The New Guard: Johanna Hyyppa

Johanna Hyyppa and North Country, 2007 USEF National Junior Hunter Overall Reserve Champions. Photo by Lilli Weik.
Johanna Hyyppa and North Country, 2007 USEF National Junior Hunter Overall Reserve Champions. Photo by Lilli Weik.

By TPH Intern Emma Dubinsky

When I called Johanna Hyyppa, owner and head trainer of Metro Stables of Charlotte, Vt., after only a few minutes I knew she would make it far in the horse world. Her aspirations and accomplishments are notable, and it’s obvious that she truly cares about the kids and their horses they entrust in her care.

Hyyppa, who grew up in Portland, Conn., was on a horse before she could walk. By the time she was 18, she had won awards that most of us dream about!

Until she was 12, Hyyppa, now 25, rode with her mother. Looking to be more serious about her competitive riding, she then moved to the instruction of Missy Clark and Linda Langmeier, and finished up her last junior year with Heritage Farm with Andre Dignelli and his team based in Katonah, N.Y. Under their instruction, she finished reserve at USEF Junior Hunter Finals in 2008 with North Country. They also won the National Junior Hunter Championship Perpetual Trophy Large Champion in the 16-17 group on the East Coast.

Johanna Hyyppa showing Mandella at Green Mountain Horse Association. Photo: Reflections
Johanna Hyyppa showing Mandella at Green Mountain Horse Association. Photo: Reflections

In the equitation ring, she impressed in the USET Medal classes around the country before finishing 8th at USET finals held in Gladstone, NJ. When she graduated from high school, Hyyppa studied at University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. While studying, she missed the horses, and began working for Annie Dotoli. While in college, Hyyppa made the decision to rescind her amateur status, and went pro. She commented on the greater array of classes available, and she felt it was a better use of her talents.

As a coach, Hyyppa’s students have won the Vermont state equitation championship in the novice equitation, as well as winning the Vermont Junior Medal. Also, her riders have snagged multiple state championships, and she even had a rider compete at the New England Equitation Championships. Even though she sometimes finds it hard to have enough time to get everything she wants done, Hyyppa loves, “working with awesome horses, fun students, and watching them develop as a team.” She loves the moment when, “The lightbulb goes off in the riders mind, and everything comes together, … see [them] acting as one.”

Johanna Hyyppa with student Lila Ouellette and King of Hearts, winners of the 2015 VHJA Novice Medal Finals.
Johanna Hyyppa with student Lila Ouellette and King of Hearts, winners of the 2015 VHJA Novice Medal Finals.

Hyyppa and her students hope to soon begin their A show season, and she was chuckling as she reminded me that the weather up north is just starting to thaw enough. She hopes to soon purchase a young horse, and bring it up the ranks. Eventually, she hopes to see the successes continue, and begin breeding horses with her mom. When teaching, she likes to, “work hard, but also keep everything in perspective and have fun.”

With a junior career like Hyyppa’s, and all of the experience under her belt, it is no question Hyyppa and her riders will begin blowing away the national scene in no time at all.