Polo Pony at Quirindi in 1966 and 1967, Gunnedah in 1966 and played HRH Prince Charles in 1966. Her granddaughter, Gazelle, also a winner of Champion Polo Pony Awards was also played by HRH Prince Charles many years later. Bambi dominated pony club events and especially in show jumping.
- Just Fred by Young Valais sold to David Cowdery, a top campdraft performer, winner of many working stock horse classes and sire of many good polo ponies and performance horses
- Gypsey I by Young Valais, dam of Gypsey II by Percy II, Australian Cutting Horse Champion in 1969 and rarely beaten for the campdraft cut out awards.
The Rose Family continues today through many branches producing numerous top performers including;
Just Fred foaled in 1955 was by the quality sire Young Valais born in 1939. He was by the leading sire Blandford’s son Madagasgar also sire of Midstream. He is out of the Heroic’s premier sire Valais’s daughter Princess Cadena. Heroic was leading sire for seven successive seasons.
Young Valais was a top performer on the track winning the Cameron Handicap, Canterbury Flying Handicap, Ascot Handicap, Tattersall’s Cup and BATC Flying Handicap. Due to the war and lack of transport he was ridden by Ron McPhee from Brisbane to Sydney in 1946. They had to swim the flooded northern rivers which he apparently did with ease. He was an exceptional bush and riding horse.
He sired many top quality horses including the sires; Just Fred, Yandooya Sovereign, Sensation, Bright Valais, Dalkeith Woraki, Reveille used by the Traill Family, Noraki, Starlight sire of Sister Monty and grand dam of Star Black Minstril. Others include Yarranoo Bangles, Eulabah Gleamdam of Little Abbey, Just Fred’s full sister Haydon Bambi and Haydon Gypsey I, Haydon Gem Champion Polo Pony Sydney RAS and her full sister Paprika a top polo mare and dam of the Panzer champion Spice, Little Bay played good polo, Bess sold to Robert Balwin, Haydon Patty Brown, Haydon Widden Lass, Wansey Style, Gavins Stylish, Maple-Brown polo mare Glamour, Gold Val dam of Barnetts Abbalette and Abbalee by Little Abbey bringing in a double cross of Young Valais, Racketeer dam sire Automatic, Valeeta, Russett, Sally dam of the three sires Chans Son, Charlie Chan and Chans Last.
Cardonis Breeze won campdrafts and played polocrosse. She had five foals including the good campdrafter Hazelwood Limestone by the Abbey sire Kirkbys Cobalt in 1975, JH China gelding by Rivoli Ray in 1977 and Hazelwood Romance by Warrenbri Romeo on 2 December 1981.
Romance will go down in history as a true legend, winning 114 campdrafts in eight years. She also won led and working classes.
Her sire Warrenbri Romeo foaled in 1975 continued the old Cecil sire line on through Radium, Dimray to his sire Reality. Romance also has the Cecil influence right back on her dam side from Haydon Puss II by Rocket. Romeo was a legend in his own lifetime, he has 589 registered progeny and has had a big influence on the breed.
Hazelwood Romance at stud produced seven registered foals;
- Hazelwood Romantic Oak in 1993 by Docs Freckles Oak the winner of campdrafts and dam of seven foals;
- Romantic Destiny by Acres Destiny, mare in 2006
- Hazelwood Mantic by Acres Destiny, sire in 2007 has 6 registered progeny-Hazelwood Precious Acres by Acres Destiny, mare 2007
- Hazelwood Fancy Romance by Acres Destiny, mare in 2008
- Hazelwood Romantic Acres by Acres Destiny, mare in 2010
- Hazelwood Millionaire by Millionnic Chic, gelding 2011,
- Hazelwood Jos Romance by Sir Mojos Workin, mare in 2012
Hazelwood Oakels in 1996 by Docs Freckles Oak got injured and as a broodmare she produced nine foals;
- Kondar A Tiny Bit of Romance by Nonda Tibet, mare in 2001
- Halls Roman Acres by Acres Destiny, stallion in 2004
- Hazelwood Raffle by Cattle Ray, mare in 2005
- Hazelwood Marnies Oak by Marnies Destiny, mare 2006
- Hazelwood Oasis by Marnies Two Acres, mare in 2008
- Hazelwood Stylish Oak by One Stylish Pepto, gelding 2009
- Hazelwood Moore Romance by One Moore Daddy, mare in 2010
- Hazelwood Orion by Keewong Combat, mare in 2011
- Hazelwood Oblivion by Keewong Combat, mare in 2012
- Hazelwood Taylor Made by Tassa Lena, stallion in 1997 won drafts and has 34 registered progeny
- Hazelwood Conman by Dagwood Comet, sire in 1999, a campdrafting legend has 724 registered progeny so far
- Hardtymze Romantic Doc by Hazelwood Oak Dry Oak, sire in 2001 with 27 registered progeny
- Hazelwood Showman by Semipalatinsk, sire in 2002 won drafts but injury curtailed his career, with 70 registered progeny
- Hazelwood Romantic Spin by Donell Park Seligman Spin, mare in 2004