Gulf Coast Classic Pensacola Week III in Review

Frances Land and her own Vieanne clear the Johnson Horse Transportation fence

Pensacola, Florida (January 29, 2013) – The Escambia County Equestrian Center in Pensacola, Florida played host to the Gulf Coast Classic’s grand finale and in Classic form — it was a huge success!  The Pensacola leg of the Gulf Coast Classic Winter Series closed out on Sunday and it was a perfect last week to close a perfect show series!

The final weekend brought the best out to ride in the USHJA National Hunter Derby and the $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix when top riders competed for the check before crowded stands and enthusiastic, cheering spectators.

Equestrians representing Ontario, Canada, New Mexico, Ohio, Connecticut, New York, Georgia, New Jersey, Alabama, Maryland, Minnesota and Texas, to name a few, came to ride at the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Pensacola Shows and left with smiles, ribbons, money and a resounding promise to be back next year!

TGIF brings out the Hunters!

Tim Maddrix riding Cosmopolitan, owned by Sarah Digiorgio, to the win in the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby

The $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby kicked off the competition Friday.  The course was designed by Paul Jewell of New Hope, Pennsylvania.  The final results put Cosmopolitan, owned by Sarah Digiorgio and ridden by Timothy Maddrix of Birmingham, Alabama, in first place followed by Caracas, owned by Mary Claire Ray and ridden by Bradley Cox of Mobile, Alabama.  Third place honors went to Belvedere, owned by Ellen Herrington and ridden by Bradley Cox, while fourth place went to Zivago, owned by Denies Clolery and ridden by Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland.  Fifth position went to Paddington, owned and ridden by Lillian Hahn of Tryon, North Carolina. Sixth place went to L’Esperado, owned by Amber Hill Farm and ridden by Emma Mandarino.  Seventh place went to The Golden Compass, owned by Heathfield Hunters, LLC and ridden by Alyson Gurney of Washington, DC.  McGwire, owned by Allison Bergmeyer and ridden by Ashley Foster of Maryland, finished in eighth place while Fortissimo, owned and ridden by Allyson Quirk, finished in ninth place.  Sum Hot Chocolate, owned and ridden by Lindsey Steck, wrapped up the class in tenth place.

Live from Pensacola, it’s Saturday Night!

In Classic fashion, on Saturday night the grand prix was the main event under the lights and delighted the crowds and riders as the stands packed to watch the $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix.

A field of 22 riders took to the course designed by Allan Rheinheimer of Zionsville, Indiana with thirteen returning for the jump off, but it was Frances Land of Alpharetta, Georgia and her own Vieanne who won the blue and the check.

Frances Land sails over a jump with her own Vieanne and wins the $25,000 Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix

Land was able to complete the jump-off with no faults and a time of 34.028 seconds which beat Nancy Gooding’s Palim Palim, ridden by Wilhelm Genn of Lebanon, Ohio’s fault-free time of 35.063. Third place was won by Paulexi LLC’s Quastor Van De Helle Z, ridden by Mary Lisa Leffler of Brookeville, Maryland, in a fault-free time of 35.562 seconds.  Fourth place saw Bridlebourne Stables LLC’s Winchester, ridden by Theo Genn of Lebanon, Ohio, to a fault-free round of 36.616 seconds, while fifth place finisher Bon Giorno, owned by Showcase 81 LLC and ridden by Bryn Sadler of Santa Fe, New Mexico, finished in a fault-free round of 37.355 seconds.  Sixth place was awarded to Wilhelm Genn and his own Happy Z who finished with four faults and a time of 33.231 seconds, while seventh place had Showcase 81 LLC’s Cincinnatti, ridden by Bryn Sadler, finish in 34.435 seconds with four jump faults.  Eighth place finisher Gangsta, owned and ridden by Alex Granato of Salt Lake City, Utah, finished with four faults and a time of 39.676 seconds while ninth place went to Cookie Monster ***, owned and ridden by Wilhelm Genn, who received four faults and a time of 35.151 seconds.  Tenth place went to Eduardo Leon’s Asirea Fortuna, ridden by Theo Genn, in a jump off time of 37.006 seconds and four jump faults and eleventh place went to Cola, owned by Wilhelm Genn and ridden by Theo Genn, in a time of 39.562 seconds and four jump faults.  Twelfth place went to Taylor Land’s Levade 35, ridden by Jay Land of Alpharetta, Georgia, who finished in 36.361 seconds and eight jump faults.

“This was our first time showing in Pensacola.  We wanted to come last year, but didn’t have the opportunity,” said Frances’ father, Jay Land.  “At the last minute we decided to bring our horses and we’re sure glad we did!” he added.  “The Pensacola facility is great and we really enjoyed it.  Besides a top rate show, the town is really fun, there were a lot of spectators before and during the class and they really got into it!” he said.  “It is challenging to find a facility with a nice indoor that you can show in. For Francis’ horse and Taylor’s horse [Levade], it was a great opportunity to show them in such a nice indoor arena.  The fact that it was loaded with spectators made it even more fun!

“Classic Company always does a great job with their shows. And the funny thing is, that was the third time Frances won a Classic Grand Prix and it was her third time winning the Johnson Horse Transportation Grand Prix!  We have used Johnson Horse Transportation in the past and they are fantastic.  My wife and I have known them since we were kids and they are a great company. They’ve grown a lot over the years and would recommend them to anyone,” Land added.

“We would like to thank all of the sponsors, riders and trainers for supporting the Gulf Coast Classic Pensacola shows. The community is welcoming, the businesses here are happy to have you and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Pensacola next year,” said Bob Bell, President of Classic Company.  “Until then, let’s keep the good times rolling and head on over to Gulfport!”

Remember, the Classic staff will be happy to take your entries and there is never an add or scratch fee!  And don’t forget to visit Classic Company’s sponsor Equestrian Connect for a one minute, online entry — you can’t beat that!

For those planning their last minute treks to Gulfport, don’t forget to contact the Gulf Coast Classic’s Preferred Equine Carrier, Johnson Horse Transportation to move your horse or entire barn to Gulfport, Mississippi for the winter!  Reliable and professional, count on Johnson Horse Transportation to carry your champion to the next Classic event!

The Gulf Coast Classic Winter Series in Gulfport, Mississippi, is set to kick off on February 6 and is anticipating a great turn out.  “Our customers love the Gulf Coast!  We have the prettiest Grand Prix Arena anywhere.  The turf was replanted this year and has taken really well.  The horses love this surface,” commented Bell.  With the show’s close proximity to the quaint town of Gulfport, the beaches, and the ‘Classic famous’ exhibitor parties, there is something for everyone.  So, come to Gulfport and let the good times roll!

Jay Land plans on bringing their winning streak to the Gulf Coast Classic Winter Series.  “We’ll be in Gulfport for the entire circuit and we’re taking six horses.  It’s really fun and very enjoyable.  It’s a great facility and the people are super!  We really love Gulfport-it is one of the highlights of our year, “he commented.

For those last minute lodging needs, please visit the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Official Hotels.   “Our lodging partners offer the most convenient and horse show friendly accommodations and have partnered with the Gulf Coast Classic Company to make your experience showing in Gulfport even better. Make sure to mention you are with the Gulf Coast Classic Gulfport Shows to receive your special discounted rates!” said Bob Bell, President of Classic Company.

The prize list is on-line.  If you are not on Classic Company’s mail list, make sure to email to receive prize lists and news.

The Classic Company is a USHJA’s Members Choice Award winner, recognized for producing top quality show jumping events in the United States.  For more information on Classic Company and its exhibitor-friendly, top quality hunter jumper events, please visit them at or call them at 843-768-5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at  All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

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