04 January 17  |  Equestrian   |  

Why Marion County Is The Horse Capital of the World

Horses, horses everywhere!  If you are traveling to Florida, a must see is beautiful Marion County in North Central Florida, aptly named The Horse Capital of the World.  From thoroughbreds to Paso Finos, Ocala and Marion County boast more than 70 different breeds of horses and ponies.

Nestled in the rolling pastures of North Central Florida, Marion County provides the perfect environment to produce equestrian champions.  From Triple Crown winners to Olympic competitors, this county is home to many top equine athletes and their riding partners and trainers.

Boasting highly rated competitions including international level events like the prestigious Furusiyya Nations Cup event held in February, Marion County is the place to be for equestrians and horses.

In the temperate winter months, many thoroughbred training facilities are filled to capacity with young thoroughbreds being broken and prepared for their careers as race horses.  Some of the best thoroughbred trainers in the world are based in Marion County where they prepare their young students with the techniques to be the fastest competitor on the tracks.

Marion County is the Horse Capital of the World

Florida’s thoroughbred farms and training centers have produced 50 national champions, six Kentucky Derby winners, seven Preakness Stakes winners, six Belmont Stakes winners, 26 Breeders’ Cup champions, six Horses of the Year, plus last year’s Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah. He started his training at the McKathan Brothers Training Center in Citra. It’s one of many top training centers located in Marion County.

But thoroughbreds are just one breed of many that are attracted to this area for its mineral rich soil and water, mild year-round climate and roster of top riders, breeders and trainers.  For example, eventers are flocking to this area for the incredible training centers dotted throughout the county.  The recent Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day event was a showcase for the potential for high-level eventing competitions to be hosted in Marion County.  Any given weekend, throughout the winter, eventers can find great competitions and schooling opportunities.

For the show jumping crowd, there are several shows throughout the winter months, including the Great American Million Dollar Grand Prix, that attract the very best competitors in show jumping.  And the crown jewel will be the new World Equestrian Center at Golden Ocala with expansive indoor climate-controlled arenas located within walking distance to the luxurious amenities of Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club.

With the possibility of year-round competitions in Ocala, equestrians are choosing Marion County in North Central Florida as their base of operation.  From the lush, green pastures to the international level training and showing facilities, it’s a destination for top horses and riders.

Here at Golden Ocala, equestrians love the amenities created just for them including the 20-stall horse barn, covered round pen, large grass paddocks, large jumping arena with new footing and miles of private picturesque riding trails.

To learn more about these amenities, national memberships or the World Equestrian Center at Golden Ocala, contact us today. We’d love to hear from you.

  • Patootie

    As a trail rider, I would love to see mentioned the miles of beautiful trails, and the fact that we attract equestrians from all over the country who come to our area to take advantage of the beautiful, pristine trails we have here- with trails easy enough, or challenging enough for any adventurist. Trail and recreational riders comprise a very large segment of this community!