06 January 17  |  Equestrian   |  

Horse Show Events Not Just About Competition

Today’s horse shows are evolving from a simple competition venue to a destination or “showcation” for the entire family.  Focusing on family and entertainment, and of course, equine competition, the equestrian show facilities are working hard these days to augment the horse show competition with amenities like fine dining, spas, art exhibits, shopping and entertainment.

That’s what horse show enthusiasts can soon expect from the proposed World Equestrian Center at Golden Ocala.  In addition to world class, climate controlled equine event space, the proposed development will also offer one to 10-acre equestrian home sites on 1,000 newly acquired acres.

The traditional horse show at an equestrian facility was once a place where people and horses converged for competition.  These facilities host different events throughout the year, from discipline focused competitions like Hunter-Jumper shows to breed horse shows, like the American Quarter Horse shows.  These events used to be all business focusing on the competitors and horses and not much else.

However, today, the boundaries between the horse show and the experience are melding together, providing a vacation experience intermingled with an equestrian event.  The competitors are choosing their event destinations depending on the amenities available.  It’s not just about the competition for these riders; it’s about the ambiance of the equestrian sport venue and offerings and amenities within close proximity.

horse show dog show and costume contest

For example, those attending an event at WEC at Golden Ocala could use down times to take advantage of the many amenities at Golden Ocala – including, tennis, golf,  spa and its great restaurants – if they were members.

Many equestrian events are also offering lots of shopping options to include more than the items of the traditional shows of the past.  From artist exhibits and high-end fashion to local wine and produce, the horse show shopper can buy a variety of items these days.

Entertainment is another key attractor to a particular event.  Many horse shows offer entertainment in the evenings after the competition has concluded.  From rider receptions to concerts, the competitors and spectators are entertained and welcomed to the equestrian facilities.

Even the VIP hospitality experience has grown in these “showcation” destinations.   The VIP experience, once just a great location to watch a horse competition, is now considered a coveted opportunity to mingle and network with the who’s who.  From CEOs to celebrities, the VIP hospitality experience today is filled with people recognizing the changing environment of equestrian competitions.

Each year, the competitors expect more; more shopping, more fine dining, more entertainment, more spoiling for the whole family. It has become more like a family vacation experience.  The “showcation” provides entertainment for all the visitors, whether they are competing or just there to observe the competition.  The “showcation” embraces the local community and embraces the unique offering of each destination.

For more on Golden Ocala’s national memberships or the World Equestrian Center at Golden Ocala, please call 800-251-7674.