GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It's always a thrill to watch the horses jump out at the Gulf Coast Winter Classics. Every day, riders put their horses through the paces in the various arenas at the Harrison County Fairgrounds during the six week long event.
2014 has been a banner year.
"It has been very big. Our hope was when we added the extra prize money we would get more participants, and we did," said organizer Janet McCarroll.
McCarroll is talking about the $1 million in prize money given out this year at weekend grand prix events in the hunter and jumpers classes during this world class stop on the winter circuit.
The top riders in the sport are here, like Wilhelm Genn.
"I've won more than 100 grand prix events in the states and Europe," Genn said.
German-born rider and trainer Wilhelm Genn is a premier competitor. His son, Theo, is an emerging star. And it's a family affair; Both Theo and Wilhelm's other son, Ryan, compete.
There's something special coming up this weekend. Trick rider Geana Cox will be performing at a rodeo Friday and Saturday nights at the fairgrounds.
"We'll have great performers in here, plus extreme trick riders," according to rodeo promoter Brandon Perdue.
So it will be a spectacular final weekend for the Gulf Coast Classics: Rodeo on Friday and Saturday, and the final hunter and jumper grand prix on Sunday at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.