The Central Coast is home to a growing list of performance horse trainers and is fast becoming a well recognized powerhouse in California. Lori Johnston and her husband Chris Castillo purchased the 110-acre Asunción Valley Farm in Templeton with the goal of providing a world class facility to house and produce young horses whilst also facilitating the need for a dream retirement situation for older horses.

If you’ve ever met Lori, her absolute love of horses is infectious and enthusiasm is unrivaled. Which is a good thing when undertaking endeavors such as these, building world class barns is not for the feint of heart or the easily deterred. The 2019 season has seen the Asunción Valley Farm team hit the top of the leaderboard numerous times across the West Coast jumper circuit, with multiple wins across the board. This success can be partly attributed to the quality young horses Lori has picked out to develop and partly due to the phenomenal jockey she has in the irons, Alex Azevedo.

A partnership that began only months ago has been a resounding success thus far, producing horses for competition and for sale. Alex is no stranger to the upper echelons of the sport, having trained and ridden for the likes of Nelson Pessoa and Will Simpson. Alex has been meticulously training and producing horses on the jumper circuit for over 25 years. He’s dedicated to improving the horses through developing them on the flat, ensuring they’re not over jumped instead focusing on exercises to develop each horse individually. As if that’s not enough going on in Lori’s world, she recently welcomed Theresa Petyo- Wallace and her own Turning Point Farms to the Asunción Valley Farm family.

Theresa heads up a hugely successful training program that focuses on building character, confidence and responsibility in the multitude of young students that have come through her program. One thing all three agree on is a focus on building a foundation for kids and young riders through training horses that mentally prepares them for challenges in later life. 


Theresa firmly believes in emphasising the classical riding system through a focus on equitation. Many of her students start out in the hunter ring, and her belief is that equitation is the basis of good horsemanship. Her goal is to prepare her students for the Talent Search Finals, classes that feed into the Under 25 program and eventually cultivate Grand Prix Jump riders out of these well rounded students. Johnston also has lofty goals set for her team, her hope is to be cheering on one of her horses in the World Cup next year. One thing is for sure, Asunción Valley Farm is a world class facility geared toward fulfilling these goals.

Horses alternate between airy stalls and irrigated pastures, a state of the art oval Kraft horse walker, competition sized jump arena with an underground watering system to manage the perfect footing. The surrounding rolling hills are home to a prepared gallop track, fields of hay produced to feed the horses on site and a herd of ponies, Johnstone’s other love. Both Alex and Theresa are available for lessons and taking on clients in training looking to get the most out of their riding. You can visit and for more information on Asunción Valley Farm programs.

Oasis Equine Fitness and Rehabilitation

Nestled in Paso Robles just off the 101 is a horse rehab and strength training facility providing a much needed service to performance horses from a wide range of disciplines. Horse sport has evolved to a point that these equine athletes are afforded similar treatments and recovery plans not dissimilar to human ones. Jere Kleinpeter is the owner of Oasis, a Cal Poly graduate who’s senior project kick started this whole operation. Now she heads up a team dedicated to providing a wide range of services such as an underwater treadmill, horse walker, cold saltwater spa, shockwave therapy, cold laser therapy and PEMF therapy. Check out the upcoming open house at Oasis and meet the team, details can be found at                        

September Calendar

Sept. 8: CCCAHA All Breed Open
Horse Show, Oak Park Equestrian Center, 2059 Carpenter Canyon Rd, San Luis Obispo. Check out for show premium and class details.

Sept. 17-18: Rider Remedy biomechanics lecture and assessment at Golden Hills Farm. An unmounted opportunity for all riders to gain a better understanding of how their position can improve communication and performance in their horses. Open to riders of all disciplines and levels. Contact Ariane Rezvani 805-712-4561 or email to register. 

Sept. 19- 22: Twin Rivers Fall Horse Trials, Twin Rivers Ranch, Paso Robles. International Eventing is back on the schedule this Fall. West Coast Future
Event Horse Championships and qualifying classes for Young Event Horses. Food available on site, open to spectators no charge. For schedule information check out

Sept. 22: Santa Ynez Equestrian Association presents Western and Ranch Sunday Horse Show, Ranch Versatility Horse Show. Santa Ynez Valley Equestrian Center 195 No. Refugio Rd, Santa Ynez check out for entry premium and show schedule. 

Sept. 26: Oasis Equine Rehab Center welcomes all horse owners, trainers and veterinarians to an Open House/ Client Appreciation day at the facility, 5378 Monterey Rd, Paso Robles 5-8 p.m. Free attendance and complimentary appetisers, wine and beer will be available. 

For more details check out