The Gulf Coast Classic Official Wrap-Up

Theo Genn and Winchester win the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix to close out the Gulf Coast Classic Winter Circuit. Flashpoint Photography.

March 19, 2013 – Gulfport, Mississippi – The setting sun dipped into the Gulf of Mexico and extended its rays to the Harrison County Fairgrounds and Equestrian Center, bidding it a final farewell to the 2013 show season.

The best was saved for last, as more than three thousand spectators came out to watch the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix on March 10 and savor the last bit of the 2013 Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit.  Politicians, sponsors, trainers, riders and equine enthusiasts of all ages sat ringside and after the prix, all took to walking the course after the class.

The Sidelines Contest brings the winner center stage!

Official Equestrian Lifestyle Magazine of the Gulf Coast Classic Company, Sidelines Magazine, ran a special contest whereby the contestants had to submit a photo of them and their horse on the “sidelines” in order to win a chance to walk the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix course with Wilhelm Genn.  The contest was a huge success and more than one hundred photos were submitted.  Lucky winner Jill Zednick of Biloxi, Mississippi won the contest and had the opportunity to hear from the German-born grand prix rider, Wilhelm Genn, on how to tackle the course.  Obviously his advice worked, since his son and professional rider, Theo Genn, won the class aboard Bridlebourne Stables LLC’s Winchester.

Gulf Coast Classic Circuit Awards

The dedication and commitment by the riders paid off when they received their Gulf Coast Classic Circuit Awards.  Proud recipients included:

Hunter Circuit Champions

  • High Performance Working Hunter – CR Carolato II owned by Robert Gabriel and ridden by Jordan Siegel
  • Performance Working Hunter 3’6″ – Celebrate owned by Mimi Herbert and ridden by Katie Lambert-Boone
  • Performance Working Hunter 3’3″ – Purple Heart owned by Lynn Rice and ridden by Tom Brennan
  • 1st Year Green Working Hunter – D’Oro owned by Kimberly Huffstutler and ridden by Holly Shepherd
  • 2nd Year Green Working Hunter – Gramercy Park owned by Lynn Rice and ridden by Tom Brennan
  • AO Hunter 18-35 – All the Best owned and ridden by Christina Fisher
  • AO Hunter 36 & Older – Her Boy Wonder owned and ridden by Avery Griffin
  • AO Hunter 3’3″ 18-35 – Davenport owned and ridden by Dani Di Pietro
  • AO Hunter 3’3″ 36 & Older – Flippin Murmur owned and ridden by Ashley Herndon
  • Small Junior Hunter 15 & Under – Silver Lining owned and ridden by Helen Graves
  • Small Junior Hunter 16-17 – Wahlberg owned and ridden by Nicole White
  • Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under – Happenstance owned and ridden by Bergen Sanderford
  • Large Junior Hunter 16-17 – It’s Rooney owned and ridden by Alexandra Efrid
  • Small Pony Hunter – Wink and Smile owned by Tustin farm and ridden by Hannah Kent
  • Medium Pony Hunter – Brownland’s Millennium owned by Wind Haven Farm and ridden by Callie Rheinheimer
  • Large Pony Hunter – Champlain Sovereign owned by Tustin Farm and ridden by Nicole White
  • Green Pony Hunter Small – Pip Pip Hooray owned by Belle Rolfe and ridden by Hannah Kent
  • Green Pony Hunter Medium – Blue By You owned by Wind Haven farm and ridden by Callie Rheinheimer
  • Green Pony Hunter Large -Almost Midnight owned by Amber Hill Farm and ridden by Emma Mandarino
  • Adequan Pre-Green Hunter – Sandlot owned by Cherry Knoll Farm and ridden by Katie Cooper
  • AA Hunter 18-35 – Johnny owned by Lizabeth Fisher and ridden by Christina Fisher
  • AA Hunter 36-49 – Hampton owned and ridden by Ashley Herndon
  • AA Hunter 50 & Over – Riesling owned and ridden by Cheryl Rubenstein
  • Children’s Hunter 14 & Under – Lagerfeld owned and ridden by Alyssa Talpos
  • Children’s Hunter 15-17 – Luigi owned and ridden by Victoria Flagg
  • Children’s Hunter Pony – Starry Night owned and ridden by Hallie Hatcher
  • Child Hunter 2’6″ – Who’s That owned and ridden by Jillian Carter
  • Adult Hunter 2’6″ – Zersina owned and ridden by Carol Thimot
  • Baby Green Hunter – Selina owned by Annie Clark and ridden by Belynda Bond
  • Thoroughbred Hunter – Back Talk owned by Eileen Fontaine and ridden by Morgan Potter
  • Short/Long Stirrup Hunter – Castlerock owned and ridden by Bryce Bowen
  • Walk-Trot – Miracle on 34th owned by Rolling Acres and ridden by Emma Rheinheimer

Equitation Circuit Champions

  • Junior Equitation – Alexandra Efrid
  • Children’s Equitation – Samantha Powers
  • Pony Equitation – Gage Hodgen
  • Adult Equitation – Kelly Cartwright
  • Adult Equitation 2′ 6″ – Jeffrey Ayers
  • Children’s Equitation 2’6″ – Jillian Carter
  • Short/Long Stirrup Equitation – Lina Webernick

Jumper Circuit Champions

  • Grand Prix Jumper – Winchester owned by Bridlebourne Stables ridden by Theo Genn
  • Junior/AO Jumper 1.40m – Ruby Tuesday owned and ridden by Robbie Donaldson
  • Junior/AO Jumper 1.30m – Fairy Tale owned and ridden by Lee Hatcher
  • Junior/AO Jumper 1.20m – Captain America owned and ridden by Breezy Sambola
  • Open Jumper – Lacy owned by Mr. & Mrs. Patrick Rodes ridden by Theo Genn
  • Young Jumper – Boucanier owned by Eagle Valley Partners and ridden by Devin Ryan
  • Child/Adult Jumper 1.15m – Kalinero Du Galete owned by Whitney Goulart and ridden by Emma Boyce
  • Adult Jumper 1.10m – Lexus owned and ridden by Michael Matice
  • Children’s Jumper 1.10m – Alibi Z owned by Castlewood Farm ridden by Sarah Spencer
  • Child Adult Jumper 1.00m – Bantry Bay owned and ridden by Rebecca Margolis

Special Honors

For the first time in its fifteen year history, the Sportsmanship Award was presented to local resident, Ann Stewart, for her pro-Gulf Coast Classic Company efforts.  “Ann became a friend of the horse show in its first year in 1999 and has since worked tirelessly to promote and improve the show and its home at the Harrison County Fairgrounds and Equestrian Center,” said Janet McCarroll, Gulf Coast Classic Show Coordinator. When presenting Ann with the beautiful needlepoint pillow and Sportsmanship Trophy, McCarroll said, “Ann has gone from being a cheerleader at Long Beach High School years ago to being the Gulf Coast Winter Classic’s best cheerleader and most supportive friend.”

Destination:  Gulfport!

Thousands of riders traveled from all corners of the United States and made Gulfport their home for five weeks.  Health issues plagued the circuits in Florida, but the Gulf Coast Winter Classic was thankfully untouched by the virus that shut the gates to so many shows in the south.  “By working with the state veterinarians and employing their recommended bio-security measures, we were able to escape the virus that infected horses at other horse shows.  We did not allow daily ship-ins and moved those horses on-site at no charge to them.  We were considerate of our exhibitors and I know in the end, we are all relieved we escaped this without incident,” commented Classic Company President, Bob Bell.


The circuit was certainly a special one for so many this year.  The USHJA Horse of the Year, Gramercy Park, owned by Lynn Smith and ridden by Thomas Brennan of Charles Town, West Virginia, made the Gulf Coast hunter rings his home over the last five weeks.  Thomas Brennan said, “One of the things I love about Gulfport is that you can bring a horse here and by the time you go home, you know what you’ve got and you know what they can do and you’re ready for the year.”  “The judges here are top notch – this is a horseman’s venue – with all of the other choices, there are places to graze them, you can ride them in a different ring every day, there’s plenty of space, they don’t get sour, there is no congestion and plenty of turnouts,” he added.


The weekly Derby breakfasts were a favorite this winter and made possible between the efforts of the Gulf Coast Classic Company and the generous Gulf Coast Classic Hospitality Sponsors.

It is no secret that the Gulf Coast Classic Company and its sponsors throw complimentary parties that are considered to be the best in the industry.  Every Friday night there was always something going on and many Mondays, local casinos rolled out the red carpet to equestrians looking to let their hair down for the evening!

Fabulous Footing!

The grounds were spectacular this year and the reviews from international Olympic course designer Steve Stephens to grand prix riders to hunter riders resounded with accolades.  “This field is one of the best in North America,” said Stephens. “It’s really what sets this show series apart from the others,” he added.  “Horses gain a certain energy from the grass,” said exhibitor Rodney Bross. “Many other shows try to replicate that with synthetic footing, but to have a field this nice and all natural is what all other shows are trying to accomplish with their synthetic footing. But, you can’t replicate nature,” he added.  The hunter rings collected their share of praise too.  According to Thomas Brennan, trainer and rider of the USHJA Hunter Horse of the Year, Gramercy Park, “The footing is predictable.  You know that whatever the weather, Allan [Rheinheimer] will handle it – they are smart about it and good at it.  You feel safe at 2’6 to 4′.”

Happy Sponsors!

Many sponsors of the Gulf Coast Classic traveled to Gulfport this year and found the equestrians competing at the shows to be quite receptive to their message, product and brand.  “We had a great time and are looking forward to the rest of the Classic shows,” said Caroline Hogan of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals.  “Our time in Gulfport was great,” said Hillary Fanning of Merial.  “We had a good turn out and are looking forward to the Atlanta shows,” she added.  “Our trip was very productive and the introductions were great,” said Tamara Otus of Equestrian Connect. “Not only did I get what I wanted in our sponsorship agreement,” said Bertrand Pelletier, CWD, “I got more.”

This Bud’s for You!

After four weeks of seconds, the $50,000 Budweiser Grand Prix of Gulfport awarded Theo Genn and Bridlebourne’s Winchester the win.  “The whole circuit was fantastic; the people are awesome – from the exhibitors to the sponsors, to the show management.  The field is great and our horses did well… we’ll definitely be back next year.”

The Gulf Coast Winter Classic in Gulfport is where the fun was all winter and hopefully, you didn’t miss it! Mardi Gras’ festive atmosphere in neighboring New Orleans spills onto the show grounds, making this winter circuit the most fun in country. With its close proximity to the Gulf Coast beaches, class offerings, prize money, and social scene, the Gulf Coast Classic Company’s Gulfport shows are a must on everyone’s show list.  The show featured weekly $2,500 USHJA National Hunter Derbies, the $10,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby, weekly grand prix schedule and generous Open Welcome Jumper classes.

Anyone who has shown with the Classic Company knows what sets them apart from the rest:  Classic Shows are FUN!  And, this year the fun continues at the Gulfport show with complimentary exhibitor parties, breakfasts, luncheons and office snacks to make your showing experience the best ever.

Classic Company never charges a scratch or add fee for those last minute adds and scratches, so if you haven’t entered yet, go to the prize list or simply click on Equestrian Connect to fill out your entry form and stabling requests.

Equestrian Connect is Classic Company’s Official Service Provider and allows exhibitors to store their data one time, on the web, and then use that data to automatically fill out hunter/jumper entry forms across the country.  The service offers a free 45 day trial period for new members.  At the conclusion of the trial period, Equestrian Connect offers an annual subscription, or a “pay as you go” service.    The service allows exhibitors to save both time and money.  This is the one-minute online entry service that will help you get your entries in on time and you to the show!

So, whether you are a seasoned veteran or a novice looking for a positive show experience, look to the Gulf Coast Classic shows in Gulfport, and let the good times roll!

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 or call them at 843-768-5503.

All sponsorship, marketing and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Engel, Sponsorship, Marketing and Public Relations Director at  All program advertising should be directed to Nate Poliquin, Program Sales Representative at

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See you at the ring,
Bob Bell
The Classic Company, Ltd.
Phone/FAX:  (843) 768-5503
Post Office Box 1311  Johns Island  SC 29457

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