Our history...

Sarah Vas, trainer, grew up in Valley City, a rural farm area located in Northeast Ohio. As an Arabian Horse Show rat, she followed her parents around the show grounds as they promoted their futurity babies. Her parents, Tim and Judy Von Duyke – owners of the original Winfield Farm & Forge based in Valley City, were involved with several aspects of the horse industry from the 1960s to the early 80s.

Tim, a professional farrier, spent 10 years under the horse before retiring. He also was a successful proprietor of a Stidham trailer dealership. Judy could be found around the Arabian show circuit doing such duties as announcing or exhibiting. Together, Tim and Judy bred a small but significant number of purebred and half-Arabian babies that won several futurities.

The original farm sign from Tim and Judy's property still hangs in the Sarah's barn lounge

Tim Von Duyke hard at work
in the early
By crossing Saddlebred mares with some of the best Arabian stallions of that time, Tim and Judy were breeding the National Show Horse even before the registry was established. Many of those horses are still showing today. In fact, Winfield Bornabel (Mrafden (Arab) x Born A Bell (ASB)) was one of the most decorated of their babies winning many ribbons in the English Pleasure division at such shows as The Buckeye, Region 14 and the National Show Horse Finals.

This background set the solid foundation for Sarah, learning what it means to be a trainer with passion and compassion – not only for the rider, but the horse as well. Understanding the importance of quality blood lines, athleticism and the psychology that nurtures the horse to its greatest potential are all traits that Sarah embraces.

To be sure, Sarah’s equine philosophies were indoctrinated in the womb -- her mother was riding a horse in a parade the day before Sarah was born. Known as Sarah “She’s on the Pony Again” Von Duyke, it was destined that Sarah would be involved in the horse industry for life.

Following in her parent’s footsteps, Sarah spent her time becoming well-read, well-rounded and experienced in all things equine. Learning what it took to be a successful trainer, instructor, and business person in the equine industry meant pursuing knowledge from more than just the show ring surrounding the Arabians her parents raised. At 16, she professionally trained her first horse – a retired Morgan Stallion. By her late twenties, her training repertoire included Quarter horses, Saddlebreds, Hackney and Welsh Ponies, Tennessee Walking Horses, Lippizans, as well as her beloved Arabians. She became well versed in such disciplines as saddle seat, hunt seat on the flat, western, driving, and halter. After attending graduate school under the direction of the incomparable Cecile Hetzel-Dunn, she followed her mentor’s advise and moved to Lexington, Kentucky. Wanting to immerse herself in the industry as a whole, Sarah spent time working for the American Horse Shows Association when they moved from New York City to the Kentucky Horse Park. It was only after these years of exposure to the rest of the equine world out there that Sarah decided to come home to the breed she was raised with; the Arabian. From the days of the Intercollegiate Equestrian team to studying under the area’s carriage-driving aficionados, the culmination of learning and doing has brought Sarah to her current training ideology: To train the athlete within.
Sarah at 4 years old watching intently as her father works

Trailer Donation
Back when the AHAO awarded a yearly queen, Tim & Judy Von Duyke donated the year's use of a Stidham 2 Horse Trailer. Here they present the trailer to Jenny Henry of Milan, OH, in the late 1970s.

Our Future...

Roll mouse for close up of family

In 2002 Sarah and her husband, Kevin, purchased their 22-acre horse farm and named it Winfield Farm & Forge to honor the principles set by her upbringing and education. It was then that Sarah found her niche. Life has come full-circle for Winfield Farm & Forge as Sarah successfully trains, breeds and shows Class A Arabians and Half Arabians. Her greatest pride comes from working with amateur riders helping them achieve their show goals.

Preferring quality over quantity, the farm features 20 stalls. Each horse has a training plan mapped out incorporating holistic methods of care including chiropractic, holistic nutrition, and daily attention to the Arabian’s social nature.

The training plan also prescribes mandatory play time appropriate to each horse. When you are told your show horse gets outside to play, you can be assured that it’s getting out there and getting dirty -- really having fun in its downtime.

The Main barn houses 10 stalls and all the amenities expected for the comforts of horse and rider. There is a separate 10-stall barn with a central aisle located adjacent to the main barn. This barn houses mares and newborn foals as well as horses preferring a more private stall away from the action of the arena. A broad choice in turnout options ensures every horse a safe alternative for daily downtime. An open-stall arrangement with windows for every horse is just one of the ways that Winfield Farm & Forge makes sure that all horses are well adjusted and as happy as possible.

With the help of family and friends, Kevin and Sarah have updated and expanded the property to its current state. Improvements and innovations are always in the works as they continue to develop an award-winning Arabian training facility.

Samuel and Zachary Vas learn about hard work on the farm

All rights reserved, Winfield Farm & Forge, Sarah & Kevin Vas
34342 Law Road
Grafton, OH 44044
330-483-3646 Farm ~~~~~ 330-242-3440 Cell

Contact Us: Sarah@WinfieldFarm.com