Buzz for Gulf Coast Winter Series is All Good; Thom Brede Joins Staff
RELEASE: November 3, 2009
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Robbi Meisel
The 2010 Gulf Coast Winter Series has become the hot topic among the equestrian community from coast to coast. Under the management of Bob Bell and Janet McCarroll, the Gulf Coast Winter Series has just announced the addition of Thom Brede to assist Allen Rheinheimer this season as a technical director. “Thom’s been managing large horse shows for years, he’s one of the most sought after hunter judges, and brings a host of talents to our series,” Bell shared.
While it’s expected that Brede’s primary focus will be on the hunter divisions, Bell added that having Brede’s wealth of knowledge on hand would be an even greater asset to ensure exhibitors needs can be anticipated in and out of the rings. “Thom has been part of some of best horse shows in our country and working with Allen Rheinheimer, I am sure our circuit will be better for it,” said Bell.
Held at the Harrison County Equestrian Center in Gulfport, MS, 2010 will mark the 11th year of the winter series. This year’s six-week event runs February 10-March 21. Looking for an expression of gratitude to their many loyal exhibitors co-chairs Bob Bell and Janet McCarroll knew the perfect gift. Bell said, “With all the changes our country is going through we decided to make some changes for the good of our exhibitors. One is by maintaining the same pricing we’ve had since 2008.” Also returning will be the “U Pick UP” feed and bedding at reduced prices. There will be specific times of day, both morning and afternoon, where the exhibitors can meet show staff at the feed/bedding trailers to purchase their needs and save money by not having the goods delivered to their stalls. If preferred, the show will still offer the normal feed and bedding delivery service. Details, prices and hours will be posted in the show office.
The Gulf Coast series is well known for it’s “Southern Charms” and “amazing local tastes” when it comes to the weekly exhibitor parties. There are never stuffy attitudes or dress codes there, just a bounty of great food and fun. So far, several of the social gatherings are being kept top secret for 2010, Bell chuckled when explaining they wanted to build some suspense among partygoers for now. But have no fear—the “Build Your Own Pizza” extravaganza will return this year, courtesy of Dominos.
The icing on the cake for riders and trainers is in the increased prize money. While many shows are downsizing the dollars offered to winners, the Gulf Coast’s popularity has been attracting more sponsors. Over the course of the six weeks, more than $700,000 will be handed out in awards. “We want our hard-working riders to not only have a fun show experience with us, but to reward them for all the hours and/or miles it took for them to reach this point,” commented Bell on the increased prize money. Additions to the jumper divisions for 2010 include: both the Children’s and Adult jumper sections will have $500 classes without nomination fees. Their Classics will each increase to $2,500. For the Junior/Amateur Owners, the Low and High divisions will double their cash winnings, and there will be a Show Jumping Hall of Fame Classic.. The Young Jumpers will see three age divisions and the naming of champions and reserves. And of course each week will host a grand prix event. Changes there will have week one and week six awarding $10,000 to the victors, while the remaining weeks will offer $25,000 up for grabs. The big news is weeks three and five will host an additional $25,000 Grand Prix, giving professionals two chances at a total of $50,000 in prize money.
The hunter exhibitors have some exciting changes this season—beginning with the announcement of the Gulf Coast Winter Series being chosen as a WCHR member event. Look for these special classes to share the spotlight with the Hunter Derby during week 4. The Adult Amateurs will now run in three age groups—18-35, 36-49, and 50-plus. Also added will be the Amateur Owner 3’3 division, and this section will have the same Amateur Owner prize money offerings. And for breeders and/or owners this season will mark the debut of Hunter and Pony Breeding divisions at the Gulf Coast Winter Series.
All in all, if a savvy exhibitor is looking for the perfect winter escape, Classic Company believes they’ve got the answer with a combined total of 12 weeks USEF AA rated competitions. Beginning with the blustery month of January, riders in the extreme northern U.S. can enjoy four weeks at the Jacksonville Winter Series, January 6-February 7, held in Green Cove Springs, FL, then take a leisurely drive over to Gulfport, MS, for the next six weeks, February 10–March 21, and finally welcome spring back with two weeks of the Atlanta Spring Classics, March 24-April 4, located at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
To learn more about Gulf Coast Winter Classics, please visit www.classiccompany.com
or call the office at (843) 768-5503. To book hotel or condo reservations, please contact Connections at (800) 262-9974.