Ocala Magazine August 2022 Digital

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AUG 2022




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Rental in Golden Ocala – Presiding over the challenging 15th green with incredible views of the course, bridge, and pond. 5 Bed/ 5.5 bath pool home. Enjoy the amenities of Golden Ocala and World Equestrian Center just a golf cart ride away. $12,000 Monthly

Located in Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club, just a golf cart ride to and from WEC is this spectacular 6 bed, 5 full and 3 half bath distinguished home offering 15,000 +/- SF on two lots. Expensive screen enclosed resort style pool and lanai area. $6,499,000

Prestigious 4 bed, 4.5 bath pool home in gated Country Club Farms on 4.55 +/- acres of equine friendly property. 4 car garage plus separate 1 bed/1 bath perfect for guests or gym. Located minutes to the Florida Greenways and The Florida Horse Park $1,450,000

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40+/- Acres located just minutes to World Equestrian Center – Highway 27 Frontage – Great location! 3/3 pool home plus 1/1 cabana. 18- Stall barn with office, full bath and tack room. Zoned A-1 with RL and MR land use. Adjoining acreage is also available. $5,088,000


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Looking to build your dream home in the Laurels of Bellechase? This .77 acres is the perfect setting for your new home. Gated Community is convenient to shopping, restaurants, and medical care. $185,000

Bellwether Estates - 5.64 +/- Acres of gently rolling land in gated community. This would make a perfect home site. Bring your builder and plans. Great location close to shopping, medical and schools. $290,000

Golden Ocala – Prime homesite 1.09 +/- acres in Lakeside at Golden Ocala. Dynamic views of manicured fairways, greens and the lake. Just a golf cart ride away from World Equestrian Center. Possible owner financing. $875,000

Great opportunity to purchase this Tuscan office on Fort King close to downtown 2-Story office – each floor offers: conference room, reception area, 2 restrooms, Kitchenette and 4 large offices. Elevator. 15- plus parking spaces. $1,100,000


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49.51 +/- Acres located just 10 miles from World Equestrian Center located In Phase 2 of Estates of Cotton Plant. This parcel is plotted for 3 parcels. Draped with Granddaddy Oaks, gently rolling ground perfect for your dream home or farm. $2,475,500

50+/- Beautiful acres of gently rolling land in Emerald Mile deed restricted community. Property is located just 12 miles to the World Equestrian Center. Perimeter fenced and ready for horses or cattle. Bring your plans to build the perfect home or farm. $315,000

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Magnificent 132 +/- acre farm with majestic Live Oaks, gently rolling pastures with 3 gated entrances. Main residence, 16-stall barn with office, round pen, 6-stall barn, viewing area plus a cottage for guests. $4,650,000

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AUGUST • 2022 FEATURES 16 Links of the Emerald Isle 24 Art in the Open – A Photo Essay from Ralph Demilio 34 OM Cover Model Finalists 42 OM Pulse 44 New Moms and Dads

DEPARTMENTS 10 From the Publisher 12 Words of Wisdom 14 From the Mayor

47 48 50

EAT School Lunch Inspiration Dining Out

53 54 56 58 60

PLAY Red, White and OSO Blue Cody’s Grand Opening Alzheimer’s in Ocala Anthology: Poetry in Motion

63 64

EQUINE Natural Horseman’s Saddles

67 68 70 72 74

ETC Charity Spotlight: The Pearl Project Health Journal: Back-to-school Quiz for Parents State of the City: Public Transportation State of the County: Commission Chairman’s Address Kiwanis Korner Rotary Circle Looking Back: Charles Rheinauer

p. 24 Public Art Photo by Ralph Demilio

Ocala’s City Magazine Since 1980 Serving the Horse Capital of the World® $5.95


Art in public spaces, on location at Tuscawilla Park Photographer: Ralph Demilio

AUG 2022






76 77 80

C U S TO M B U I LT O N YOU R L A N D S I N C E 1 9 7 2 THE TIME TO BUILD IS NOW F o r o v e r 5 0 y e a r s , A m e r i c a ’s H o m e P l a c e h a s b u i l t q u a l i t y custom homes for our customers. Our philosophy is our foundation. “Principle over profit.” The driving force for our culture and growth s i n c e 1 9 7 2 . W h e n y o u c h o o s e A m e r i c a ’s H o m e P l a c e , y o u c a n b e s u r e we will build your dreams on solid ground.


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Volume 42, Issue 2




CELEBRATING OUR 42ND YEAR! Philip Glassman, CCIM | Publisher philip@ocalamagazine.com

Penny Miller | VP/Corporate Development penny@ocalamagazine.com

EDITORIAL Carlton Reese | Editor carlton@ocalamagazine.com

ART Little Black Mask Media | Creative Direction, Design + Production jessi@ocalamagazine.com

Brad Rogers | Contributing Writer + Editor brad@ocalamagazine.com Robin Fannon | Food + Lifestyle Editor robin@ocalamagazine.com

PHOTOGRAPHY Ralph Demilio | Chief Photographer ralph@ocalamagazine.com

Louisa Barton | Equine Editor

CONTRIBUTORS Mark Anderson/Marion County | Writer Ashley Dobbs/City of Ocala | Writer Mayor Kent Guinn | Columnist Liza McFadden | Contributing Writer OPERATIONS Randy Woodruff, CPA | CFO randy@ocalamagazine.com

Sharon Raye | Copy Editor

Ocala Magazine Wins Five 2022 Florida Magazine Association Awards! EDITORIAL OR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 352.622.2995

www.ocalamagazine.com OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER HOPS — Historic Ocala Preservation Society MEDIA PARTNER & PRESENTING SPONSOR of the Tailgating Competition at Live Oak International OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR 2022 International Women's Day Celebration EXCLUSIVE MEDIA SPONSOR FOR George Albright Annual Golf Tournament OFFICIAL MEDIA SPONSOR FOR FINE ARTS FOR OCALA


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from the publisher

The blessing of summer and family AS SUMMER WINDS DOWN and the dog days descend upon us, here’s hoping our readers had a chance to enjoy the season by traveling some and having fun with their families – something that we couldn’t do much the past couple of summers because of the pandemic. Now, it’s time to start thinking about getting back into a routine as our kids return to school and to count our blessings that there will be some semblance of normality in what I can only call a quasi-post-COVID period – even though a new COVID variant seems to be raising its ugly head… again. It seems appropriate that the subject of this month’s Charity Spotlight is an organization that helps foster and help adoptive families deal with overcoming the traumas and troubles their new family members have suffered. The Pearl Project, based in Ocala with branches in Winter Garden and Niceville, helps educate and encourage foster and adoptive parents learn and understand how to bring healing to the children they have brought into their families. The Pearl Project also works with substance-exposed newborns and has a relationship with the local courts to help troubled parents be reunified with their children. What organizations like The Pearl Project do for our community is invaluable, and those of us who do not need their services should count our blessings. I, for one, am lucky to have had parents who provided guidance, the wherewithal and the support needed to grow and develop as a person. I had the good fortune to spend time with my own two children this summer vacationing and simply enjoying time together. It, of course, was time well spent, in fact the best of times, and I can only hope that other families in our community had the same opportunity. As we embark on the new school year – public schools start classes on Wednesday, Aug. 10 – we, as a community, will once again come together in our schoolhouses and see our children grow and move forward. Not all children, obviously, have the same advantages and it will take all of us to ensure that each child can learn and grow, just as The Pearl Project works to do every day. I am sad to see summer end because I have so enjoyed the time with my children doing things and going places – it seems to get better every year. But at the same time, I welcome the new school year and the moments it will bring where I will see my daughter and son take steps and even leaps forward as students and people. I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful summer, enjoying not only the absence of pandemic restrictions, but most importantly the special times this season affords us to spend time with our children and families.




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words of wisdom

No Horsin’ Around on Litter


t won’t be long before those annoying litter bugs you see throwing a fast-food bag out their window along Marion County roadways could face a $150 fine. And that’s just for starters. Increased penalties for violators – and there are lots of them -- are just one of the recommendations the Marion County Commission has approved to stop the relentless defacing of our community. The penalties are just part of a wide-ranging County Commission-approved plan by the county’s Litter Task Force, led by Beth McCall, that includes a marketing and public education effort to spread the message that littering is no longer going to be tolerated. And that message? “No Horsin’ Around with Marion.” Get used to seeing it and hearing it. Meeting since last October, the Litter Task force was the brainchild of County Commissioner Craig Curry, who says the goal is not to punish people, but rather to “change hearts and minds.” A survey taken by the task force asked: “How concerned are you about litter in Marion County?” The results showed more than 95 percent of Marion Countians believe litter is a problem. Curry sees the task force’s plan as an opportunity for all of us. “If you’ve got a problem that is community-based like trash, you’ve got all the elements in place to attack it and solve it,” he said. “And this is not I or me, this is us and we. This is something everyone can participate in and the community will benefit immensely.”

Amen! Litter has been an ever-growing plague on Marion County for years. In 2021, the county picked up 1.4 million pounds of trash along our highways and side roads and spent $1 million doing it. Curry, who has been the anti-litter champion, credited the work of the task force and the willingness of the County Commission to act for making the anti-litter effort a success … so far. “You’ve got the best of all worlds,” he said. “You’ve got a commissioner hellbent on doing something. You’ve got a task force that is second to none in finding a solution. And you’ve got a County Commission that’s ready to address the problem.” Besides aggressive marketing and public education campaigns, a new county litter ordinance puts some teeth into local litter law. State Attorney Bill Gladson and Sheriff Billy Woods both were part of the task force, with Gladson overseeing the rewrite of the litter ordinance. “People often need a little motivation to do the right thing,” he said. In addition to a $150 fine for first-time offenders, second-time offenders could face a $300 fine as well as 10 days of jail time and litter pickup duty. A third conviction for littering could lead to 10-30 days in jail and/or community service, plus a $500 fine. They ain’t horsin’ around, folks. But Curry is quick to point out this isn’t about trying to arrest people into compliance. It’s about taking pride in Marion County and cleaning up our roads that travel through some of Florida’s most spectacular countryside.

“This is something everyone can participate in and the community will benefit immensely.”



BY BRAD ROGERS Gladson is optimistic the plan will be a game-changer. “I think it’s going to work,” he said. “The Marion County Litter Task Force wants to change minds. We’re giving people the tools to make it work. And we have the enforcement component, too.” Curry was quick to point out that finishing the plan and getting County Commission approval is not the end of anything, but rather it’s the beginning. In fact, he said most members of the task force want to keep working to grow the program. “It’s not like it’s over and they’re dropping the ball,” the commissioner said. “And I’m going to continue to be the cheerleader.” This is a huge victory for Marion County. Or as Woods put it, “If we can make more people proud of our community, to build pride in our community, it’s a good thing. And I think this will build pride and make us better.”

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from the

For WEC, nothing else even compares BY MAYOR KENT GUINN


believe the verdict has long been in regarding the World Equestrian Center, but it is interesting to note exactly where it stands in terms of other equestrian facilities. To get a greater appreciation of WEC, it helps to actually see what other facilities are like and draw the necessary comparisons. As such, I recently attended a conference in Palm Beach and decided to visit the Wellington Equestrian Center out of curiosity and a desire to make those comparisons with WEC. The Wellington facility has been around since the 1960s and is a national stalwart for equestrian competitions and owns an international reputation that is well deserved. It is clear, though, that the Ocala facility has raised the bar in the industry and it is up to all others to catch up if they can. During my visit to the Wellington facility, I enjoyed a tour given by a nice young lady who herself competes in equestrian events. One thing she talked about was comparing the Wellington facility to the Ocala one, but this is folly for anyone who has been to both. The Wellington facility is showing its age with arenas becoming weathered and even VIP areas relying on temporary structures. In my estimation, the only thing the two facilities have in common is that they host equine competitions. Beyond that, Wellington has a lot of catching up to do – and is doing just that. For the longest time, Wellington was about the only game in town, but with WEC it seems a fire has been lit down there to expand and upgrade. For horse lovers and equestrian fans, what a great thing this is, as WEC is sure to make all other facilities better over time. I visited the Wellington facility during its offseason, so everything was quiet. My guide informed me, however, that during the competition season it is so crowded it is “like an ant farm” with horses everywhere bumping into each other. She said that at one point, based on the roads coming in and out and the long parade of horses, that cars have been known to wait up to an hour just to cross a road. I think of this and it makes me grateful for how well-planned the design and logistics of WEC is, that cars and horses do not have to compete for rights of way. At WEC, all the traffic is in the barns and from the barns you can go anywhere to compete. It’s fair to say that I was underwhelmed by Wellington, but this is perhaps mainly due to WEC being my initial exposure to such a facility. If I were to draw a comparison to Wellington and WEC, it would be like a nice college baseball stadium versus Yankee Stadium. Both are great, but they are totally different worlds. I think the upgrades and expansion taking place at Wellington, no doubt a result of trying to keep up with the pace set by WEC, are a wonderful thing and in the end will help to further increase the stature of Florida’s equine reputation. In this case, keeping up with the Joneses means a grander stage for everyone to enjoy. For WEC, as great a facility as it is for equine events it is still so much more. Beyond hunter/ jumper and dressage, one finds Arabians, Paso Finos, quarter horses and even dog shows. Add to that the massive expo centers and there is no quiet time at WEC – something is always happening. I’ve always been a great supporter of WEC and what it means to this community, and visiting other facilities just solidifies that notion. Today, it’s hard to ponder this community without the World Equestrian Center and for that we owe a debt of gratitude to the Roberts family in making it possible. This family’s contributions to the Ocala community have been immeasurable and have taken a city already on a great trajectory and placed it on paths unimaginable just a decade ago.



Links of the Emerald Isle A narrative of my recent Irish golf adventure BY CARLTON REESE PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB JORDAN AND CARLTON REESE




itting at 30,000 feet above the North Atlantic, I could only ponder what travails awaited upon my arrival in Dublin. My worry was not completely unfounded or unjustified – 21 years earlier while flying above the clouds en route to a golfing adventure, trouble was taking place back home that cut the vacation short before it had even started. I am a golfer. For a skier, life is incomplete until experiencing the Zermatt in Switzerland; for a surfer, Oahu represents the Holy Grail of waves. As a golfer, some may claim Scotland or even Pinehurst and perhaps Augusta to be the promised land of the game; but for me, Ireland is Mecca. In 2001, I was set to make my pilgrimage to the Emerald Isle, meeting my friend and his father there for a week that would include

rounds on famed venues such as Lahinch, Tralee, Waterville and Ballybunion. Upon landing at Shannon International Airport, I was informed of a medical emergency back home and my friend and father were taking the next flight back to the States. Not wanting my first experience with true links golf to be a solo excursion, I boarded that same flight back home, clutching to the belief that right soon I would return to quench that thirst for golf in its purest form. A marriage, four children and 21 years of life put that pilgrimage on hold and it seemed it may never happen. But Ireland has a way of winning, of manifesting itself as more than just a siren song but a grappling hook from which you cannot escape, and do not wish to. The hook came in the form of a phone call from my friend, Rob Jordan, who was just days away from returning to Ireland with his father for a fourth golfing trip to the island. Looks like dad was pulling out at the last moment due to complications in his foot that would make walking the dunes of Irish golf courses impossible. Looks like I was first

Carlton at the Cliffs of Moher

...Ireland Ballybunion

has a way of winning, of manifesting itself as more than just a siren song but a grappling hook from which you cannot escape...

Photo: Shutterstock



alternate on the tee, ready to take his spot and Rob’s phone call informed me of such. There were no excuses to turn down the offer: air fare, greens fees, hotels, rental car – all was set, so I just needed to fill in. To not go now would mean to forever close the book on Ireland, so indeed Ireland won. Upon landing in Dublin, no ominous messages from the States awaited us. Looks like this time would be a go and we drove immediately to our first golf stop, The Island Club in Malahide. The first tee shot would go to a fairway guarded by large dunes on either side and I would discover this to be a theme for the rest of the trip. I managed to hit that fairway and make par, a pretty strong start that actually took me by surprise. The rest of the day would not be so friendly. In golf, the main opponent is one’s self, but in Ireland it seems getting past one’s own physical and mental shortcomings is only the first minor obstacle in a train of beautiful bandits and cozeners, each precariously placed to ambush the unwary player. The terrain presents moguls and potholes as the dermis of a snake that furtively winds its way through those impenetrable dunes. At times

Giants Causeway


golf is the Taoist’s dream: a mixture of beauty and ruthlessness, of charm and deceit, of man’s harmony and eventually his discord with nature.

Carlton Reese and Rob Jordan at Ballybunion

the tiny hills throw your ball into a perfect position of which you certainly did not earn; other times they act as ramps to hell. A good caddy can tell you where those bumps generally will take you, but I discovered quickly that for a links newbie, foreknowledge is about as reliable as tumbling dice. The gambling neophyte entering a casino is often rewarded with blind victories to



entice one’s return where he is later entrapped and left for dead on the side of the road. Irish links golf takes the opposite tact: From the beginning, one is belted, flayed and humiliated as though being dared to continue as some initiation hazing ritual. Only after taking a beating and exuding the patience needed to play Irish links golf is one then rewarded with the victories afforded to what are seemingly

Royal Portstewart

reserved for veterans only. After a while, those great shots that yielded an unlucky mire turn into poor shots that wind up in some serendipitous fate, in perfect position and the result of a higher knowledge and skill. In other words, luck is not a residue of design but of time and repetition. Irish golf is the Taoist’s dream: a mixture of beauty and ruthlessness, of charm and de-

Royal Portstewart

Rosapenna Golf Resort

Carne Golf Club


County Sligo Enniscrone

The Adventure Route


Royal County Down

The Island Golf Club


Lahinch Golf Club Limerick



The Ninth at Royal County Down

ceit, of man’s harmony and eventually his discord with nature. It is here that one may fall in love with the spectacle of the land and ocean scapes at any given moment while at the same time dread that which confronts him. The views may be hypnotic; the shots daunting. At a true links golf course, the hand of man plays but a scant role in its design, that duty falling mainly to God, whose greatest masterpiece may have come at our next stop: Royal County Down. With the aptly-named Mountains of Mourne as a backdrop, Royal County Down offers golf shot-making opportunities like no other place in the world. The ninth hole, which locals boast is among the most photographed holes in golf, presents itself as the “signature” hole (an American term if there ever was one). At 486 yards from

the back tees, one must play the tee shot over a plateau down a 60-foot drop to the fairway. From there, one hits into an elevated green protected by two bunkers and a large dune to the right; all the while, the mountains loom as a screen saver into which each shot is played. The test to one’s game, the routing of the holes, the terrain of beaches, dunes, mountains and city backdrops make Royal County Down as special a place I have ever been. When leaving, I knew the rest of the courses on the trip would have a tough time living up to this standard. On to Royal Portstewart on the northern coast and we would experience the vaunted Irish weather about which I had been warned. The opening hole may be the most memorable experience of mine in 45

years of playing this maddening game. Standing atop an enormously elevated tee box and staring down at a left-to-right dogleg in which the green is hidden from view, wind gusts of 40 mph made the shot nearly impossible to strike. Like most of the holes in Ireland, this shot demands that one carve the ball slightly left to right and preferably of little altitude, but for those who play a high draw nature’s mercy sorely lacks. On this day, with howling winds and occasional bursts of a downpour, success meant keeping the ball in play and finishing the hole with an honest score. For 11 rounds in Ireland, we were lucky or perhaps the myths surrounding the Irish weather were a bit stretched – only five holes total were played in rain while winds consistently remained in the 1-2 club range, sometimes a wee bit more as the local vernacular has it. Wind and terrain force players into a certain type of golf they may not be accus-



tom: hitting the ball low, landing it short and allowing it to run like a scalded dog to the hole. Essentially, the island green is a manufactured beast from the minds of ghoulish Americans and has no place in links golf. As testimony to the type of golf shots one must play, at one point Jordan played a par-5 hole driver-putter-pitching wedge – all from the fairway. You read that correctly, the second shot lay-up was hit with a putter. At Rosapenna Golf Resort, three courses exist that uphold Ireland’s reputation quite well. The new St. Patrick’s course revealed its youth as time has yet to allow turf conditions to catch up with the beautiful layout. It is here, though, that one finds incontrovertible evidence of man’s hand: several greens of extreme embankments and mounds speak volumes that much dirt was moved in their construction, more so than one finds at other Irish links courses. The rest of the trip took us to venues that all lived up to whatever hype had been delivered to me or manufactured in my own mind. Courses like County Sligo at Rosses Point and Enniscrone do not enjoy the publicity of places such as Royal County Down or Portrush, but I feel the trip to Ireland would not have been complete without them. Vistas of the Atlantic, colorful dunes with its purple heather and gorse all complement what are truly outstanding golf holes that demand a variety of shots and not just the low runners. Like Sligo and Enniscrone, Carne Golf Club in the remote Mullet Peninsula is a dreamy commodity unknown to many players. Jordan refers to the dunes of Carne like the rest of Irish links courses, but “on steroids.” If I didn’t run out of golf balls at Carne, it was only through Jordan’s generosity, his bag well-stocked in preparation. Eddie Hackett is said to have designed the course, but based on its wild elevation changes and large dunes one might be convinced that Anton Schwarzkopf or Bolliger & Mabillard had a hand in its construction. A stretch of three holes from 14-16 at Carne may have been the most memorable run of holes I have ever played. Each presents elevation such that the approach to the green is from a well-perched position. Hitting down to a target may place a greater premium on accuracy, but it provides an exhilaration unmatched in both its vista and its challenge. Lahinch Golf Club in County Clare is



The Ring of Kerry

more famous than Enniscrone or Carne, but still lacks the international status of County Down. As a purists’ venue, though, Lahinch is about as close as you can get to quintessential Irish links golf. Several blind shots may leave some scratching their heads about a certain “quirkiness” to them, but plenty of room on all such shots make them fair. The most famous of the blind shots at Lahinch would be the par-3 5th, which plays 155 yards uphill and over a dune that completely masquerades the green which sits in a swale. If your club selection is correct and you take it over the stone directional marker, good things happen such that one might be inspired to write a magazine article (wink noted). Along the way of this odyssey, Ireland offers so much more than golf. Famous for its pubs and chatty citizens, Ireland tempts the soul in many ways. The Cliffs of Moher draw tourists from all over the world, but they are less spectacular than the unsung Slieve League which boasts over twice the elevation. Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland combines a natural geological curiosity with typical Irish folklore. With 40,000 interlocking hexagonal-shaped basalt columns on the shore, the area appears surely to be of either man-made or supernatural construction. Geologists disagree, but the locals love to say the formations are the result of an ancient Irish giant named Finn McCool who built a cause-

way to Scotland in order to fight a giant there. Most important by my estimation is that the area was used to photograph the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Houses of the Holy” album. Famous for its proliferation of poets, Ireland’s landscapes provide the perfect muse for writers. The birthplace of Yeats, Joyce, Wilde and many others lends credence to Ireland’s reputation as a literary giant. But the natural charms and graceful eloquence belie the ugly scars and angst of a people chronically cheerful yet perpetually scorned. Nowhere is that angst more evident than in the city of Derry (or Londonderry, depending on one’s political proclivities) in Northern Ireland, ground zero for upheavals and rebellion for hundreds of years. Murals throughout the city are reminders not of the beauty that surrounds them, but of the oppression and injustice that consumes them. The past decade has brought mainly cessation of sectarian violence, but one cannot step in any direction without constant reminders of the recent “Troubles” as they call them. Then there are the pubs. One cannot walk a block down any street without passing a Guinness sign there to entice one through some taproom doors. Famous for their whiskey, the Irish people seem more attached to their pints of dark ale than they are the brown liquors. Twenty years earlier I may have been a livelier participant in the pub scene, but a


two, but they were never in any danger and proceeded to play through everybody, leaving a vapor trail in their wake. As we teed off on the 12th, we saw the helicopter flee the premises – I guess they did not spend as much time as us looking for balls in the gorse. As for the course, I have nothing to add in terms of Tom Watson’s assessment. While the clubhouse may be 21st Century, the golf course still maintains its charm built over 120 years. The manicured conditions are befitting of the demands placed by the modern golfer and what Watson claimed over 40 years ago

The natural

wonders, culture and history aside, I came here for the golf, Ireland’s greatest gift to humanity behind only its literature.

Carlton Reese, Rob Jordan and the half-pint incident

heart attack and years of wear and tear hath wrought a more subtle approach to my imbibing these days. As such, Jordan was more than happy to place a half-pint in front of me on more than one occasion. If you want to blend in, do not sit at the bar with a half-pint lest you draw the stares of the locals curious as to your level of effeminacy. Of course, Jordan was all too happy to place the half-pint before me and entertain himself with my embarrassment. The natural wonders, culture and history aside, I came here for the golf, Ireland’s greatest gift to humanity behind only its literature. And there was no better way to conclude than at Ballybunion. For me, Ballybunion was the white whale, the ultimate conquest. Not simply the last stop on a golfing trip, Ballybunion rep-

resented, in fact, the sole reason for visiting Ireland. The legendary sports writer Herbert Warren Wind may have been the first American to tout the greatness of Ballybunion, but it remained relatively obscure until Tom Watson called it the best golf course in the world back in the early 1980s. My expectations for Ballybunion were of some gem hiding in an Irish backwater, a bit of an understated cabin nestled at the end of a deserted two-lane highway. It would be golf in its purest, no-frills form. Instead, we were greeted by the most modern of clubhouses like one would expect to find at one of America’s newest mega golf resorts – the industrialized catering to the modern-day golfing gentry. Crowds were gathered on the clubhouse balcony and as we pulled our clubs from the rental car and changed into our golf shoes we could hear that crowd offer a smattering of applause. “Just what is going on here?” Arriving a little early for our 10:20 tee time, we soon discovered that two dignitaries had wedged themselves into the 10:00 start. Those would be Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, who had helicoptered their way in over the unwashed masses to play a friendly match in preparation for the upcoming British Open. So, we had to play behind these

may still be true to many golfers. Although too short for modern professional championship golf, Ballybunion need not ever acquiesce to such a notion – it is perfect the way it is. Many golfers want to play mostly where Arnold Palmer slogged his way to winning a championship or where other ghosts reside, but Ballybunion does not boast a history of pro golf championships to manufacture its lore. The ghost of Payne Stewart, who aced the second hole in a friendly match not long before his untimely death, haunts the place and a plaque exists to commemorate the feat. Thus, the mystery of Ballybunion. We will likely never witness the Claret Jug be hoisted on the 18th green there, nor will its holes be recognizable as other venues like Amen Corner at Augusta, Postage Stamp at Royal Troon or even the island green 17th at Sawgrass. There is no vicarious way to experience Ballybunion, not even in the pages of a magazine article. Ballybunion is but a dream, a stranger without a face, until you trod its grounds. Then you are lovers forever. Special thanks to Mike and Carol Jordan for their kindness and generosity in making this golf trip happen.



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S-Curve Mural, project in process (TBD)


s a burgeoning arts community, Ocala is strutting its stuff not just in the galleries, but in its public displays, whether commissioned or not. And Ocala itself, as shown in these photos by Ralph Demilio, acts not only as a muse for artists but also the perfect canvas upon which ideas spring to fruition. From the Horse Fever collection that places art in front of us at every turn, to the beautiful curiosities that guard Tuscawilla Park, to even the rogue work performed on sidewalks, park benches and railway cars, one finds Ocala tethered to the art world in ways it never before seemed capable. Some of the art excites while some of it makes one scratch the head. Some of the art tells a story while some of the art exists simply to please the eye in its moment of reception. The diversity of pieces, from the sublime to the provocative, showcase Ocala as a haven for creatives and as more than just a small-time player in the realm of community arts.



"Natural Flow" by Eduardo Mendita

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”

—Victor Pinchuk

Degas "Reflections Through Flora" by Ernesto Maranje, Mike Zeak, and Suzanne Shuffit

"All Hands on Deck" by Cosby Hayes and Sarah Painter



Black History Mural (Community Project)

“A picture is a poem without words.” —Horace "Exploratory Unit 01" by Harry McDaniel

Train car, artist unknown

Car, artist unknown



Gaia by Donald Gialanella

"Golden Oak Leaf Arch II" by Jim Gallucci "Ocala" by EJ Nieves (private project)

"Metallic Fluttering" by Mike Zeak

“Great art picks up where nature ends.” —Marc Chagall

Skate Park Panels, multiple artists



“Marie and Jean” by Canadian artist Amel Chamandy stands amid its damage at the hands of vandals. After Marie’s beheading in 2018, the sculpture was removed from display. With the artist’s permission, “Marie and Jean” now resides back in its rightful place, but with a different purpose: Remind us all that public art belongs to everyone and it is everyone’s responsibility to protect it.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” —Edgar Degas

A train car passing by Magnolia Art Xchange Artist unknown.



"Three Muskateers" by Gus and Lina Ocamposilva

"Electromagnetism" by Drake Arnold

Augmented reality interactive element of "Electromagnetism" by Drake Arnold

"Retro Reel" by Dave Huebner and Benjamin Sutter



New in Ocala HIS Compassion


Shop and Save Nice, gently used furniture.


50% or more

HBA Vitamins, Automotives, Households. Buy by the piece or by the pallet.

No food...


everything else!


proceeds go to HIS Compassion Food Bank

Tuesday - Saturday, 9am - 5pm 3344 NE Jacksonville Rd., Ocala | 352-351-0732 www.HISCompassionFlorida.org



SAVE NOW on a rewarding retirement at Highpoint! Whether you’re looking for sophisticated, resort-style amenities or specialized, high-quality care, Highpoint offers a retirement lifestyle that’s perfectly suited for everyone.

Take advantage of these LIMITED-TIME offers: INDEPENDENT LIVING

One-Bedroom Apartments starting at $3,995 per month


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or to schedule a tour!

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Enjoy the retirement you’ve imagined at Highpoint.

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HIGHPOINT AT STONECREST has set the bar high for retirement living in the heart of Florida. This premier senior community is located just north of The Villages and features stunning views from its rooftop bar and lounge. Other enjoyable experiences at Highpoint include all-day farm-to-table dining, a resort-style saltwater pool, dog park, putting green, courtyard with firepit and so much more. Highpoint at Stonecrest was designed with a holistic approach to health and wellness that includes cutting-edge, technology-enabled features you won’t find anywhere else. We’ve incorporated advanced safety features at every turn — including state-of-the-art air filtration and antimicrobial paint and surfaces — to ensure the health and security of everyone at the community. Across all levels of care, from independent living to assisted living and memory care, residents can take part in engaging programming designed for a healthy mind, body and soul. With convenient access to nearby attractions, residents can easily venture out and about before coming home to take in the picturesque views from the community’s spacious residences.

For senior living that rises above all the rest, call 352-504-3135 or visit HighpointStonecrest.com to learn more.

I N D E P E N D E N T L I V I N G | A S S I S T E D L I V I N G | M E M O R Y CA R E 17201 SE 109th Terrace Road • Summerfield, FL 34491 • HighpointStonecrest.com


2022 We proudly present Ocala Magazine's 2022 cover model finalists — with a dash of cuteness overload. One of these elementary school darlings will be on our cover next month.




Winner will be decided based on a tally from public voting and industry professional judges. Vote for your favorite(s) on our Facbook page or at ocalamagazine.com by midnight, August 10th.

Toby Babbitt

Vote at facebook.com/ocalamagazine or at www.ocalamagazine.com

Leighton Filley



Carter Emmy Finnie Vote at facebook.com/ocalamagazine or at www.ocalamagazine.com



Storm Gonzalez

Jacen Caroline Mancil Brooke Harvey

Vote at facebook.com/ocalamagazine or at www.ocalamagazine.com OCALAMAGAZINE.COM | AUG 2022 |


Caleb Mia McAtee Vote at facebook.com/ocalamagazine or at www.ocalamagazine.com




Londyn Rabb Vote at facebook.com/ocalamagazine or at www.ocalamagazine.com

Madelyn Medina Santamaria



2022 Sportsman’s Dinner and Auction August 25th, 2022 | 6-9:30pm Palm Grove Club at Oak Run Benefitting Marion County’s Children Casual Dress | BBQ Dinner | Full Bar Included Live and Silent Auctions of Hunting and Fishing Gear Plus items for the Ladies, Door Prizes and Raffle items, too! $500 - Table of 8 (save $100) or $75 Per Person

www.ocalakiwanis.org for tickets or sponsorships For More Information Contact Roseann Fricks-Patterson 352-239-1979


e ffl a R l Speciar’s Choicea.

e el 3020, 20 g Wiengn e er Mod . Bronz Sto hotgun . s c i t a autom wood finish and or $1,000 ION ONAT D 0 .0 0 $5 KET PER TIC

OM PULSE Each month, Ocala Magazine will showcase the tastes, opinions and desires of its readers through its online survey. For August, we discovered these inclinations:




while 55% let their fingers do the shopping online and 22% will shop outside of Ocala.




42% like planes best and 5% would rather take the train.





OF OM READERS POLLED ARE STILL TUNING IN TO FREE, OVERTHE-AIRWAVES RADIO even in the proliferation of audio streaming and internet podcasts.

English is the top favorite subject in school according to OM respondents.

CATS OVER DOGS When it comes to respondents’ favorite pets, cats and dogs both took the lion’s share of responses with cats coming out on top at


Reading/literature, math, science, and history all tied for second place at 16%





of readers polled never bite their nails, while 10% make it a habit and 5% only in times of stress or anxiety.


The rest are split between tipping over 20% and tipping 10-15%.


43 43


New moms and dads:

the first and best teachers BY LIZA MCFADDEN


o you know the best way to determine if your child will graduate high school? For moms it is as simple as looking in the mirror. A mother’s education level is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors like family income. It’s just one of thousands of ways we impact our children, knowingly or not. As a long-time advocate for literacy, I’m proud of the strides Florida has made in the last 20 years in education. After years of dogged improvement, the 2021 Quality Counts report by Education Week, ranks Florida third in the nation for K-12 education. And, for the past five years, U.S. News & World Report has named Florida the top state in the country for higher education. While the overall direction is positive, we all know that there are thousands of students struggling, and that we must continue to improve our education system to make it healthier – and brighter. As a long-time advocate for literacy, no matter one’s age, I think there is one strategic area that has been given fairly limited attention but could pay significant dividends for the well-being of our children. I’m intrigued by the data that is coming out on the benefit of paid family



Currently only


12 weeks

of paid family leave report fewer depressive symptoms and better mental and physical health. ••••••••••••••••••• Studies find that parents who have paid family leave are

39% less likely to receive public assistance after giving birth.

Photo Credit: August de Richelieu

of Americans have access to paid family leave. ••••••••••••••••••• Parents with at least leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Consider, early bonding of parents and their child is proven to be crucial for a child’s long-term mental and physical health. Compelling research finds that 10 weeks of paid family leave is associated with a 10 percent lower infant mortality rate. Paid leave is also associated with higher levels of breastfeeding and more regular doctor’s visits. And, here’s the direct education link: Infants whose parents had up to three months of paid family leave also have more complex brain patterns. Simply put, the first few months are especially important in brain development. The Society for Research in Child Development goes so far as to state that there are lifelong benefits of neural connections forming in warm, predictable, nonstressed interactions with parents. Floridians have been on the forefront of education innovation for two decades, and we’ve proven that academic gain can be done in a cost-effective manner. So too can paid family leave. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio,

R-Florida, is championing an effort to allow new parents to access their Social Security benefits early to provide for paid family leave. On top of the educational benefit, he extolls the financial stability paid leave brings to middle and working class parents – mothers who have paid family leave are 39 percent less likely to receive public assistance and 40 percent less likely to use food stamps after the birth or adoption of their child. To my mind, paid family leave has the potential to serve as a formative building block for the next educational advancement for our nation – a focus on inspiring parents to see themselves as their child’s first teacher. Whitney Houston’s song, “Greatest Love,” cuts to the heart of this value proposition: “I believe the children are our future. … Teach them well and let them lead the way.” Certainly paid family leave is just one cog in a huge wheel of tools and ideas on how we improve early learning, but the power of a new parent is unparalleled, and we should do everything we can to unleash that talent.

Liza McFadden is the president of Liza and Partners, which advises CEOs of nonprofit organizations and educational entities. She is the former CEO of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, and serves on numerous boards including STRIDE, Reading Partners, and the Children’s Services Council of Leon County.




Who said oatmeal has to be boring? Make kids (or your) meals fun on the first weeks of school to help with motivation and smiles. School lunch inspiration p48 | Dining Out p50



School Lunch Inspiration BY ROBIN FANNON




appy August! It’s back to school time and getting organized is on everyone’s mind. Deciphering what to pack in your child’s lunchbox everyday is a daunting task, but luckily there are plenty of resources to help guide you to an easy, healthy and fun experience for your little one. Unfortunately, school bought lunch options tend to be on the unhealthy side. They tend to be high in fat, salt and sugar, and most unappealing of all, chemicals to give them stability shelf life. Many of these chemicals are dyes and neurotoxins that can actually affect the cognitive health of your child. So try and stay clear of the junk laden convenient foods. Homemade bento container boxes are all the rage and are readily available at Target or Walmart. My own mom used to use those small paper brown bags and they worked just fine!

Healthy Lunchbox Ideas » » » » » » » » » » » » » » » »

Turkey and Cheddar Roll Ups Hummus and Pita Chips Fresh Fruit Kebabs Almond or Peanut Butter and Jelly Tea Sandwiches Pasta Salad Individual Low Sugar Yogurts Healthier Cookie and Cracker Choices (Simple Mills makes a great product) Apple and Bran Muffins Chicken or Tuna Pinwheel Wraps Mini Cheese Frittatas Antipasto Kebabs Cherry Tomatoes Cream Cheese and Cucumber Tea Sandwiches Fresh Grapes, Clementines, Apples and Bananas Healthier Snack Bags like Multigrain or Blue Tortilla Chips Individual Guacamole

Insta Inspo

Instagram has several interesting feeds that can inspire such as Beau Coffron, @ lunchboxdad, or Brisbane based Cindy, @lunchbox.mama, or » TikTok has many also. Try @momlifetime or @Gabby »

Instagram @RSVP_ROBIN



dining out


Ocala is going out!

Advertise with us to connect with our hungry readers. Call 352.622.2995 and reserve your space.

Ivy On The Square Whether gathering with friends or family for lunch or a night out, you’ll enjoy fresh salads, mouthwatering comfort food, late-night tapas and drinks. Specials include our Pecan Salmon, Southern Fried Lobster and famous baked Krispy Chicken. After dining enjoy a stroll in our boutique where we offer a variety of gifts, jewelry, home decor and clothing. Looking to host a special event or dinner? Call and talk to one of our staff members on the options we have available.

Stop by our new speakeasy bar and enjoy our specialty drinks! Gift certificates available.

53 S. Magnolia Ave., Ocala | (352) 622-5550 Closed Mon, Tues 11am-2pm, Wed 11am-9pm, Thurs 11am-9pm 106 NW Main St., Williston | (352) 528-5410 Sun-Wed 11am-2pm, Thurs-Sat 11am-8pm | ivyhousefl.com

West 82° Bar and Grill From wild, locally caught seafood to regionally grown produce and beef sourced within Florida, West 82⁰ Bar & Grill brings delectable farm-to-table plates while guests overlook the beautiful Kings Bay and Crystal River. Bring your own catch of the day, and the restaurant will prepare it for you flawlessly. Join us for Sunday Brunch featuring hot and cold stations, a carving station, an omelet station, and an assorted dessert display.

Call for reservations and weekly specials. Breakfast, Daily: 6:00am-10:30am | Sunday Brunch: 11:30am - 2:00pm Lunch, Daily: 11:00am - 2:30pm | Dinner, Daily: 5:00pm - 9:00pm For reservations, call 1.800.632.6262 9301 West Fort Island Trail, Crystal River, FL 34429 | (352) 795-4211 www.plantationoncrystalriver.com



9301 West Fort Island Trail Crystal River, FL 34429 (352) 795-4211 plantationoncrystalriver.com



20% OFF

ROOF CLEANING Valid during August 2022

Ask about our commercial routine maintenance program






ENSURING HIGH-QUALITY WORK & CUSTOMER SATISFACTION Schedule an appointment today! Call Jason for a FREE estimate

(352) 489-3339


Like us




Tuscawilla Art Park entrance mosaic by Megan Gumpert Photo by Ralph Demilio Society p54 | Anthology—Poetry in Motion p60







he Red, White and Ocala Symphony Blue was held on the Fourth of July weekend and there was no shortage of patriotic Americans in attendance. This popular concert is sold out every year and features patriotic musical compositions like Espirit de Corps, God Bless American and of course, The National Anthem.

Pati and Jan Bean, Ina and Shelley Kline, and Lisa and Damon Ehrlich

Leann Barnes

Cass and Marty Greene



Martha Steward, Charlie Butler and Mary Kelly Hoppe

Brenda and Dan Graham, Air Commander, SAC

Judge Lori Cotton and Steve Tweedle

Joe and Elyse Matriccino

s r a e Y 0 4 g n i rat b e l e o i n t a c u C d E n i e c en l l e c x of E Since 1982 The Cornerstone School has been providing our students an innovative and personalized learning experience centered on teaching the whole child.



NOW ENROLLING FOR FALL 2022 • Preschool - 8th Grade 2313 S.E. Lake Weir Avenue • (352) 351-8840 • www.thecornerstoneschool.org



Cody’s Roadhouse VIP Grand Opening PHOTOS BY ROBIN FANNON


VIP grand opening celebration took place at the new Cody’s Roadhouse Grill Restaurant on St Road 200. Amy and Allen Musikantow were there to greet family, close friends, business partners and staff. Cold beer, good food and live music were enjoyed by all. The restaurant opened to the public the following day.

Owner Amy Musikantow, Penny Terry, Sharon Layhew and Owner, Allen Musikantow

Norm and Carole Merwarth

Director of Operations, Dean Turner

Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant and husband Chad House Blaise Bonaventure, Owner of Cody’s Allen Musikantow, and President of OTOW Ken Colen Sydney and Robert Salat

Leah Moore and Patrice Perron



Michelle and Terry Swearingen

Mr. and Mrs. Thiroshan Chetty with their children


MUSIC Classes

GROUP CLASSES | PRIVATE LESSONS All ages and skill levels Classes all year long Fun and affordable Scholarships available Accessible programming SCAN TO LEARN MORE AND REGISTER


Films from just $5 Live concerts and events Sponsorship Opportunities Rent the Marion Theatre Full bar and concession GRANT SUPPORT:

ReillyArtsCenter.com | 352-351-1606 | 500 NE 9th Street

Media Support provided by:

MarionTheatre.org | 352-820-3049 | 50 S Magnolia Ave

Alzheimer’s in Ocala: Hope, strength and the fight to end it BY HANNAH WHITE


d Hancock of Ocala knew something was wrong. He began to recognize changes in himself, bit by bit. Trouble multitasking or dealing with stress, recalling names; all potential signs of Alzheimer’s disease. After a formal diagnosis came a few years later, Hancock knew what needed to be done. “I lost my parents, sister and an aunt and uncle to this terrible disease,” said Hancock. “I know what it does and am ready to start making changes to my lifestyle to ensure I can live my best life going forward.” However, the shock of a diagnosis for thousands of Floridians and their families can be overwhelming. To that, Hancock says do not give up hope. Alzheimer’s disease is not a normal part of aging — it is a progressive brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Researchers believe there is not one single cause. It likely develops from multiple factors, such as genetics, lifestyle and environment. Although there is currently no cure, researchers are paving the way for future treatments by uncovering new insights into the biology of the disease. In 2020, it was estimated that 12.4% of Marion county residents age 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s. However, the real number impacted is much higher. This insidious disease doesn’t just affect those who are living with it, after all. It impacts their loved ones too. Patricia Dennis of Belleview lost her father to Alzheimer’s in 2017 after he had lived with the disease for 13 years. She remembers how loving her father was, and the pain her family went through as they watched him change while the disease progressed. She particularly recalls the final 18 days of his life, when he would go from having complete



awareness to suddenly fading away. During those last days she remembers multiple upsetting moments, such as her father telling them to sell a farm that had been sold since he was 15. He eventually could no longer remember how to swallow. “Thinking about those 18 days brings back fear, heartache, hope, admiration and the little girl in me wanting to see my happy, loving daddy just one more day as we knew him growing up,” Dennis recalls. Ocala resident Maria Bennett also lost her father to Alzheimer’s in January 2022, nine years after he was first diagnosed. She served as his caregiver throughout his journey with Alzheimer’s, along with her mother and sister. “As caregivers we learned so much. You are not really prepared for the stages and how quickly things change. It wasn’t easy. We often found ourselves weary, tired, defeated and emotional wrecks. But we found strength in God and we continued every day to do the best we could,” Bennett remarks. Despite the emotional rollercoaster, Bennett says she takes comfort in the fact that she was able to be there for her father. Caregiving can be an emotionally, physically and financially draining role, but she wants to let other caregivers know that they are not alone. As frightening as this disease is, there is hope in the battle against Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association is a worldwide voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Their mission is to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s

and all other dementia — by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. They provide a 24/7 Helpline at 800-272-3900, local education and support services, advocacy at a state and federal level, research funding and more. The work the Association does in Ocala and across Marion County, wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. Show your support by joining the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s®, the world’s largest event to raise funds and awareness for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The 2022 Walk to End Alzheimer’s in Ocala will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the World Equestrian Center. Visit alz. org/Ocala to register your team.

THESE FLOWERS HAVE A LOT OF FIGHT IN THEM. The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is full of flowers — each carried by someone committed to raising funds and awareness to help end this disease. It’s time to add your flower to the fight. Visit alz.org/ocala for more information about this year’s event and to register.

Walk to End Alzheimer's | Ocala Saturday, Nov. 5 | World Equestrian Center MEDIA SPONSORS



anthology — poetry in motion


Show the world what you’ve got Don’t be bashful! Let yourself go! Let it out! It’s not doing much good inside. Open the door to your heart and mind After all, you are an original. In the world today, it means you are different which equates to being normal. Welcome aboard! Enjoy yourself!



Ocala’s Chocolate & Confections • 104 E. Fort King St., Ocala, Florida 34471 • (352) 789-6882


You can have your delight for a one stop shop for your gourmet, exotic, and everyday chocolate needs. If we don’t have your desires on the shelf, simply make an order in advance and we can customize it specifically for you. We are a neighborhood store in a neighborly community, see you at Ocala’s Chocolate & Confections! We also offer many chocolate fruits, other chocolate products, and ice creams at our shop!



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Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

We are America’s Favorite Equestrian Lifestyle Magazine, Published Since 2008.




Celebrating The Equestrian Lifestyle

CURO- Diagnostics “Revealing the Unseen”

NIC ROLDAN Peek Inside His Life SPRING Fashion

AIKEN, SC Highlight

Volume 21 Issue 2 Complimentary

TRAILER SAVING A TREASURE Maintenance Persano Breed www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com

is not a gentle hobby, Ridingto bea horse picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. I t is a grand passion. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

ELITE EQUESTRIAN Magazine RANKED 7TH WORLD WIDE Equine Magazines to watch -according to Feedspot Blog

www.EliteEquestrianMagazine.com To request on-line subscriptions and for media kit inquiries, email info@eliteequestrian.us


Gracious Living in the Horse Capital of the World® Photo by Ralph Demilio

Everything Equine p64




everything equine

So that horses can move as nature intended BY LOUISA BARTON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY RALPH DEMILIO


pon arrival at Silver Moon Iberian Farm, I couldn’t help but notice the scenic tranquility of the property. We drove back to the barn to see the beautiful Natural Horseman’s saddles and the very personable horses, whose heads came over the stall doors to greet us. My eye was drawn immediately to one of the newer saddle designs, with beautiful tooling. Letitia Glenn, who by the way does not even look half her age, so I won’t tell you how old she is, greeted us and was clearly excited and happy to share her years of research. Glenn has been studying horses and their movements, with a real passion for the animal and a determination to solve sad-



dle fitting issues for horse and rider. We met the horses, all three very well-mannered and very comfortable being our saddle models for the afternoon. Glenn showed us the scapula bone and the huge change in the shape of horses while the horse is standing still compared to when they are in motion. She also showed us another brand of saddle, clearly not designed with the horse and his comfort in mind. We compared the two saddles, and the difference was very enlightening. It was a beautiful afternoon, not as hot as some July days have been and there was even a slight breeze under the huge oak trees blowing through the Spanish moss. Glenn, founder and CEO of Natural

Horseman Saddles, is passionate about horses and 100 percent committed to their comfort and well-being. Glenn is a huge proponent of the welfare of the horse and its importance. She believes we need to be their voice and communicate for them. Glenn says that the emphasis is on education, empowering riders with knowledge and clear understanding each and every time they saddle up. She says that riders are always much more likely to achieve their performance goals when the horse is happy in mind and body. The result of this is a much better overall relationship with your horse. The end goal is to “enhance the harmony between horse and human.” Glenn shared with me that more than 20



Ocala Magazine Horse Fact of the Month

Did you know?

Typically, horses have 205 bones in their skeleton, but Arabian horses do have one fewer rib and one less lumbar vertebra than is typically found in other breeds of horses.

Equine Industry Needs Awareness

years ago, her eyes were opened to the problems and pain that so many other riders unknowingly inflict on their horses. Glenn had felt this years ago herself and spent money on a “custom” saddle, only to find that although it did fit her horse when he was standing still, once in motion, it was clear that this saddle did not fit him at all. Glenn now shares these key principles that she has learned to fit the horse in motion. Other than her horses and the lovely farm she resides on, Glenn’s joy in life comes from a place where she can provide education, tools and techniques to help you and your horse discover your best possible saddle fit. Glenn is not at all concerned that her and her team’s ideas do not conform to many long-held saddlery traditions, because thousands of horse owners have discovered this path to maximizing comfort and performance. You may already have a saddle that

you love, or perhaps your saddle was quite a large investment. In that case, Glenn does not want you to feel that the only option is to purchase a saddle from her. Another option is to purchase the Versafit saddle pads or shims, which allow riders to work with their current saddles to ensure the horse is comfortable, with options for English saddles and Western saddles with exclusive Smartflx foundations and options to correct the saddle that you are currently using. Glenn can help you rethink saddle fit from the perspective of the horse. Whether you are on the trails or in the show ring, you and your horse can achieve your goals and ensure your horse is moving as nature actually intended. For information on Natural Horseman's Saddles: www.contoursaddlery.com

The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch needs help from this community to continue with their equine program. In this program, eight horses live on property with the foster children. These horses teach the children wisdom, patience and self-control while also learning basic horsemanship skills and how to ride. These children can go on to careers within the equine industry with the knowledge and experience they need to succeed. Most of these children are in foster care due to trafficking, drugs or sexual or physical abuse. Let’s help them continue this wonderful program. You can foster a horse in the program for only $95 per month. Visits, updates and progress are included in your foster fee paid to this 501c3. Please reach out to Brenda Corujo at 352-425-0709.

Louisa Barton is the Equine Initiative Director at the Ocala Metro Chamber and Economic Partnership, Showcase Properties of Central Florida Farm Realtor and host of the Horse Talk Show on the Sky 97.3, Audacy.com and Equus Television.



The Heart of Florida Equine Program NEEDS YOUR HELP!


“WE AIN’T JUST HELPING FOSTER KIDS WE ARE CREATING HORSEMEN AND HORSEWOMAN” Brenda Corujo (352) 425-0709 @unbridled.hope.equine @Unbridled Hope Equine Program at The Heart of Florida Youth Ranch


Summer Outdoors Yoga Photo by Ralph Demilio Charity: Pearl Project p68 | Health Journal p70 | State of the City p72 State of the County p74 | OM Marketplace p78 | Looking Back p80





ORGANIZATION NAME: The Pearl Project LEADERSHIP: Joy Zedler, director of inspiration, and Jessica Blagdon, director of awesome LOCATION: We have chapters in Ocala, Niceville and Winter Garden, but started here in Ocala. Our address is 625 NE 12th Ave Ocala, FL 34470. We also have been given space at Highlands Church in Ocala. MISSION STATEMENT: We help vulnerable children discover their value. WHAT WE DO: We educate, encourage and equip foster and adoptive families in trauma-informed practices so that they can bring healing to their children with a history of trauma. We provide evidenced-based training (Trust-Based Relational Intervention) for caregivers and professionals who serve children. We host therapeutic camps for foster/adoptive families and retreats for foster/adoptive moms. We train cuddlers



for substance-exposed newborns at Advent Health’s NICU in Ocala. We provide a free foster closet for foster/adoptive families to get clothes, shoes, diapers and baby gear as needed. We also contract with the Early Childhood Court in Marion County to provide Circle of Security Parenting Classes for biological caregivers who are working on reunification. HOW YOU CAN GIVE OF YOUR TIME AND TREASURE: You can partner by praying (we send prayer requests in our newsletter), giving (monthly partners fuel this work! Even $10 a month helps so much!) or volunteering (we train buddies to work with children during our events). You can sign up to do any or all of these things through our website: thepearlproject.org

Joy Zedler, director of inspiration and Jessica Blagdon, director of awesome

BY THE NUMBERS: We have trained thousands of professionals and caregivers in Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI) since we were founded in 2018.

We have served over 100 families in Marion County in 2022, so far.

Photos Courtesy of The Pearl Project







health journal 2.

It’s time to focus on whole person health

Take action: Just as we make yearly visits to our primary care physicians, it’s essential to prioritize regular mental health maintenance checks, whether with your physician, a specialist, or free self-assessment tools. It’s no secret that, for many, the pandemic has intensified and worsened mental health issues. The silver lining? Broad recognition has reduced the stigma and more than ever, virtual tools are available to help maintain treatment plans, improve access and remove cost barriers.



he COVID-19 pandemic has shined much needed light on “whole person health” by highlighting the correlation between behavioral health and overall wellness. Many people with behavioral health challenges experienced worsening symptoms throughout the pandemic, while others struggled with conditions for the first time and didn’t know where to turn. Understanding whole person health and where to find resources that can help you support both your mental and physical health - is key to protecting and improving your overall well-being. Whole person health is the recognition that our mental and physical health are interconnected and that an illness rarely affects a single body part or system. When you consider that nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness, and six in 10 adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease, it’s easy to consider how one might impact the other. BENEFITS OF WHOLE PERSON HEALTH AND HOW TO TAKE ACTION According to Dr. Rhonda Randall, D.O., Chief Medical Officer at UnitedHealthcare, implementing integrated health care approaches has positive outcomes for pa-



tients, physicians and caregivers. By exploring health behaviors (like smoking, physical activity and eating habits), the community and environment where we live and work, genetics, behaviors and socio-economic influences on our health, physicians and patients create a comprehensive picture of the patient’s goals and create a comprehensive plan of care. HERE ARE THREE KEY WAYS THIS APPROACH CAN HELP YOU, OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE - AND HOW TO TAKE ACTION. 1.

Make mental health checks part of your regular health routine. As we age, chronic, or ongoing, conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, chronic pain and others, tend to surface more frequently, but research suggests mentally healthy adults reported the fewest chronic diseases of all ages. By starting to care for your mental and behavioral health as soon as possible, patients can help safeguard the body for its future.

Improve one area, improve the rest. Research shows that improving one area of a person’s physical, emotional and mental health can benefit the others. For example, we have long known that gut health is directly linked to mental health, but whole health argues these connections run throughout the entire body.

Take action: Take a moment to reflect on your health - what are you missing, and what are your goals? Make a list, then talk about it with your care team. Together, you can make a plan to address the changes you’d like to make.


Prioritize preventive care to reduce health care costs. Chronic conditions, frequent trips to specialists and prescriptions are key drivers behind expensive out-of-pocket healthcare costs. By investing in whole health - examining diet, exercise and mental health, in conjunction with regular primary care visits - you can improve your health as well as your long-term financial health.

Take action: As you build your health team, look for professionals who subscribe to the whole health model and will proactively seek to coordinate care with other providers supporting your physical and mental health. When physician teams communicate effectively, patients become centered in their care. TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR WHOLE HEALTH More and more, patients can be the drivers of their own health care journeys. Minor changes such as investing in self-care, improving lifestyle choices and early behavioral intervention if needed are key steps in ensuring overall wellness. For more health and wellness information, visit UHC.com.

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state of the city

Take a seat. Sit back. Relax.

Public transportation keeps the economy moving BY ASHLEY DOBBS



Photos Courtesy of the City of Ocala


t the City of Ocala, we feel as though it’s time to approach a very serious topic. Many people may be unaware of a very important service hiding in plain sight and, frankly, it is time to take this matter public. As in public transportation. Public transportation is not just a critical part of a city’s infrastructure, it is critical to the people who rely on this service to travel back and forth to work, participate in medical appointments, conduct shopping, and visit family and friends. It becomes a cornerstone in their lives. Pardon the pun, but public transportation keeps the economy moving. Our community’s public transportation system, known as SunTran, has proudly served the residents and visitors in Ocala/Marion County since 1998. Currently, the bus system operates under an interlocal partnership between the City of Ocala and Marion County, with the city overseeing service standards, rules and regulations and bus fares. SunTran’s mission statement says it all, “To provide safe, comfortable, and accessible transit services to the citizens and visitors of Ocala/Marion County.” The use of public transportation has a multitude of benefits for both the rider and the environment. As fuel prices continue to increase, SunTran provides a cost-effective alternative to owning or maintaining a car. In addition, public transit saves on fuel costs, reduces emissions caused by vehicles and decreases automobile congestion on the roads. Bus amenities also include free Wi-Fi, allowing for riders to multitask on their daily commute (something you can’t always do when

driving in your car). SunTran currently operates on a scheduled fixed-route system six days per week, with seven individual routes in Marion County, mostly centered within Ocala, and one route operating from Ocala to Silver Springs Shores. Regular service hours are Monday through Saturday, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. The service is marketed to riders of all age groups, with a price point that makes it affordable. A full cash fare is $1.50; however, discounts are offered to youth, students, seniors, individuals with disabilities and veterans. In addition, a monthly pass is offered at a rate of $45 per month, with reduced monthly rates for the individuals listed above. This year, SunTran is undergoing its Transit Development Plan (TDP) to reflect its 10-year vision for the future of transit in Ocala/Marion County, along with the City of Belleview, to expand the service territory within Marion County. The TDP evaluates the existing transit system, identifies current and future service improvements and develops a financial plan based on available funding. SunTran will be soliciting input through-

out a three-phase approach, and the final plan is due in September 2022. The goal is to implement rider feedback gathered during the development to help better serve the community’s transit needs. Next year SunTran will celebrate 25 years of serving the Ocala community. While many people depend on this service to help them in their daily lives, we challenge citizens who may not be familiar with public transit to try it out. Many may be surprised by the ease and convenience it provides while moving around town for their daily and weekly errands. With stops located throughout the city and designed to take people to many shopping spots, health care locations and government service offices, chances are there is a stop near a location that a person travels frequently. SunTran is looking forward to the future as it continues to grow this evolving public need within our community. For more information about routes or to view the live bus tracker, visit www.suntran.org. Ashley Dobbs is the Marketing and Communications Manager for the City Of Ocala.

Plan now for tomorrow. It’s the best gift you can give your family.

No one knows what tomorrow or the future may bring. That’s why advanced planning with simple-to-use forms like the Living Will and the FIVE WISHES are so important. Preparing them now, well ahead of when they will be needed, provide you with peace of mind and others with the serenity of knowing your final wishes. The Monarch Center’s trained facilitators offer not only grief programs but also counseling on how to fill out these forms. Make an appointment; advanced directives require no legal assistance and are honored in every state.

The Monarch Center for Hope & Healing 2895 SE 62nd St | Ocala, FL 34480 Call (352) 873-7456 | (M-F, 8-5)

of Marion County

Since 1983


state of the county

Commission Chairman Delivers State of the County Address around Marion BY MARK ANDERSON


AROUND THE COUNTY There are two more State of the County addresses planned for Tuesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 18. The Aug. 9 date is at the Del Webb Spruce Creek Ballroom and is only open to Spruce Creek residents. However, the final address on Aug. 18 is located at the Mulberry Grove Recreation Center in The Villages and is open to everyone. With dates spread throughout the county, the goal was to reach all corners of Marion and give as many people as possible an opportunity to come learn what their local government is planning to accomplish. Lastly, once all in-person addresses are done, keep an eye out for a video version of the address that highlights everything covered in the speech. That video will be shared on MarionFL.org as well as on the county social media pages.



PLANS FOR THE FUTURE At each State of the County Address, Commissioner Zalak details Marion County’s current priorities and our plans for the future. A video from the four other county commissioners details many of the county’s major priorities, including the Litter Task Force, the Broadband Feasibility Study, the Commitment to Zero and more. During the address, Commissioner Zalak also highlights some of the county’s recent successes, such as the recent PTSD Awareness Walk/Run and the amount of food and money raised during the last Bring The Harvest Home food drive. There also is a section highlighting the county’s lowest-ever unemployment rate of 2.8 percent and a segment focusing on the work Marion County does for our veterans. Another highlight of the address is a video showing many of the current and future upgrades to infrastructure, including widening of the Northwest 80th Avenue corridor and the new I-75 exit and onramp at Northwest 49th Street. SAVE YOUR SPOT Learn more about the State of the County Address or reserve your spot at an upcoming date by visiting MarionFL.org/SOC. So please join us this month and come learn more about how your county government is working for you!

Mark Andersonis a public relations specialist for Marion County.

Photos courtesy of Marion County

any counties across Florida and the nation do an annual State of the County Address for their individual communities. Here in Marion County, Commission Chairman Carl Zalak III has delivered State of the County addresses at several locations throughout the county in an effort to reach more of our residents, with two more dates planned in August. Free and open to the public, these addresses cover all sorts of news and updates about Marion County government, its recent accomplishments and priorities for the coming days, weeks, months and years. Previous dates for the State of the County Address include an update at the monthly CEP breakfast, a date at the Circle Square Cultural Center at On Top of The World, and a session at the Salt Springs VFW post in the Ocala National Forest.

Founded 1924 Kiwanis Club of Ocala provides a positive influence and creates opportunities for local children to be curious, safe and healthy. Please join us at one of our meetings to network and highlight local community speakers.

Christopher Hall Building 1510 SE Third Avenue, Ocala Every Friday, 12:00PM-1:00PM

Club Satellite — Mimi's Cafe 4414 SW College Rd., Ocala 1st Monday of the month, 6:00 PM

The Rotary Clubs of Marion County:

Giving Back Through Service Rotary’s 2 official mottoes are:

The Rotary Clubs of Marion County Support Many Charitable Causes. Some of those include:

• Service Above Self • He Profits Most Who Serves Best

• Interfaith Emergency Services • Discovery Science Center • Annual Rotary Discover Fest Fundraiser

Rotary International serves to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian services and to advance goodwill and peace not only in their own communities, but around the world. There are over 35,000 member clubs worldwide and over 1.2 million individuals known as Rotarians.

• Boys & Girls Club of Marion County • Wear Gloves • Kimberly's Center • Marion County Literacy Council • Domestic Violence Center of Marion County • Honey Packs, Inc. • Pace Center For Girls

To learn more about joining Rotary, please visit: www.RotaryInternational.com Follow Rotary On Facebook

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A SHOWCASE OF PRESERVATION The Historic Ocala Preservation Society is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to discovering, preserving, restoring, and memorializing the history and architecture of Ocala and Marion County. Since its founding in 1980, HOPS has saved dozens of beautiful historic properties from demolition and engaged directly with fellow citizens to share Ocala’s rich and vibrant history. Through advocacy, educational

programming, and fundraising events, HOPS has been a vital partner in our community, working alongside property owners, small businesses, and governmental entities to enhance the quality of life in Marion County. We invite you to connect with us and to learn more about ways you can get involved in local preservation efforts!

The Way It Was by David Cook

712 E. Fort King St. Ocala, FL 34471 www.HistoricOcala.org Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instragram

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looking back




Photo by Ralph Demilio


he year 1997 marked the end of a remarkable 117-year run for Rheinauer and Co., a local department store in Ocala that had also branched out into locations across the state of Florida. The person responsible for founding the store was Charles Rheinauer, a Jewish immigrant from Germany who moved to Ocala in 1880 and went into business with his brother Morritz. The opening of a dry goods store on what is now Broadway just west of Harry’s Restaurant marked the beginning of Rheinauer’s stake as one of the more influential businessmen in the history of Ocala. It was at that location where brother Ben Rheinauer would witness a carriage accident that facilitated the city’s first hospital (see May 2021 issue of Ocala Magazine). Rheinauer’s would prosper and grow into one of the state’s finer clothiers and continue at its location downtown until moving to the Ocala Shopping Center on Silver Springs Boulevard in 1968. Its location would be at the east end of the center, where The Carriage Trade now operates. That move, of one of Ocala’s oldest businesses, was part of the downtown area’s demise at the time. In addition to operating the department store, Rheinauer also served as vice president of the Ocala Iron and Machine Works and was a founder of the Ocala Board of Trade, the precursor to the Chamber of Commerce. He was also founder of the Merchants National Bank, the first bank in Ocala, and was the presiding officer of the Hebrew Society of Ocala. In 1906, Rheinauer’s standing in the community hit a peak as he became mayor of Ocala, the second Jewish person to serve in the position.

The Rheinhauer House today

One of Rheinauer’s passions was cigar smoking and he parlayed this into a successful business in Ocala, the La Criolla Cigar Co. At that time in the late 1800s, the La Criolla Cigar Company was among the largest in the state of Florida. As a friend of Cuban nationalist and freedom fighter Jose Marti, Rheinauer collaborated with him in starting the company. The factory would employ many Cuban immigrants and led to the west Broadway section of Ocala with its several cigar factories being referred to as “Marti City.” Eventually, the company would relocate to Ybor City near Tampa, which until recent years would be a thriving cigar hub. La Criolla is gone and the Rheinauer store no longer exists, but the legacy remains in the old Victorian house on Fort King Street. Now home to an attorney’s office, the Rheinauer House was for years known locally as the Seven Sisters Inn. Rheinauer and his wife, Emma, moved into the house in 1895 and remained there until each died,

Charles in 1926 at the age of 79 and Emma in 1942. D u r i n g Rheinhauer's Broadway and Main, 1890 the home’s years as the Seven Sisters Inn, there were reports of it being haunted by the spirit of Charles Rheinauer himself. Stories were told of cigar smoke being smelled in one of the rooms, yet no cigars being smoked at that time. Those who would tell ghost stories noted that the smoke was coming from Rheinauer enjoying one of his La Criolla cigars in the Paris Room. For many years, the Rheinauer name was among the most significant in Ocala and his legacy goes beyond the old home that bears his name. His tenure as mayor and role in founding the Ocala Board of Trade helped lay a foundation for what Ocala would be today.

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