Paternoster Returns to Competition and Wins the $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcome!‏

By Classic Company with Photos by Alison Hartwell


Paternoster and Zonneglans had their winning comeback ride yesterday in the $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcome.

Gemma Paternoster formerly of the United Kingdom and now Wellington, Florida had an amazing comeback ride in yesterday’s $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcome.  The Atlanta Fall Classics is her first show back after having broken her shin bone in a kite boarding accident last August which resulted in a ten week break from competing and titanium in her leg.  “Today was great!  Even though we had a few funny things going on with the sponge padding on my knee and it’s still a little painful,” she said.

Twenty one horses took to the course designed by International Course Designer, Manuel Esparza of Mexico City, Mexico, former Assistant Designer for the Olympic Games in Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and Beijing in 2008.  The first round time allowed was set at 90 seconds and only 8 advanced to the second round.

Lauren Hester of Lexington, Kentucky and Hester Equestrian’s Wender, turned in the first clear round in a time of 79.781 seconds and a clean second round effort in 44.574 seconds, well within the 57 seconds time allowed.

Daniel Geitner of Aiken, South Carolina and Lionshare Farm’s Creative, were the next pair to turn in a clear first round in a time of 84.842 seconds.  Their second round effort in a time of 45.935 seconds would see the pair finish in seventh overall.

Next to go was Gemma Paternoster in the irons of her own Osiris.  “I was planning on sending him [Osiris] back to England last August to retire, but after I broke my shin bone, I knew I would need him to get my confidence back.  He was integral to my rehabilitation in the saddle,” she said.  “He is usually a feisty horse but he has been very soft and gentle with me,” she added.  “I rode him first so I could get my confidence and ride Zonneglans faster,” she added.  “This will be Osiris‘ last horse show and he is heading back to England later this month,” she said.  The pair turned in a clean first round in a time of 87.707  seconds and second round in a time of 47.205 seconds, finishing in eighth place overall.

Tim Maddrix of Birmingham, Alabama in the irons of Missy Nolan’s Specialized followed Paternoster and turned in a clean first round in 86.214 seconds.  Their second round effort in a time of 44.361 seconds put them in the lead ahead of Hester.

Leander, owned by Honorway Farm, LLC and piloted by Leana Kelly of Valatie, New York was the next clean first round in a time 85.005 seconds and the fastest second round effort at this point in the class in 43.776 seconds.

Laura Linback of Morriston, Florida, aboard Woodrun Farm, LLC’s HH Dauphin was the next to go clear in a first round effort of 85.111 seconds.  Linback gave Kelly andLeander a run for the lead, but their second round effort in a time of 43.588 seconds was not fast enough to edge ahead and would finish in second place overall.

Paternoster was next to go in the irons of her own Zonneglans.  “The course was fast and Laura, Leana and Tim had their feet to the floor.  Dolly [Zonneglans] is so incredibly well balanced and I just left her alone and let her gallop,” said Paternoster.  The pair turned in a clean first round effort in 84.658 seconds and a second round in a time of 42.441 seconds taking the lead.  “The jump off round really played to her hand,” she added.

KM Corfina, owned by KM Farms and ridden by David Jennings of Franklin, Tennessee was the next pair to turn in a clear first round effort in a time of 81.370 seconds.  A rail in their second round in a time of 44.051 seconds would see the pair finish in ninth overall.

Hester returned with Hester Equestrian, LLC’s Clueless P for the final clear round in the class in a time of 80.633 seconds. However, their second round in 44.155 seconds was not fast enough to beat Paternoster and Zonneglans’ time and would find themselves in the fourth place position overall.


Paternoster is beaming after turning in the fastest second round effort in the $7,500 Horseflight Open Welcome yesterday at the Georgia International Horse Park.

“Zara Kelly and the International Riding Academy did a great job caring for Osiris andZonneglans while I was recovering from my accident.  And Philip Hodgson was with me the entire time from surgery to learning to walk again in October.  It was a hell of a six weeks and I can’t thank these people enough,” said Paternoster.


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Everyone is all smiles at the Atlanta Fall Classics at the Georgia International Horse Park!

The Classic Company’s 20th Anniversary at the Georgia International Horse Park kicked off Wednesday and the action has been nonstop!


The upcoming schedule includes today’s $5,000 Barry Lane Classic, Hunter Breeding classes, the $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby and the National Classic Equitation Finals.  Tomorrow the $10,000 Barry Lane Classic and the $35,000 Classic Company Grand Prix, presented by EMO take the center stage and Sunday’s $10,000 Barry Lane Classic wraps up the highlights for Week I.


Week II features Zone 4 Finals all week!  And…

  • Thursday:  $7,500 Nalley Stonecrest Toyota Open Welcome
  • Friday: EMO Equitation Classic Finals
  • Friday:  $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derby
  • Friday: Hunter Breeding Classes-double judged
  • Friday evening:  $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby
  • Saturday $10,000 Child Adult Jumper Classic
  • Saturday $35,000 Atlanta Classic Grand Prix, presented by EMO
  • Sunday:  Circuit Awards, presented by Practical Horseman

Some stalls are still available so call the office at 843.768.5503 or email to reserve your stalls now!  Then enter online at and remove the hassle from filling out entries!


Pensacola is on deck and will be the first circuit to offer the $5.00 Pre-Green Division!


The prize list is online and your opportunity awaits to enter the $5.00 Pre-Green Division each week as well as compete in big prize money in both the hunter and jumper divisions on the Gulf of Mexico!  This is your opportunity to gain valuable show mileage at a coastal location this winter!  Enter today!

The Classic Company‘s philosophy is to offer an event for every level of rider and horse.  From Lead line to Olympic level Grand Prix competition, from seasoned veteran horse and rider team to a first time horse show experience, The Classic Company offers competition that provides the competitor substantial prize money, award-winning facilities and courses, quality competition and the best customer service in the industry.

Service is what sets The Classic Company apart from other horse show companies.   Consistently awarded the USHJA‘s Member Choice Award for providing excellent customer-friendly competitions, the Classic Company provides champion service from in-gates to show office at all its venues.  Top competition with an emphasis on southern hospitality is our hallmark and the reason thousands prefer to compete at Classic Company produced events each year.

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

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to:

Lisa Engel

Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director