Canada’s richest family sells adjoining Wellington equestrian estates for $20M

A third equestrian estate remains on the market for $18.9M

Ariel Grange with 14225 50th Street South and 4775 Stables Way
Ariel Grange with 14225 50th Street South and 4775 Stables Way (Lothlorien Farm, Google Maps, Getty)

Canada’s richest family is selling off its Wellington equestrian estates. 

Records show that representatives of the Thomson family, heirs of Thomson Reuters founder Roy Thomson, sold an adjoining pair of equestrian estates for $20.4 million.

Douglas Elliman's Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur
Douglas Elliman’s Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur (Douglas Elliman)

The buyer of the estates at 14225 50th Street South and 4775 Stables Way are a pair of Delaware LLCs named for J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictional elf refuge Rivendell, according to property records. David Binet, CEO of Woodbridge Company, and Sarah Lerchs, vice president and general counsel of Woodbridge Company, signed the deed on behalf of the sellers. 

Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman had the listings, and David Welles of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty brought the buyer. Wachtel Jolicoeur also has the listing for the family’s third Wellington estate at 14412 Pierson Road, with an asking price of $18.9 million.

Toronto-based Woodbridge Company is the family firm of Roy Thomson’s descendents. It manages their private wealth generated by Thomson Reuters media empire, a combined fortune of about $53.5 billion according to the Daily Hive. The family holds a 69 percent ownership share in the company, per Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index. 

The Wellington equestrian estates belonged to the late Susan Grange, daughter of Audrey Thomson Campbell and one of Roy Thomson’s seven grandchildren. She was a giant of the Canadian equestrian scene, and spent more than 30 years breeding horses for top riders. She died in 2017 due to complications from cancer. Her daughter, Ariel Grange, now leads the family’s equestrian business, Lothlorien Farm.

Susan Grange bought the two adjoining Wellington estates for a combined $9.1 million in two deals in 2003 and 2008, records show. Combined, the properties span 30 acres, a rarity in Wellington, especially so close to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds, Wachtel Jolicoeur said. 

A manor house on the 50th Street property spans 7,600 square feet, with three bedrooms, four bathrooms and one half-bathroom, the listing shows. The estate also includes a three-car garage, an unfinished eight-stall barn and an all-weather ring. 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

4775 Stables Way
4775 Stables Way (Douglas Elliman, Getty)

The adjacent Stables Way farm has a 2,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom house, a pool, a 16-stall barn, horse walker and grand prix field, according to the listing. The Stables Way estate also has a staff house designed by Grange, with four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette, Wachtel Jolicoeur said.

“To be able to have that much land for the horses is nice,” Wachtel Jolicoeur said. “The downside is the maintenance.”

The estates’ exhaustive list of equestrian amenities also made the properties stand out, she added.

The remaining listing on Pierson Road spans 5.3 acres. Wachtel Jolicoeur said that although it is smaller than the other two properties, it’s relatively new, with high-end construction. That, along with its private entrance to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds, explains the pricing, she said. 

“It was built fancy, so that’s a showbarn. It’s for a really keen competitor,” Wachtel Jolicoeur said. 

14225 50th Street South
14225 50th Street South (Douglas Elliman, Getty)

While the rest of South Florida’s luxury market has seen astronomical price growth in recent years, thanks to the pandemic and a slew of corporate relocations, Wellington’s price growth has remained steady. The only pricier sale this year was BET co-founder Sheila Johnson’s sale of her Salamander Farms equestrian estate for $21.7 million in May. Wachtel Jolicoeur said that because of the horse world, Wellington’s market plays by different rules than the rest of South Florida.

“Back in the day before Covid, we had some really nice sales compared to everybody else. Palm Beach and Miami went so crazy after Covid, and we’ve been steady,” she said.

“Everybody’s different in Wellington,” Wachtel Jolicoeur added. “Some people would prefer to have the best horse and not the biggest house.”