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Shannon Hicks Sweeps the Jumpers Week II of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic! Feb 19, 2018

From: The Classic Company and Gulf Coast Classic Company <>
Subject: Shannon Hicks Sweeps the Jumpers Week II of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic!
Preheader: Wins the $7,500 Welcome and $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix
USEF Premier (AA) Rated Event | USEF Jumper Level 4

Shannon Hicks pilots Emir D to the win in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix [Photo credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

For Immediate Release:  February 19, 2018 
Gulfport, Mississippi

Shannon Hicks of St. Louis, Missouri swept the jumpers Week II of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic!

Hicks and Emir D lead the victory gallop [Photo credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]
Besides winning the $5,000 Gulf Coast Classic Welcome with Helen Gilbert's Ypsilon and a fifth place with Helen Gilbert's Al Pachini, she went on to win the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix in the irons of Helen Gilbert's Emir D on Sunday.
"Helen is the greatest owner of all time," commented Hicks. "She understands there are highs and lows, she is really happy if I'm happy with the horses and of course that the horses are healthy," she said. "Helen loves when her horses win, but it's more about the journey than the results."

Fifteen competed in the $25,000 Nutrena Grand Prix on the beautiful grass grand prix field over a course designed by Canadian Michael Vaillancourt and only three turned in clear rounds to advance to the jump off. The four faulters were also invited back for the jump off round. "This was a good opportunity for my student Isabella [Bleu Baxter] because she is just getting going and doesn't always have the chance to practice jump offs," said Hicks.

First time round allowed was set at 85 seconds. As the first horse and rider team to go, Hicks and Helen Gilbert's Al Pachini earned four faults in the first round in a time of 75.056 seconds. As the first to go in the jump off round in a time of 42.626 seconds, within the 52 seconds time allowed, they finished in fourth place. "I took it conservatively with Al Pachini," she said.

Laura Connaway of Little Rock, Arkansas rode her own Quite Funny and was the first to go clear in a time of 80.963 seconds. They continued that in the jump off round with a time of 47.774 seconds and with no faults, set the time to beat.

Hailey Rogge of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Zine Dine were the next four fault pair to advance to the jump off. The pair earned another 4 jump faults and with a total of eight in a time of 44.555, would finish in seventh place overall.

Isabella Bleu Baxter and her own Caroquados T, winners of the Week I $25,000 Domino's Grand Prix, earned four jump faults in the first round in a time of 78.750 seconds. The pair received an additional four jump faults in the jump off round for a total of eight faults in a time of 44.283 seconds.

Kelley Buringa and her own Ladybird followed with a four fault first round in a time of 81.193 seconds. They went clear in the jump off round in a time of 44.573 seconds and finished in fifth place overall.

Connaway returned to the arena with the next clear first round with her own Ceralena in a time of 80.787 seconds. Their clear jump off round in a time of 47.324 seconds moved them to the lead position with the new time to beat.

Hicks and Al Pachini were the last to turn in a clear first round in a time of 78.959 seconds. They continued that momentum in the jump off round, going clear in a time of 46.136 seconds and took the win. "Laura [Connaway] was really good and I while I went pretty conservatively with Al Pachini, I needed to go a bit faster on Emir and be clean," commented Hicks.

"It was a good course," Hicks added. "While it wasn't especially tough, if you did one thing wrong, the jump was going to come down. The riders were dropping rails all over the course, which is a good sign that it was designed fairly and the designer was not trying to eat you alive," she said.
Gulf Coast Classic Company President Bob Bell greets Shannon Hicks and Emir D along with the Nutrena team in the winner's circle.  Champion cooler provided by The Clothes Horse [Photo credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

"Gulfport is my all-time favorite circuit," said Hicks. "The weather was lovely and if I had to fault it, it may have been a little hot," she laughed. "It was a little breezy which made it perfect and the crowd was great," she added.

Hicks Kicked Off Week II with a Win in the $7,500 Welcome
Shannon Hicks sails over an oxer in the $7,500 Welcome with Ypsilon on their way to the win [Photo credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

Shannon Hicks rode Helen Gilbert's Ypsilon to the win in the welcome besting seventeen horse and rider teams. Only four horse and rider teams progressed to a second round opportunity.

Isabella Bleu Baxter and her own Jahil were the first to go clear in a time of 71.458 seconds. Their second round earned them four faults in a time of 39.041 seconds would see them finish in third place.

Whitney Boyce-Petrey of New Orleans, Louisiana and Lincoln Case's Canebrake followed with the next clear first round. However, their second round earned them 16 jump faults and 23 time faults which would see them finish in fourth place overall.

Kelley Buringa of Northlake, Texas, and her own Ladybird was the next clear round and four faults in their second round in a time of 38.680 seconds saw them finish in second place.

Awards Coordinator Drew Coster greets Shannon Hicks and Ypsilon in the winner's circle [Photo credit: Alison Hartwell Photography]

Hicks and Ypsilon sat in the enviable last to go position, turning in double clear rounds in times of 73.831 and 41.256 seconds which won the class.

The fastest of the four faulters, Hicks and Helen Gilbert's Al Pachini, finished fifth overall and Catherine Zaunbrecher of Lafayette, Louisiana and her own Leonardo earned a sixth place ribbon for their four fault first round in a time of 66.460 seconds.'s Felix BC, ridden by Nicki Mathen of Austin, Texas, placed seventh for their four fault first round and Laura Connaway and her own Ceralena earned an eighth place for their 71.376 second first round.

Hailey Rogge of Lafayette, Louisiana, rode Christian Rogge's Flame Van De Dasseni to a ninth place finish and Connaway and her own Quite Funny wrapped up the class with a tenth place ribbon.

At Nutrena, they know it takes optimum nutrition to feed your horse for proper development, overall health and performance ability. While others only consider ingredients - they focus on nutrients. That's why their horse feed solutions are formulated to deliver the right balance of nutrients your horse needs every day.

The Clothes Horse, makers of fine horse wear and drapes, is the Official Sponsor of all Grand Prix Champion Coolers at this year's Gulf Coast Winter Classic.

Customization is what they are about and they provide excellent service and fast turnaround time as well as complete attention to detail! Visit them online at

Celebrate our 20th Anniversary with us!
Photo credit: Alison Hartwell

The AA six week circuit kicked off in Gulfport, Mississippi on February 7th and has plenty to offer for your entire barn. The $5 3' and 3'3" Green Hunter Divisions are back and that's right...only $5 for the entire division! What a great way to earn mileage for your up and coming hunters and riders! The offering has been extended to the Young Hunter Division too! Only $5 for the Young Hunter Division. All 3' and 3'3" Sidelines Green Hunter Divisions will be qualifiers for the $30,000 Green Hunter Classic slated for the Atlanta Fall Classic. Start earning your points now!

The $15,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby is scheduled for Week V, March 9
$1,500 USHJA Pony Derby Week III, February 23rd
$1,000 USHJA Zone 4 Children/Adult Handy Hunter Week IV NO ENTRY FEE

$25,000 Grand Prix
$7,500 Open Welcome
$5,000 1.25 M Gulf Coast Jumper Classic
$2,500 1.20 m Jr/AO Jumper Classic
$3,000 1.30 m Jr/AO Jumper Classic
$5,000 1.40 m Jr/AO Jumper Classic
$2,000-$3,000 KCR Classic Hunter Derby PLUS Non-Pro Rider Bonus Awarded Each Week-Week V takes place on the world-class grass grand prix field
$1,000 Sidelines Green Hunter Divisions 3' and 3'3" $5 Division Entry Fee
Young Hunter Divisions, 3', 3'3" and 3'6" $5 Division Entry Fee

Happy faces at the Gulf Coast Margarita Party [Photo credit: Bob Bell]
Come discover why the grass is greener on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Gulf Coast Winter Classic is the smart choice and the preferred destination show location for winter circuits. Join us in the winner's circle this winter! 

All sponsorship and press inquiries should be directed to Lisa Davis Engel and all program advertising questions should be directed to Drew Coster.  
Exhibitor Information

(Click on the cover to download prize list)

Grand Prix each week
USHJA International Hunter Derby V
Classic Derby Classes
Hunter and Jumper Classics

Schedule - Week 1

Schedule - Week 2

Schedule - Week 3

Schedule - Week 4

Schedule - Week 5

Schedule - Week 6

Entry Forms

Camper Reservation

Lodging Information
Beau Rivage
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino 

875 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, MS 39530
Luxury is what it's all about! Beau Rivage is a 32 story, 1740 room AAA Four Diamond resort. With two gourmet restaurants, BR Prime and Jia, new Casino lounge, Tom Fazio designed Fallen Oak golf course, 85,000 square foot casino, spa, salon and lots of shopping, this is the ultimate destination on the Gulf Coast.  Visit the website for a complete tour of the resort.

Click here to reserve
Best Western Plus Seaway Inn

9475 US 49
Gulfport, MS 39503
The Best Western Plus Seaway Inn is offering a special Gulf Coast Winter Classic Horse Show Rate of $59 per night.
Just off Highway 49, this airy hotel is a short distance from the Equestrian Center.
Featuring free WiFi and flat-screen TVs with cable channels, the contemporary rooms offer desks, coffeemakers, minifridges and microwaves. Suites have in-room whirpool tubs and/or sitting areas. Exterior corridors leading to the rooms surround a courtyard. Amenities include free hot breakfast & parking, an airport shuttle, a pool in a courtyard, and a cocktail lounge. There's also a business center and a fitness facilities.
Pet Friendly.

Call for the horse show rate

9445 US 49
Gulfport, MS 39503
Horse Show Rate of $64 per night.
Off Interstate 10, this casual hotel is short distance from the Equestrian Center.

The traditional-style rooms feature free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs, as well as minifridges, microwaves and coffeemakers; some have seating areas with pull-out sofas and/or in-room whirlpool tubs. Freebies include hot buffet breakfast, an airport shuttle and parking. There's also an outdoor pool, a fitness center and a furnished terrace, in addition to a business center and meeting space. Pet Friendly.

Call 228-868-3300 and ask for the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Horse Show Rate.

Click here to visit hotel website
Harrah's Gulf Coast
280 Beach Blvd
Biloxi, MS 39530

Hilton Garden Inn Airport
14100 Airport Road
Gulfport, MS 39503

The Hilton Garden Inn Gulfport Airport is conveniently located in close proximity to all the Gulf Coast offers! Spacious rooms, onsite dining and bar, relaxing pool, fitness room, well-equipped office center, and complimentary airport shuttle are just some of the amenities the Hilton Garden Inn offers its guests. Friendly and courteous staff and well appointed and immaculate rooms will greet you upon your return from a busy day of competing at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics!

Holiday Inn Gulfport-Airport

9515 US 49
Gulfport, MS 39503
The award winning Holiday Inn Hotel Gulfport - Airport is offering a special Gulf Coast Winter Classic Horse Show Rate of $89 per night.
You can enjoy a relaxing stay at our Gulfport accommodations, ideally located off I-10 and Highway 49, just a short distance from the Equestrian Center. Also, be sure to enjoy the complimentary airport shuttle provided by our hotel to the nearby Gulfport Airport. While lodging in Gulfport, take advantage of our heated, indoor pool, hot tub, 24-hour fitness center and on-site restaurant, which offers a casual dining atmosphere where kids can eat for free.

Book Online or Call 228-679-1700 and ask for the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Horse Show Rate.

Click here to visit hotel website
The Residence Inn

14100 Airport Road
Gulfport, Mississippi  39503

Located right next to the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, Residence Inn Gulfport-Biloxi Airport is an all-suite hotel. If you're looking for an extended-stay hotel on the Mississippi Coast, you'll find convenience and great amenities. Enjoy a spacious studio, one or two-bedroom suites offering separate living, eating and sleeping areas, complimentary high-speed Internet, full kitchens and luxurious bedding. Enjoy complimentary hot buffet breakfast daily, The Mix social hour three nights a week, grocery shopping service, fitness center, complimentary airport shuttle, and seasonal outdoor pool.
The Residence Inn is pet-friendly!

Phone/Fax:  (843) 768-5503 
Post Office Box 1311, Johns Island, SC 29457

The Classic Company, Ltd., PO

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