The Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival is proud to announce that Thad Way of Starkville, Miss., has joined the team of the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival as the co-executive director to continue to work alongside Todd Fisher and Ben Lee. Way is a Mississippi State University graduate and has a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Way is no stranger to the Tennessee Walking Horses, having been raised on a walking horse breeding and training facility. Way as been around the horse shows his entire life as a trainer and exhibitor. His extensive knowledge of the breed and the industry will provide a valuable contribution to our show,” said Fisher, the executive director of the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show for the past three years.

Sister Blackmon Milligan, founder of the Gulf Coast Celebration Association, said, “The Gulf Coast Horse Show is lucky to have a person of Thad’s education and knowledge about the walking horse industry. Way has never met a stranger and loves our breed and shares the same passion for our breed as many of us do. Also, he is aware of the future concerns for the industry. Further, we realized if Erica Derickson believed him to be the man of her dreams, then she knew him well enough for us to entrust him with the assistance of the show. We sure hope she is right about him.”

Way said, “I have been on the back of a walking horse since I was two and am still riding at age 23. Therefore, the opportunity to continue working around this industry is a dream come true. I am no stranger to this show I have been attending and exhibiting since the show first began. I am extremely excited about working with a show of this caliber. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to work for the Tennessee Walking Horse industry and promoting its growth and high standards for the breed.”

Way further said, “With the addition of new breeds to our evening show and new afternoon equine events, the Gulf Coast Charity Horse Show and Music Festival should be more exciting and competitive than ever. I look forward to the P.C. Splash Classic show at the Maury County Park in Columbia Tenn., on July 17, 2009, where we will be bringing the beach to Tennessee with our fresh seafood dinner and the red carpet treatment owners, trainers, exhibitors and spectators deserve. Also I am overwhelmed with anticipation of our 2010 Panama City Beach Horse show that will be on April 21-24, 2010. I hope to hear from everyone with ideas for next year, as I believe there is always room for improvement. I look forward to seeing everyone at both of our shows!”