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Merle Coleman Passes

Published: June 11, 2021 3:19 pm ET

Last Comment: June 11, 2021 4:56 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Longtime industry participant Merle Coleman, of Virden, Man., passed Saturday (June 5) at the age of 93.

Coleman grew up on a horse-powered farm near Wawota, Sask., and then raised and raced Standardbreds — as well as showing them and breaking them for trail riding after their racing careers ended — for five decades in Virden, Man. She did just about anything that could be done on horseback, even square dancing.

Coleman and her late husband, Ron, rode the Boundary Commission Trail over several summers in the 1990s, meeting lots of people and seeing a lot of country. She rode trails with family and friends through the summer of 2019. Thanks to her daughter Dreda, she was able to continue living on the family farm — with familiar sights, smells and activities — until her passing.

The Colemans trained their 'Coles' stable for the Manitoba harness racing circuit, and experienced the usual variety of successes and challenges of the harness racing industry. Merle's most enjoyable horse was Coles Bill Payer, who raced modestly until age 13, and then became a trail and show horse before passing recently at age 35. Merle especially enjoyed the summer of 1979, living "on the road" and working with the late Hugh Woods through the racing season.

The last few summers, Merle enjoyed watching Dreda and her grandson, Clayton Braybrook, training on her farm and racing on the Manitoba circuit, carrying on the family tradition.

Please join Standardbred Canada in offering condolences to the friends and family of Merle Coleman.

June 11, 2021 - 4:56 pmMy condolences to the Coleman

My condolences to the Coleman family. RIP Merle

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