Experienced, knowledgeable and well-known horsemen Bob Bell and Bradley Spragg of Classic Publishing, a division of Classic Company, Ltd, are the new faces of Sidelines Magazine. Bob and Bradley recently purchased Sidelines from founder Samantha Charles, who started the publication more than 28 years ago. As the magazine changes hands, changes will also take place within the pages of Sidelines as a new look and feel will gradually emerge. Bob and Bradley are excited to be at the helm and shared a little about their pasts — and the future for Sidelines.
Meet Bob Bell
Bob Bell, the new president of Sidelines, has a passion for equestrian sport and for decades has produced top hunter/jumper shows. His Classic Company shows are a favorite among riders, families and trainers, and Bob’s constant smile is a welcome sight at the shows. In 2016, Bob will produce the Pensacola Winter Series, the Gulf Coast Winter Series, the Atlanta Spring, Summer and Fall Classics, the Jacksonville Spring Classics, and the Charleston Summer Classics.
“I love the horses, the competitions, the governance, and the people involved with the sport, “ Bob said.
Bob, a USEF Steward, served on the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Board of Directors from 2005 to 2014, and currently he chairs the USEF Admin and Finance Council and the Competition Management Committee and is a member of the National Breeds Discipline Council, the Stewards and Technical Delegate Committee, and the Continuing Education Committee. He’s also a member of the United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Board of Directors, where he chairs the Show Management Committee, the Zone Four Hunter Committee, and the Hunter Zone Council.
While Bob stays busy, he’s ready for the challenges that will come with running Sidelines and he has already experienced a small trial by fire. “I have enjoyed watching Sidelines for years from when it started as a weekly newspaper. I never thought I would own a magazine, but after conversations with Samantha, I knew it was the next step for me,” Bob said. “I know it will be a challenge, because just getting this first issue out was — when I really had nothing to do with it except for a few minor changes! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry.
“I think that’s how people see show managers — that the shows just happen, and the managers don’t do much but stand at the ingate saying “next” and taking your money,” continued Bob. “I thought a magazine just happened and now I know it’s a lot of frantic work, especially at the last minute to make every single aspect of the publication come together. I am ready for the challenge and look forward to working on Sidelines with my friend Bradley. I hope our readers will be looking forward to our next issue to see what we have put together.”
Meet Bradley Spragg
The new publisher of Sidelines, Bradley Spragg is a professional horse trainer and owner of the Atlanta Hunt Club (established in 1993). For 28 years he has guided his students to wins and championships at the country’s top equestrian venues, such as Devon, Pennsylvania National, Washington International, and the USEF Pony Finals, to name a few.
Bradley has served on the USHJA Junior Hunter Task Force and the USHJA Zone 4 board and said: “There is nothing more thrilling than to educate a horse and rider and watch them excel to the highest level.”
After completing his own junior career in the hunter, jumper and equitation divisions, Bradley attended and graduated from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He went on to work briefly in the advertising and marketing field.
“I loved the creative side of the business, but I still had horses in my blood,” Bradley said. “When my friend Bob approached me about becoming his partner in Sidelines, I was thrilled. I have always wanted to get back to being involved in something pertaining to my education. And I knew this was going to be awesome. So far I have learned a tremendous amount about publishing — things are done a lot different than when I was in school — and I have met many amazing people. I’m very excited about guiding this publication to the next level!”