Canada’s wealthiest family is selling its Wellington equestrian estate.

Representatives of the Thomson family, heirs to Thomson Reuters founder Roy Thomson, sold a pair of adjacent equestrian estates for $20.4 million, records show.

Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur for Douglas Elliman
Douglas Elliman’s Martha Wachtel Joliko (Douglas Elliman)

Buying the estate at 14225 50th Street South and 4775 Stables Way was a pair of Delaware limited liability companies named after JRR Tolkien’s fictional elf sanctuary, Rivendell, according to property records. Woodbridge CEO David Binet and Woodbridge Vice President and General Counsel Sarah Lerchs signed the deed on behalf of the seller.

Douglas Elliman’s Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur listed, and Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty’s David Welles brought in buyers. Wachtel Jolicoeur is also listing the family’s third Wellington property at 14412 Pearson Road with an asking price of $18.9 million.

Toronto-based Woodbridge Company is a family business owned by descendants of Roy Thomson. It manages the private wealth generated by the Thomson Reuters media empire, totaling about $53.5 billion, according to Daily Hive. The family owns 69 percent of the company, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The Wellington equestrian estate belonged to the late Susan Grange, daughter of Audrey Thomson Campbell and one of Roy Thomson’s seven grandchildren. A titan of the Canadian equestrian world, she has spent over 30 years breeding horses for top riders. She passed away in 2017 from complications of cancer. Her daughter, Ariel Grange, now runs the family’s equestrian business, Lothlorien Farm.

Records show Susan Grange bought two adjacent Wellington estates in two transactions in 2003 and 2008 for a combined $9.1 million. Wachtel Jolicoeur said the combined 30-acre properties were a rarity in Wellington, especially so close to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds.

Listings show a 7,600-square-foot estate on 50th Street with three bedrooms, four bathrooms and one-and-a-half bathrooms. The estate also includes a three-car garage, an unfinished eight-stall barn, and an all-weather ring.

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

The adjoining Stables Way Farm features a 2,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath home, a swimming pool, a 16-stall barn, riding machines and grand prix arena, listings show. The Stables Way estate also has a Grange-designed staff quarters with four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette, Wachtel Jolicoeur said.

“It’s great to have that much land for the horses,” Wachtel Jolicoeur said. “The downside is maintenance.”

The estate’s exhaustive list of equestrian facilities also makes the properties stand out, she added.

The remaining listing on Pierson Road sits on 5.3 acres. Wachtel Jolicoeur said that while it was smaller than the other two properties, it was relatively new and featured high-end construction. That, along with private entrance to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds, explains the pricing, she said.

“It’s fancy built, so that’s a showroom. It’s for really sharp competitors,” says Wachtel Jolicoeur.

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

While other South Florida luxury housing markets have seen astronomical price increases in recent years due to the pandemic and mass business relocation, Wellington’s price growth has remained steady. The only more expensive deal this year was BET co-founder Sheila Johnson’s $21.7 million sale of her equestrian estate in Salamander Farms in May. Because of the world of horses, the Wellington market operates by different rules than the rest of South Florida, Wachtel Jolicoeur said.

“Back in the day before Covid, our sales were pretty good compared to everybody else. Palm Beach and Miami got so crazy post-Covid, we’ve been pretty steady,” she said.

“Everyone in Wellington is different,” adds Wachtel Jolicoeur. “Some people would rather have the best horse than the biggest house.”

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