Meet Elite Rider Thea Stinnett, Owner of and Trainer at Heathman Farm.
Thea Stinnett was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. She was born with horses in her blood. Despite not having any other horse people in her family she went to every length to just swing a leg over a horse, including becoming a guide for horse tours on the beach along the Oregon coast at the age of 8. She was given her first pony soon after from a relative, and began her showing career jumping. From there Thea learned from great trainers such as Rich Fellers, Joan Curtain, Jim Dahlquist, and Hap Hansen. While riding with Hap, Thea had a top 10 finish in the West coast USET finals. She later became Jim Dalhquist’s assistant in a business that was 95% hunters, teaching, riding, and managing his operation before moving East to also ride with Jeff Cook to ride in the jumpers.
She managed Heathman Farm, and got her amateur card back and competed in the Amateur classes and some Grand Prix’s. Her consistency in the Amateur division led her to get the attention of George Morris at the Spruce Meadows Master’s in 1998.
Moving East was the best thing for Thea. The focus was now on herself and the finishing school that George Morris and Chris Kappler were providing her. She had many more years of riding with them that yielded her numerous victories on multiple horses. These few years molded Thea into a professional who not only knows the sport and the nuances at the highest level, but also gave her the tools to be one of the area’s top trainers. Her beliefs are simple: the horses must be horses.
Jumpers and Equitation (pure classic jumping) are the primary focus of Heathman Farm, but with much experience showing and developing top hunters, Thea is excited to have those students as well. She is there to help her students achieve a higher level of knowledge of the sport and success in it.