About Bridlewood Farm

Leslie & John Malone, Owners
Spanning five decades, the Bridlewood Farm name has meant success at the highest levels in Thoroughbred racing, breeding, and sales. Now under the stewardship of John and Leslie Malone, Bridlewood is once again on a course towards prominence.

The Malones purchased the 800-acre historic facility in Ocala, Florida in August 2013, and are spearheading its revitalization. In the short span since they purchased Bridlewood, the Malones have procured some of the most sought-after bloodstock in the sales arena, and secured three new Graded stakes winners for their stallion barn. John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media Corp. (whose holdings include Sirius XM and the Atlanta Braves) is the largest land owner in the United States. Leslie, a horse lover since childhood, is a well known equestrian and major supporter of the U.S. Olympic Dressage Team.

While the Malones credit their Irish heritage for their quest to acquire land, the purchase of Bridlewood hit a little closer to home. "We're approaching retirement age, and we were originally thinking of a retirement place," John told The Blood-Horse. And the thrill and excitement of the Thoroughbred industry, coupled with the opportunity to preserve such a famed operation, was an opportunity too good to pass up.

"It's a beautiful property," John said. "To find a hill in Florida is a rarity. The place has a lot of natural beauty, and visiting the farm kind of brings out the farmer in me."

The Malones are concrete in their plans for Bridlewood:

  • Restore the property and structures
  • Reinvigorate the stallion operation
  • Rebuild the broodmare band
  • Cultivate and serve boarding and sales clients
  • Revive the racing stable
  • Return Bridlewood to its place of prominence

The Malones are keeping the Bridlewood name--inaugurated by the late Arthur I. Appleton--both to honor its history and to create opportunity. More than 100 stakes winners have been bred and raised under the name Bridlewood, and superstar Champion Smarty Jones is among the many top horses trained at the farm. Many top stallions have stood there as well, including Silver Buck (sire of Hall of Fame champion Silver Charm), Skip Trial (sire of Hall of Fame champion Skip Away), and Stormy Atlantic (Champion Juvenile Sire of 2006). Eight stallions will stand at Bridlewood in 2015, all Graded stakes winners: Aikenite, Backtalk, Benny the Bull, Big Drama, Corfu, Fort Loudon, Mach Ride, and Wagon Limit.

The Malones are Connecticut natives who now have residences both domestically and abroad, including 150-year-old Humewood Castle in Ireland. In December 14, they purchased  the famed Ballylinch Stud in Ireland, home to Europe's Leading Freshman Sire, further bolstering the international appeal of their Thoroughbred operation. Married for 50 years, they reside primarily in Colorado, but plan to make Bridlewood their home for at least four months of the year. Parents to two children, daughter Tracey and son Evan, they also have four grandchildren.

George G. Isaacs, General Manager

George Isaacs grew up around cattle and horses on his grandparents’ farms in Kentucky. At the age of 18, he began his equine career at Stanley Petter’s Hurricane Hall Stud as a groom. In 1981, Isaacs went to work for the late Joe Taylor at John Gaines’ Gainesway Farm as a stallion groom and was later promoted to Asst. Stallion Manager as well as Yearling Manager.

Isaacs came to Florida in 1989 to assume the post of Stallion Manager at Arthur I. Appleton’s Bridlewood Farm. Three years later, he went to work for Allen Paulson as General Manager of his Brookside South Farm where he was involved with Breeders' Cup winners Ajina, Cigar, Eliza, and Escena, and countless more stakes winners. Mr. Paulson was recognized as Eclipse Award-winning Breeder in 1993, as well as Eclipse Award-winning Owner in 1995-96, during Isaacs' years with him. “To be able to work for Mr. Paulson and all those great horses and people in my early thirties seemed surreal at the time. It was an invaluable learning opportunity that helped prepare me for taking over Bridlewood.”

In 1996, Isaacs returned to Bridlewood as General Manager and has overseen the farm’s operation ever since. During that time, well over 100 Florida-bred stakes winners and 12 Grade 1 winners have been bred by the farm, including Florida Champions Jolie’s Halo, Wild Event, Forbidden Apple, Southern Image, David Junior, and Eden’s Moon. In 2001-04, Isaacs helped manage the training and racing career of Kentucky Derby & Preakness winner Smarty Jones for the Chapman family. Leading Florida stallions such as Skip Trial, Stormy Atlantic, Halo’s Image, and Put It Back have all stood at Bridlewood under Isaacs' guard.

Now, Isaacs is excited about the renewed vitality at Bridlewood, as well as the challenge of producing more Florida-bred stakes winners and Champions. This prospect is already well under way, as 2014 Spinaway (G1)/Demoiselle (G2) winner Condo Commando was broken and trained at Bridlewood.

“The Florida Thoroughbred industry has been very good to me and my career,” said Isaacs. “I would like to give back to the Florida horse industry by having a small part in ensuring a future legacy for the next generation.

“The day I met the Malones I knew instantly they would be great stewards of the farm and that they wanted to properly capitalize the equine endeavors so we can become relevant in the industry once again. My relentless goal will be to build and maintain a high-quality program 'one horse at a time', for ourselves and for our clientele,” Isaacs concluded.