Sarah Johnstone Joins Wingberry Farms Team

Young show jumping talent Sarah Johnstone has joined Wingberry Farms as a trainer at its world-class facility in King City, ON.

Johnstone, 23, of Aurora, ON, will work alongside Wingberry Farms Head Trainer Yann Candele.  Her primary focus will be training both horses and riders for the jumper, hunter, equitation and pony divisions.  She will also be involved with sales, leasing and buying for clients, and organizing competition and travel schedules.

“We are very excited to have Sarah join our team,” said Shawn Littler, Owner and Operator of Wingberry Farms.  “We have always admired her riding and professionalism within the industry.  Adding Sarah to our team gives us the opportunity to become more diversified, as she can ride as well as train our hunter, equitation and pony clients.”

Candele, who joined the Wingberry Farms in 2013 as its Head Trainer, recently competed as a member of Canada’s eighth-placed team at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, held August 23 to September 7 in Normandy, France.

“Sarah is an up and coming rider, very talented and dedicated to the sport,” said Candele, 43, the reigning four-time Canadian Show Jumping Champion.  “I think she will make a great addition to our team.”

A devoted young professional, Johnstone got her start as a working student with two-time Canadian Olympian Jay Hayes.  In 2006, she won both the CET Medal Final and Jump Canada Medal Final at the Royal Horse Show in Toronto, ON.  She claimed her first victory in International Equestrian Federation (FEI) competition in 2011 before spending 2012 based in The Netherlands with Dutch Olympian Emile Hendrix and his brother Paul, who operate a large international training and sales business.  There, Johnstone qualified two horses for the 2012 World Breeding Championships Young Horse Finals.  Upon her return to Canada, Johnstone joined Canadian Olympian Beth Underhill at her Beth Underhill Stables in Schomberg, ON.

“I have absolutely loved working for Beth; she is a true horse woman, an unbelievable trainer, and a world-class rider,” said Johnstone, whose future potential was recognized when the North American Riders Group (NARG) selected her from 40 applicants as the 2012 recipient of its inaugural $15,000 Rider’s Grant.  “I look forward to taking the knowledge and experience I gained from working with Beth and contributing it to the Wingberry team.”

Johnstone continued, “I look forward to my partnership with the Littler family; I admire their enthusiasm and commitment to the sport.  Yann has always been a rider that I have studied, and there is no doubt that he is one of the best.  I can’t wait to work with him at Wingberry Farms, and believe that we will make a great team!”

Situated on 100 acres approximately 25 minutes from Toronto, Wingberry Farms boasts 35 large stalls outfitted with SoftStall’s rubber matting system.  Riding facilities include a large heated indoor arena with natural lighting and TravelRight footing, an outdoor sand arena with TR2 footing, and a grass grand prix field featuring natural obstacles and water jumps.  In addition to its own trail system, Wingberry Farms backs on to approximately 500 acres of additional scenic hacking.  Large grass paddocks allow for plenty of turn-out, while on-site staff ensures equine comfort and safety 24 hours a day.