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Above: Ocala’s Downtown Gazebo Right: Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest

“Monday, Monday.” Heading north and west, we find another winter equestrian destination in Ocala, Fla. Located in limestone-rich Marion County, Ocala supports very rich pasture land and is a large resource for the equine industry. With over 1,200 horse farms in the area, many different equine activities are represented, including thoroughbred breeding and training, eventing, show jumping, and dressage. The abundance of open space allows for a variety of training and business opportunities for horsemen and recreational options for vacationers. Ocala is home to one of the HITS horse show circuits. Generating over $7 million dollars a year

46  Equestrian  Winter 2016

for the area, the show offers 10 weeks of premier hunter and jumper classes, culminating in March with the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. The newly-opened Grand Prix stadium is home to visitor-friendly Grand Prix events on Fridays and Sundays, free of charge. Eventing is also represented with the Ocala Horse Properties Winter Event Series which draws the best in U.S. eventing. Out of the horse world, Ocala boasts a beautiful state park, a national forest, a celebrated hiking trail, and a historic district. The Silver Springs State Park is one of the oldest parks in the United States and was Florida’s first tourist destination in the 19th century. Fed by artesian springs on the

Winter Issue  


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