Skip to content

Judge Announced for Gulf Coast Charity

Thad Way, Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration, Inc. and founder "Sister" Blackmon Milligan are pleased to announce the judge for the 12th Annual Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival to be held April 21st - 24th 2010 at Frank Brown Park Panama City Beach Florida, "The World’s Most Beautiful Beach!"

Merrill Murray from Versailles Kentucky has been selected to judge the 20 new Saddlebred and the 8 academy classes that have recently been added to the 2010 show bill. Way says, "Mr. Murray has a great deal of knowledge about the American Saddlebreds and has an honorable reputation within the Saddlebred Industry and we know he will be fair and honest." Mr. Murray has an impressive resume as a judge all over the United Sates including the Lexington Jr. League Show, the Worlds Championship show in Louisville, and the Kansas City Royal. It is for these reasons that the Gulf Coast Charity Celebration Inc. is proud to have Mr. Murray be the first professional Saddlebred judge in our Show’s 12 year history. Mr. Murray says, "Should be a fun spring show with lots of fun, sun, warm weather, great restaurants, and a great way kick off the show year."

The Gulf Coast Charity Celebration would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome at the 2009 UPHA Convention in New Orleans Louisiana and all of those who took the time to speak with us about our show. If anyone has recommendations for their show bill or any other aspects of the show (i.e.: trainer packets, hotel information, paddock club reservations, or other sponsorship opportunities.) Please call Thad Way at 850-914-9030 or visit their web site at  

The 2010 Horse Show will offer 20 classes just for Saddlebreds as well as 8 academy classes Saturday Morning (April 24) starting at 9:00 am, the Saddlebred classes offer $10,000 in prizes over all in a show that has over $50,000 in prizes and a $500 cash bonus to the barn that enters the most Saddlebreds! Among these classes is the Saddlebred Open 5 Gaited Championship that offers $1000 for 1st prize! The show will also be an ASHA affiliated show.

Here are the new Academy Classes
1. Academy pleasure any age (walk trot canter)
2. Academy equitation any age (walk trot canter)
3. Academy 13 and over walk and trot pleasure
4. Academy 13 and over walk and trot equitation
5. Academy 12 and under walk and trot pleasure
6. Academy 12 and under walk and trot equitation
7. Academy 8 and under walk and trot pleasure
8. Academy 8 and under walk and trot equitation

The horse show is a one of a kind show that offers a fun filled beach vacation and horse show wrapped into one package. For people who want to have a family vacation and show their horses at the same time, here is the chance everyone has been waiting for - a fun filled 4 day horse show and music festival at Frank Brown Park, Panama City Beach, Florida. It’s fun for the entire family!

This Horse Show takes showing horses to a new level with mornings of live music, amusement rides for the kids or adults if they dare, breakfast, and drinks while trainers are working horses; leisurely afternoons on the world’s most beautiful beaches, enjoying great restaurants and lots of fun; and evenings watching your horses perform from a reserved table in the exclusive Paddock Club that you don’t want to miss. In the Paddock Club there are tables for eight are decorated with white linen table clothes and come with eight catered meals three of the four nights and reserved seating all nights. This unique Paddock club also provides servers who will bring its patrons a drink of their choice at any time during the show and a fare to tantalize their palette. Live music is daily before the show and to finish each evening after the show a regional or national live band will entertain everyone and allow them to dance the night away. So come join The Gulf Coast Horse Show and Music festival for red carpet ride at the world’s most beautiful beaches for days at the beach and nights in the saddle!

The Owners, Trainers & Exhibitors Party will be held Tuesday night, April 20th, 2010 for our owners, trainers and exhibitors and sponsors actually participating in this show. It will be hors d'oeuvres and drinks at Sister and Tommy Milligan’s house and continued drinks, entertainment, and fun following at The Grand Panama Beach Resort on the pool deck, 11800 Front Beach Road. It will be loads of fun!

On Wednesday, April 21st and Thursday, April 22nd, entertainment will be provided by "The Ivey Brothers".

On Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th, entertainment will be provided by Nashville’s "Entice".

Every day, April 21-24th prior to the show each afternoon at 4:00pm, Northwest Florida’s own "Ivey Brothers" will entertain. The Gulf Coast Charity Celebration is sure everybody will enjoy all of the entertainment that they have lined up for this year’s event.

Mr. Way says, "It is Important for everyone to order and pay or have their blank check in for stalls and shavings on or before April 3rd , 2010. This gives the trainers an opportunity to talk to their customers the week of the Trainer’s Show. Due to the enormous amount of expense that the show incurs in ordering the temporary stalls and reserving the shavings supply the show will only be able to order stalls and shavings for those ordering and paying in advance or sending their blank checks. Reservations are needed because we have limited stall space available; however, if paid by the deadline, there should not be any problems having a stall and shavings for everyone."

Remember sponsorship opportunities and reserved seating is limited so please call and make reservations with Thad Way as soon as possible. All horse shows need sponsorships to survive so everyone is invited to support this great event to ensure the Saddlebreds continue to be present at our show. Please visit their web site to see all the levels of sponsorships available at

More Stories

  • ASHA Seeks Executive Director

    The American Saddlebred Horse Assocation (ASHA) is currently seeking to hire its next Executive Director. Founded in 1871, the ASHA’s mission is to safeguard the integrity of the American Saddlebred breed, to promote the use of American Saddlebreds, and to expand the public knowledge of the American Saddlebred.  Read More
  • Prize Lists Available for Asheville Saddlebred Classic

    The inaugural Asheville Saddlebred Classic is fast approaching and prize lists are now available at The entries closing date is April 20th and entries can be submitted online until that date. Hard copies of the prize list are available upon request... Read More
  • Blue Ribbon Opening

    Read More
  • Royal Crest's Mister Stone Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    Consistently in the ribbons, this wonderful gelding has proven to be an absolute star in whatever division he is entered in: Walk and Trot Equitation, Open English Pleasure, Junior Exhibitor Country Pleasure - he can do it all and he is ready for his next young rider! Direct inquires to Country Meadow Farm. Read More
  • HS Queen Of The Castle Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    A lovely mare that will get you noticed! Shown successfully in Junior Exhibitor and Adult Show Pleasure and Park Pleasure with lots of wins to her credit. She is suitable for a more advanced rider - let her win for you! Direct Inquiries to Jennifer Dixon. Read More
  • VVM Uncensored Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    This cute gelding has plenty of expression and is suitable for any level rider. “Vegas” has been shown successfully in the Classic Pleasure and English Pleasure divisions. Have some fun with him in the show ring! Direct Inquiries to Jennifer Dixon. Read More
  • Supreme Kiss Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    This beautiful bay gelding turns heads when he’s in the show ring! Successfully shown in the five-gaited pleasure division and will walk all day long. Kiss is ready for his next rider! Direct Inquiries to Jennifer Dixon. Read More
  • Sedgefield’s IL Divo Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    This colorful 7-year-old gelding is a blast to ride! He has been successfully shown in pleasure, park pleasure and park. He is ideal for a junior exhibitor or amateur rider. Started on pattern work, he would be a top contender in the equitation division as well.  He has a great attitude and loads of personality. Don’t miss the chance to own a great one! Direct inquires to Country Meadow Farm. Read More
  • Mr. McDreamy Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    A superstar on the competitive Country Pleasure division and is also equitated. A perfect first horse, he is high-headed, safe and loves his job. Priced to sell. Direct inquires to Evan and Mary Orr. Read More
  • Lady Cinnamint Now Being Offered For Your Consideration

    Proven in the competitive Country Pleasure and Show Pleasure divisions. Very reasonably priced and ready for any level rider. Direct inquires to Evan and Mary Orr. Read More