Gulf Coast Circuit

Exhibitors bask in the sun in Florida as they show their horses in the first competition of the year.

The American Quarter Horse Journal

Exhibitors enjoy fun in the sun during the 2015 Gulf Coast Circuit in Florida. (Larri Jo Starkey photo) For more photos from the show, scroll to the slideshow below.

This time of year, who wouldn’t want to spend some time in the Florida sun?

For exhibitors at the Florida Quarter Horse Association’s Gold Coast and Gulf Coast circuits, the showsare full of win-win – chances to show their horses and bask in warmer temperatures.

All-around and halter classes are at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa, while cattle events, reining and ranch pleasure are at the Triple J Arena in Sarasota.

The Gold Coast began in 1967, says longtime show manager Peg Edmondson, and it has become a Florida tradition for many exhibitors. The 2014 Gold Coast ended December 31, and most exhibitors stuck around for the 2015 Gulf Coast that began January 1.

Special events at the show included a drawing for a saddle for every halter entry and a pairs jumping class.

When not showing, exhibitors, family and friends sported shorts, T-shirts and relaxed attitudes for their first show of the year.