BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Ocala, FL—The FTBOA announced today that George Isaacs, general manager of the historic Bridlewood Farm located in Ocala, was re-elected president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association at a board meeting following the annual member meeting.
“I have been fortunate to lead FTBOA at a time of legislative success that has been decades in the making, and at a time of innovation for the media division,” Isaacs said. “I am proud of these accomplishments and thrilled the board has elected me again to continue my service as president for the Association and its members.”
FTBOA board members Milan Kosanovich of Ocala and Francis Vanlangendonck of Morriston extended their terms on the board while Beckie Cantrell of Ocala was for the first time named to the board. After a brief absence as board members due to term limits, past presidents Valerie Dailey and Brent Fernung rejoined the board.
They will each serve a three-year term that will run through October 2026.
Leaving the board because of term limits as outlined in the FTBOA by-laws were Bobby Jones and Dr. Fred Yutani, who served on the FTBOA board from October 2017 through October 2023; and Richard Kent, who served briefly, taking the seat left with the passing of board member and past president Fred Brei in March of 2023.
The board also selected the remaining executive committee officers for 2023-24 with Isaacs as president while George Russell, who owns Rustlewood Farm in Reddick, was named first vice president. Francis Vanlangendonck, who operates Summerfield in Morriston, was named second vice president; and Joseph M. O’Farrell with Ocala Stud will serve as treasurer. Nick de Meric, who operates de Meric Stables and Sales in Ocala, was elected as secretary. Past president and longtime officer and director Dailey, through her continued status as immediate past president, also serves as an executive committee member.
Isaacs has a long history serving the Florida Thoroughbred industry as an FTBOA officer and serving six terms on the FTBOA board with intermissions as required by bylaws.
He became stallion manager at Arthur Appleton’s Bridlewood Farm in Ocala in 1989 before becoming the general manager for Allen Paulson’s Brookside South Farm in 1992. In 1996, Isaacs returned to Bridlewood as general manager and currently manages operations there for John and Leslie Malone, who purchased the farm in 2013.
During his tenure at Bridlewood, more than 100 Florida-bred stakes winners and 12 Grade 1 winners have been bred by the farm.
Isaacs is the chair of the Equine Studies Program at the College of Central Florida, is a Horse Farms Forever board member and an AdventHealth Ocala Foundation board member. Isaacs is the chair for the FTBOA Ocala Downtown Thoroughbred Walk of Fame committee and serves on the FTBOA Farmland Preservation Work Group.
Cantrell retired from banking to concentrate on her Thoroughbred breeding farm with husband Kent Cantrell. Since 1998, the Cantrells have pinhooked weanlings to yearlings and bred a few mares each year. All of their resulting foals are registered Florida-breds and Cantrell is hands-on as the caregiver for each foal. Recently, Cantrell became a licensed realtor with Showcase Properties of Central Florida.
Dailey has a long history serving both the agricultural and business markets throughout Central Florida, including her service as the first woman FTBOA president from October 2021 through October 2022. A licensed realtor since 2005 and the owner/broker of the Ocala-based Showcase Properties of Central Florida since 2013, Dailey is a highly active member of the community and has been a small Thoroughbred breeder in Florida with husband Hugh since 1985.
Fernung has been involved in the Thoroughbred industry for more than 45 years and with his wife Crystal, has operated Journeyman Bloodstock Services since 1989. The Fernungs own and operate the Ocala-based Journeyman Stud where they stood Wildcat Heir through his many years as Florida’s leading sire and currently stand Khozan, Florida’s leading sire since 2020. Fernung served as FTBOA president a maximum of three years from October 2016 through October 2019 and was named the 2004 Florida Farm Manager of the Year.
Other returning FTBOA board members include T. Paul Bulmahn, Jerry Campbell, Marilyn Campbell, Laurine Fuller-Vargas, Mike Hall, and Mary Lightner. Lonny Powell enters his twelfth year at the Association helm as the CEO and executive vice president.
Return to Oct. 18 issue of Wire to Wire