According to public records, heirs of Thomson Reuters founder Roy Thomson sold an adjoining set of equestrian estates for $20.4 million.
According to property records, the purchasers of the estates at 14225 50th Street South and 4775 Stables Way are a pair of Delaware LLCs named after J.R.R. Tolkien’s fictitious elf stronghold Rivendell. On behalf of the sellers, David Binet, CEO of Woodbridge Company, and Sarah Lerchs, vice president and general counsel of Woodbridge Company, signed the deed, therealdeal reported.
The listings were handled by Martha Wachtel Jolicoeur of Douglas Elliman, and the buyer was handled by David Welles of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty. Wachtel Jolicoeur also holds the listing for the family’s third Wellington estate, 14412 Pierson Road, at $18.9 million.
Roy Thomson’s descendants own the Toronto-based Woodbridge Company. According to the Daily Hive, it controls their private wealth earned by the Thomson Reuters media empire, which totals $53.5 billion. According to Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, the family owns 69 percent of the corporation.
The late Susan Grange, daughter of Audrey Thomson Campbell and one of Roy Thomson’s seven grandchildren, owned the Wellington equestrian properties. She was a Canadian equestrian legend who spent over 30 years producing horses for top riders. She died in 2017 as a result of cancer complications. Ariel Grange, her daughter, currently runs the family’s equestrian business, Lothlorien Farm.
According to public records, Susan Grange paid a total of $9.1 million for the two contiguous Wellington estates in two separate transactions in 2003 and 2008. The properties total 30 acres, which is unusual in Wellington, especially so near to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds, according to Wachtel Jolicoeur.
According to the description, the 50th Street manor house has 7,600 square feet, three bedrooms, four bathrooms, and one half-bathroom. There is also a three-car garage, an unfinished eight-stall barn, and an all-weather ring on the property.
According to the listing, the neighboring Stables Way property contains a 2,800-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bathroom residence, a pool, a 16-stall barn, horse walker, and grand prix paddock. The Stables Way complex also contains a Grange-designed staff house with four bedrooms, each with its own bathroom and kitchenette, according to Wachtel Jolicoeur.
“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 property on Pierson Road is 5.3 acres in size. Wachtel Jolicoeur stated that, while it is smaller than the other two properties, it is newer and of higher quality. This, together with its private entrance to the Winter Equestrian Festival grounds, she claims, justifies the pricing.
“It was built fancy, so that’s a showbarn. It’s for a really keen competitor,” Wachtel Jolicoeur said.
While the rest of South Florida’s luxury market has experienced spectacular price growth in recent years as a result of the epidemic and a slew of corporate relocations, Wellington’s price growth has been consistent. The only more expensive sale this year was BET co-founder Sheila Johnson’s $21.7 million sale of her Salamander Farms equestrian estate in May. According to Wachtel Jolicoeur, Wellington’s market operates under distinct laws than the rest of South Florida due to the horse industry.
“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.”