When Susan Grange died Oct. 19, 2017, her daughter, Ariel, was left to shoulder the responsibility of running Lothlorien Farm in Caledon, ON, which owns a powerhouse of equine show jumping talent. She is continuing her mother’s legacy with a stable of good horses piloted by pros Daniel Coyle (IRL), Hyde Moffatt and Brady Hayes.

Over the years, the Granges have been strong supporters of the Canadian Equestrian Team through horse ownership including Ian Millar’s Olympic mount In Style and Dixson, and providing rides for Beth Underhill (Ishan, Jasmyn), Tiffany Foster (Donjo), Chris Pratt (Mustique, Rivendell), Yann Candele (Carlotta Singular, Ridley, Game Ready), and Irish rider Conor Swail (Lansdowne, Grafton, Ariana, Cita, Simba de la Roque, Dillinger, Martha Louise). Her current riders are campaigning Cita, Grafton, Farrel, Tienna, Legacy, Ridley, Gisborne, Quintin and others. Of Legacy especially Sue remarks, “This one hasn’t shown as much, but when she does she is an incredible sight to see, a true one-of-a-kind horse. We are currently prepping her for the 2020 Olympics; fingers crossed we are selected for the [Irish] team.” Sue credits friend and advisor Torchy Millar with assisting her in sourcing Legacy and other great horses.

The farm is also home to a select breeding operation with broodmares Fortis Fortuna, Martha Louise and Nikita, and stallions Lansdowne, Grafton and newcomer Gisborne. Ariel is excited about their program. “With the retirement of a few great mares, I wanted to try my luck at breeding. In 2019 we succeeded in having three foals hit the ground running! In 2020 we have four foals coming; Fortis Fortuna with three different stallions (Kannan, Diamant De Semilly and Dictator). We have Nikita carrying an embryo from Ariana x For Pleasure also. I’m most looking forward to the Dictator foal – I think the pairing will be a very strong match.”

Ariel resides at her home farm just up the road from Lothlorien with her husband, Daryl Somes, where she tries to find time in her busy schedule to spend with her quarter horses. When asked what motivates her to provide good riders with good horses, she explains, “I’ve always gravitated towards the behind-the-scenes aspect of horses – I never claimed to be good at the ‘limelight’ of it all, But without the background there is no victory and without the preparation there can be no success.

“The trick to finding good horses for good riders is that they trust in my vision as much as I trust in their abilities. Good riders earn good horses and sometimes get lucky with a great one, but similarly good horses deserve good riders to reach their full potential.”

Foreseeable Future

“A main goal would be Legacy and Daniel hopefully making it to the Olympics and if not, advancing to some of the bigger classes of our sport. It would be very exciting to take a few to Las Vegas for the World Cup finals in April. I’d like to continue our success in the ring both with the big horses and my young stock. I’m also excited to see how Hyde does with his new mount Quintin and his great young stallion Gisborne.”

Mission Possible

In the future, “I’ll be exactly where I am these days! Sitting in my office at Lothlorien, training horses through the day and organizing programs, nutritional requirements and show schedules, juggling staff and riders and managing the overall picture.

“I want to have a horse with an Olympic medal, be on the Aachen Grand Prix leaderboard, win the Spruce Meadows Masters CP Grand Prix at least once and have a few homebreds in the top level of jumping or on their way. It would be nice to get more recognition for Canadian breeding and Canadian stallions as well.”