Ocala Style October '20

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OCT ‘20


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Woodfield Crossing Charming home on a corner lot in quiet, convenient, and desirable neighborhood of Woodfield Crossings. Beautiful front and side porches, open floor plan, high ceilings and crown molding throughout the home. Kitchen features granite counters tops, bar seating area, and stainless appliances. Plenty of natural light flows throughout the home from the well-placed windows. Laundry room with sink also offers storage area. Home includes a 2 car garage with back entry and additional parking. Home is in pristine condition! $391,300

Majestic Oaks - .25 +/- Acres Come and relax in this charming home on a corner lot in the private Majestic Oaks subdivision. Spacious three-bedroom home with owners suite and private second and third bedrooms are also perfect for dual offices or guest suites. Home is kept cool with overhead ceiling fans and central A/C. Florida room is a fabulous setting for weekend brunches. Selling furnished or unfurnished. Orange, grapefruit, lime and pecan trees complete the picture. Great location close to schools and shopping. $243,800

Country Club of Ocala

Exquisite estate home in the Country Club of Ocala with magnificent views overlooking the golf course. This estate sits on over 2 acres of beautifully manicured landscaped grounds located on a cul-de-sac for added privacy. Designed for family and entertaining, the home features a formal living room, formal dining room and open kitchen. Chef ’s kitchen features include center island, stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, hardwood floors, and is open to the breakfast nook and family room which features a fireplace. The home office showcases built in bookcases, and cabinets. Owner’s Suite with fireplace and sitting area. Upstairs game room features beverage bar, space for a pool table and built in entertainment or theater center. Outdoors you will enjoy the covered lanai, cooking and fire pit areas while enjoying views of the golf course. This property also includes an invisible dog fence. $1,495,000

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today! List your property with Joan Pletcher... Our results speak for themselves.

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.

Two and a half miles of trails, unlimited amounts of nature.

The Ocala Wetland Recharge Park incorporates treated wastewater and stormwater from the Old City Yard a drainage retention area (DRA), that is located near the park, and has historically flooded during heavy rain events. Stormwater can contain many contaminants like: nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants from fertilizers and pet and yard waste, oil, grease, heavy metals, vehicle coolants, bacteria, and litter. These stormwater contaminants are the leading cause of water pollution. The park captures this polluted water, therefore reducing regional flooding. By sending this water to the Ocala Wetland Recharge Park, the total nitrogen can be reduced to nearly undetectable levels, and the total phosphorus will be greatly reduced. This freshly cleaned water will improve water quality and boost regional groundwater supplies.

2105 NW 21st Street Ocala, FL | 352-351-6772

Follow us on Facebook & Instagram @ocalawetlandrechargepark


Hunt Murty Publisher | Jennifer jennifer@magnoliamediaco.com


Magnolia Media Company, LLC (352) 732-0073

1515 NE 22nd Avenue, Ocala, FL 34470

Art Editorial

GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Simon Mendoza simon@magnoliamediaco.com Brooke Pace brooke@magnoliamediaco.com IN-HOUSE PHOTOGRAPHERS Bruce Ackerman Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery PHOTOGRAPHERS Meagan Gumpert John Jernigan Dave Miller Rigoberto Perdomo Isabelle Ramirez Alan Youngblood ILLUSTRATOR David Vallejo


DIRECTOR OF SALES AND PROMOTIONS Lee Kerr lee@magnoliamediaco.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Evelyn Anderson evelyn@magnoliamediaco.com Sarah Belyeu sarah@magnoliamediaco.com Tammy Slay-Erker tammy@magnoliamediaco.com CLIENT SERVICES GURU Brittany Duval brittany@magnoliamediaco.com

EDITOR IN CHIEF Nick Steele nick@magnoliamediaco.com


SENIOR EDITOR Susan Smiley-Height susan@magnoliamediaco.com


CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Lisa McGinnes lisa@magnoliamediaco.com

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FREELANCE FASHION STYLIST Karlie Loland CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard Anguiano Ben Baugh Andy Fillmore JoAnn Guidry David Moore Jill Paglia Marian Rizzo Dave Schlenker Jason Steuber Leah Taylor Patricia Tomlinson


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MARKETING MANAGER Kylie Swope kylie@magnoliamediaco.com MARKETING COORDINATOR Sabrina Fissell sabrina@magnoliamediaco.com

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*Subject to credit approval. Your rate may be higher based on your credit worthiness and property valuation. No closing costs with $10,000 minimum loan amount. APR = Annual Percentage Rate. Rate quoted is as of 9/1/2020 and based on a HELOC with a 10-year draw period, 20-year repayment period. The HELOC rate is a variable rate and is based on Wall Street Journal Prime plus .50. Minimum APR 3.750% - Maximum APR 12.000%. Minimum loan amount $5,000 - Maximum loan amount $200,000. For example, a $25,000 10-year Home Equity Line of Credit with a 3.750% rate and an 80% Loan-toValue (LTV) will have an APR of 3.750%, 120 payments of $250.15; total finance charges of $5,018.37, for a total payment of $30,018.37. Your rate may be higher based on your credit worthiness and property valuation. Rates will be no less than Florida Credit Union’s minimum interest rate. This discount promotion cannot be combined with other Florida Credit Union promotions. Offer good for a limited time. FCUMKVS0104-0920

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Publisher’s Note

ear reader, As this is our animal issue, I am taking the opportunity to write an unabashed love letter to my beloved goldendoodle Boots. This month you turn 10 years old! I’ll never forget the day we became a family. It was the day after Thanksgiving and your dad surprised me with an entire litter of goldendoodles, from which to choose one. I almost picked your sister because she immediately sat on my lap. When I could not pick and asked your dad for help, however, he helped choose you—the smallest, most timid of the litter. You made us a family, even before we were married 10 months later with only you and the officiant in attendance. In fact, we were so inseparable that you went on our long honeymoon weekend. We had a family caricature drawn that weekend that I will always treasure. You changed our lives substantially. We went from romantic last-minute trips by air to planned drive trips and dog-friendly hotels. We took you everywhere and, unexpectedly, had more opportunities to engage in friendly conversations with complete strangers than we ever had before. Having you seemingly made us more approachable. I wonder what you thought that time we visited Washington D.C. and all those Japanese tourists wanted to take selfies with you? Meeting you has been a memorable experience for so many people. Since you were a puppy you’ve come to work with us every day and supported us and our coworkers—especially on those stressful days. Your nudges asking us to go walk around outside didn’t always feel timely, but we acknowledge 10 years later that they worked out to be more for our benefit than yours. That feeling of being home, and the contentment that it implies, happens when I’m with you and your dad. To be honest, your dad and I don’t feel settled without you with us. We can move, we can travel, but where we three are together, that is home. Thank you for making us a family. Love, Momma

Jennifer Hunt Murty Publisher



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As the weather begins to cool, Jill Paglia creates a delicious autumn meal. Sara Sosa learned to cook at her mother’s side and now is passing that art to her granddaughters.

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Dave wonders whether gender matters in appreciating high flying humor.


Got questions ahead of the general election? We’ve got answers.

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Insights into adopting from local animal shelters and breed specific rescues.


From water buffaloes to an African tortoise to a sugar glider, check out these unusual pets.







Belleview’s Riley Rowe is Marion County’s first FFA state president. Meet six adorable rescue dogs that are seeking forever homes.

Meet Eddie Leedy, the new head of the Humane Society of Marion County.

After surviving severe abuse, Molly is one happy dog and the face of the county’s animal abuse registry. Marion County is home to a dozen Florida-bred millionaire thoroughbreds. It’s fall and these looks are right at home on the farm.





Three area veterinarians offer health care advice for dogs, cats and horses.

Experts say resuming breast cancer screenings and treatment is crucial during the pandemic.

o n th e c o ve r Alexis Currier and Bleu Ivy photographed by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery. Fashion styling by Karlie Loland; hair & makeup by Nicole “Nicci” Orio, Pretty n Pinned; horse trainer, Amanda Ringer. Antonio Melani blazer from Dillard’s; top, jeans and bracelet from Maurices. This page: Antonio Melani dress from Dillard’s; boots from Maurices. Bleu Ivy is a 2015 mare, bay roan quarter horse owned by Baroness Cathrin Gutmann of Austria. The mare is a reserve world champion who has won multiple futurity championships and is a Western pleasure and trail horse under the training program of AR Performance Horses in Ocala.

Clockwise from left: Photo by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery; Grayson & Asher photo courtesy of Marion County Animal Services; photo by Meagan Gumpert




Golf Carts on the Road Drivers now share the roads with golf carts in downtown Ocala.


n Ocala’s historic district, golf carts are now on the road, necessitating an additional level of caution for drivers. After a collision between a golf cart and an automobile, contacting an attorney is your first course of action. The City of Ocala began allowing golf carts on designated city streets on June 1st. Drivers are limited to the roads expressly enumerated in the City of Ocala golf cart map—in general, the streets boxed in by East Fort King Street and Southeast 17th Street, from Southeast 3rd Avenue to Southeast 22nd Avenue. Golf cart parking is permitted at City Hall, the Citizens Service Center and

the Ocala Downtown Market. The legal experts at King Law Firm in Ocala define golf carts as having a specific and limited function. “In Florida,” Managing Shareholder Greg King explains, “it’s a golf cart if it has four wheels and was designed and manufactured for use on a golf course or for recreational use and is not capable of exceeding 20 mph.” Golf carts’ limited purpose means they have lower safety standards than the typical vehicle. Typically, they lack seat belts and doors, which renders the severity of a potential collision significantly greater. Since golf carts are pleasure vehicles, their operators may not realize that drunk driving

laws still apply. Regardless of the vehicle, alcohol consumption can seriously affect a driver’s coordination. Golf carts must obey all the traffic rules that motor vehicles follow, so golf carts have the right of way in the same scenarios that a motor vehicle has the right of way. Golf carts, King notes, can be dangerous to the passengers as well as operators when driven on streets where motor vehicles are used. “A golf cart is no match for a car when the two collide,” he says. Both the driver and the occupants of the golf cart have the potential to be seriously injured. King advises that a “collision between a golf cart and motor vehicle should be

treated the same as a collision between two motor vehicles.” Accordingly, he advises drivers to call law enforcement and to remain at the scene of the accident, taking pictures of the damages sustained to either vehicle. If anyone is injured, supply any medical aid you can and call 911. Next, call your insurance company. It is important, King says, to avoid admitting to any fault or responsibility and to only discuss the details of the accident with your lawyer, your insurance company and law enforcement. King Law Firm › 2156 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala, FL 34470 › (352) 261-6648 › www.kinglawfirm.org

“ARTIST’S OUTLOOK” ONLINE TALK WITH ANNELIES DYKGRAAF October 15 at 7 p.m. on Zoom; visit AppletonMuseum.org for participation details. Museum, Artspace and Appleton Store 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. AppletonMuseum.org | 352-291-4455



-an equal opportunity college-


Social Paige Hullinger, the granddaughter of a Shriner, enjoys a wagon ride with Rudy Helmuth during the Ocala Shrine Rodeo held September 4th and 5th at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion. Photo by Bruce Ackerman

October ‘20



Katie Stephens

Ocala Shrine Rodeo SOUTHEASTERN LIVESTOCK PAVILION Photography by Bruce Ackerman


his year’s version of the annual rodeo was impacted by the pandemic and did not feature a Buckaroo or Princess, but was a barrel of fun nonetheless. The event, held September 4th and 5th, raises funds to help pay the expenses of youngsters who receive care at Shriners Hospitals for Children, at no cost to their families.



Real People. Real S tories. Real O cala.

First Friday Art Walk OCALA DOWNTOWN MARKET Photography by Simon Mendoza


Darian Mosley and Greg Wesolowski

rainy evening September 4th had patrons from the First Friday Art Walk moving under shelter, but that didn’t dampen their enjoyment of interacting with local artists and trying out fun art activities. The series, hosted by the City of Ocala Cultural Arts Department, runs the first Friday of each month through May.

Ken DeMoliner

Dan McCarthy


Market of

Marion The largest produce market in North Central Florida

Sat-Sun - 8am-4pm 12888 SE US HWY 441, Belleview, FL 34420



Book, Lyrics, and Music by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann

September 24 – October 25 Stop by for a fill-up of pure fun! This high-octane musical is a down-home good time. Tickets $30 for adults / $15 for ages 18 and younger Sponsored By Blanchard, Merriam, Adel, Kirkland, & Green, P.A. 352 Preview Cox Communications

celebrating 70 years

(352) 236-2274 • www.ocalacivictheatre.com 4337 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, Florida 34470 October ‘20



Exhibit Sponsor Lisa Midgett

Pleasures 2.0 Art Exhibit BRICK CITY CENTER FOR THE ARTS Photography by Simon Mendoza


Dachshund sculpture by Todd Lane



Justin Alsedek

Lisa Midgett photo courtesy of MCA

Mel Fiorentino

rtists and guests alike couldn’t wait to learn the outcome of the Marion Cultural Alliance’s Pleasures 2.0 juried show, with the artists reception held September 4th. The juror was Tyrus Clutter, an artist and associate professor at the College of Central Florida. Best of Show honors went to Mel Fiorentino.

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Visit campuscu.com for a complete list of our convenient locations. Membership is open to anyone in Alachua, Marion, Lake, and Sumter counties.3 May not be combined with any other offer. Offer subject to change without notice. One bonus per household. Offer not available to members with an existing CAMPUS checking account. 1. Within the first 90 days member must elect to receive eDocuments and establish Direct Deposit of at least $200 per month. If the requirements are met and the account remains open after 90 days, the $300 reward will be made available to the member. $300 is considered interest and will be reported on IRS Form 1099-INT. 2. Credit approval and initial $50 opening deposit required. Member must elect to receive eDocuments. 3. Credit approval and initial $5 deposit required. Federally insured October ‘20 13 by the NCUA.

Artistic Adjustments Everything looks different through the lens of a pandemic, including the arts. Thus, Fine Arts for Ocala is introducing some innovative ideas that both artists and art lovers will appreciate. By Lisa McGinnes | Photography by Bruce Ackerman


very fall, art enthusiasts look forward to the Ocala Arts Festival, a prestigious, juried show that draws talent from around the country and more than 20,000 visitors to downtown. Amid coronavirus concerns, Fine Arts for Ocala (FAFO) made the difficult decision to cancel the festival this year. While the news was disappointing, FAFO is introducing several smaller events and exhibits to keep our arts community alive in coming weeks. “While FAFO did not feel like the large festival was appropriate or manageable in the time of COVID-19, we felt compelled to move FAFO’s mission forward,” explains FAFO President Beth Cannon. “We are excited to present two month-long art exhibits, an evening to celebrate horticulture as art and other art-related projects in the community.” The Alone Together art show opens at the NOMA (North of Magnolia) Gallery on October 1st and continues through the 31st. Patrons are invited to a reception on October 9th, and the exhibition is open Thursdays-Saturdays. The featured artists are bestof-show artists from the last five Ocala Arts Festivals, including Michael Brennan, Richard Currier, Susan Currier, Tony Eitharong, Dustin Goolsby, Jeff Ripple and Michelle McDowell Smith. NOMA Gallery, in the historic Coca Cola building, is owned by Lisa and David Midgett, who support the arts through the Midgett Foundation. At the Brick City Center for the Arts, FAFO has taken over the Marion Cultural Alliance gallery for art exhibits, events and classes all month long. The Community exhibition, open October 2nd-31st, features works by local artists exploring the question “What does community mean to you?” Following the



opening reception on October 2nd, the exhibit will be open Tuesdays-Saturdays. Accompanying events to encourage the support of local artists will be announced on FAFO’s Facebook page. FAFO’s month-long celebration at The Brick will culminate with Ocala Art•I•Culture, a celebration of our community’s landscape and its fusion of horticulture and art, on October 29th. The free event featuring City of Ocala Horticulture Supervisor Suzanne Shuffitt will be held on the patio, with a walking tour available. FAFO is a nonprofit organization formed in 1966 to promote appreciation of the fine arts and enhance art education in our community. For more information, visit www.fafo.org

IF YOU GO Alone Together NOMA Gallery, 939 N. Magnolia Ave. Open Thursday-Saturday 12-6pm Opening reception: October 9th, 12-6pm Community Brick City Center for the Arts, 23 SW Broadway St. Open Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm Opening reception: October 2nd, 5-7pm Art•I•Culture Brick City Center for the Arts, 23 SW Broadway St. October 29th, 5-7pm Follow @FineArtsForOcala on Facebook for additional announcements. Visit www.fafo.org or call (352) 8670355 for more information.

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The Monty Python Gland By Dave Schlenker Illustration by David Vallejo


efore I get to the Great Monty Python Experiment, I must tell you about the barfing gnome. But before I get to the barfing gnome, I need to tell you about Mom’s Bad TV Mojo. Stay with me. Mom’s Bad TV Mojo is a phenomenon that means every TV show a father picks suddenly goes south when a mother walks in the room. No matter how kid-friendly the show I picked was, it would take an inappropriate turn when my wife Amy (the particular mom in this scenario) appeared. It could be Hannah Montana, and the second Amy would walk in, Hannah would tire of Jackson’s sass and pull out a hatchet. So it went with the animated Gravity Falls. The girls were 9 and 12 when this offbeat comedy premiered on the Disney Channel. It was darker and sillier than most Disney fare, but it also was charming and fun. The girls and I were spellbound. Then Amy walked into the room just as a cartoon gnome started barfing rainbows…lots and lots of rainbows. It was a funny gag on its own, but the juxtaposition of my wife’s horrified face and the continual spew of sunshiny vomit made the girls and I laugh harder than we have ever laughed. My spleen ached. Make no mistake, Amy, has a wonderful sense of humor. We laugh often, and she can crack me up better than anyone. But, I learned after we were married, she does not find Monty Python funny. Monty Python, of course, is the wildly silly 1970s British comedy troupe. Their masterpiece is the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail. This King Arthur satire includes coconut horses, a newt that “got better,” sacred shrubbery, a bloodthirsty bunny and French knights who—say it with me, guys— “fart in your general direction.” Holy Grail makes me laugh ridiculously hard. Knights shout “Ni,” I chortle-snort and Amy ponders that whole “for-better-or-for-worse” vow. I sincerely do not know how anyone could NOT laugh at Holy Grail. What chemistry blocks the Monty Python gland? Gender? Genetics? Or is it us? Do Python fans carry a defective chromosome that makes us laugh at bleeding, limbless knights? One evening, I asked our 17-year-old daughter

Caroline to watch Holy Grail with me. If she did not find it funny, she could leave after 30 minutes. She reluctantly agreed. I was almost hoping Caroline, with her barfingrainbow sense of humor, would not find Holy Grail funny. I could chalk it up to male/female biology and move on. But Caroline watched the whole thing and laughed hard at the killer bunny. In other words, a teen girl who loves TikTok and Taylor Swift enjoyed a 1975 comedy with her 50-something dad. I stopped worrying about cultural biology and savored the moment. Then, shortly after the film, I overheard our brilliant teen daughter utter, in a wild French accent, “I wave my private parts at your aunties.” I wanted to hug her. The final lessons: 1.) Amy is the more sensible parent. 2.) Silliness is hereditary. 3.) African swallows can carry coconuts. 4.) That will always be funny. 5.) Ni! October ‘20



NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF The World Equestrian Center Ocala is pleased to announce award-winning, West-Coast-renowned Ryker Brown as Executive Chef, responsible for all culinary operations throughout the property. Brown first honed his culinary arts skills at Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, California — right outside of his hometown. Specializing in menu and concept development, private events and task force, among other industry components, he launched his food and beverage career in Park City, Utah. Big-name destinations range from Waldorf Astoria to Promontory Ranch Club to Sundance Mountain Resort where Brown was one of only four Utah chefs to earn a ‘Best Chef’ title by Best Chef America as well as a four-star rating by Forbes Travel Guide. He was also assigned to task forces like Hilton Hawaiian Village, Riverside New Orleans and the new Conrad Chicago hotel. Several years ago, Brown served as Corporate Executive Chef/Director of Research and Development for Kneaders Bakery & Café — a national restaurant chain with over 60 locations in eight states. His scope of work also included kitchen design, recipe development, opening new outlets and in-home catering. Before joining the World Equestrian Center Ocala, Brown was named Hotel Executive Chef at Omni Hotels & Resorts in Nashville, Tennessee — overseeing four restaurants, in-room dining, an employee cafeteria, a coffee shop and a large banquet operation serving up to 2,000 guests. He accounted for 75 culinarians and 10 chefs. Now, Brown will set the tone, manner and standard for the World Equestrian Center Ocala’s five-star hotel restaurant, all concession restaurants and banquet kitchens.

“It’s not every day that a chef gets to direct culinary operations for the largest equestrian complex in the United States,” Brown said. “Just like everything else here, my menus and the way they are carried out will be an experience unlike any our guests have ever seen.” About World Equestrian Center – Ocala, Florida Nestled in the horse capital of the world, the World Equestrian Center is a world-class, multipurpose indoor and outdoor facility spanning 4,000 acres with state-of-the-art amenities. The World Equestrian Center offers a new luxury hotel with retail space, several restaurants, a grand outdoor stadium, climate-controlled barns and arenas, an on-site riding trail and chapel, a gated community, an RV park and schooling areas. With a passion and commitment to equestrian sports, the World Equestrian Center is a true destination for all ages. For more information, visit www.wec.net. About World Equestrian Center - Wilmington, Ohio Driven by a passion for horses and a commitment to supporting equestrian sports in the United States, the World Equestrian Center aims to return horse showing to its former grandeur, while incorporating an element of fun, reminiscent of the horse shows of the past. Located in Ohio’s ‘Golden Triangle,’ the venue is less than one hour from Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton airports. For more information, visit www.wec.net. About Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club Golden Ocala offers members a piece of paradise in the rolling hills of North Central Florida. It is home to championship golf and tennis, an equestrian center, a full-service spa and fitness center, luxury living, fine dining and more. Family owned and operated, the exquisite Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club is a jewel set in the oasis of beautiful “Horse Country.” To inquire about sponsorship opportunities at the World Equestrian Center Ocala, contact Jim Wolf at jwolf@wolfsportsgroup.com. For more information, visit online at www.wec.net.

Voting 101 In Marion County, it’s easier than ever to cast your vote! Whether you choose to vote-by-mail or in person, early or on election day, we’ve got the details on the 2020 General Election. By Lisa McGinnes


lection day is Tuesday, November 3rd, and more than 250,000 Marion County residents are registered to vote. Are you one of them? Here’s how to find out. Visit www.votemarion.gov. Click Voters › Check My Registration Status. Enter your name and birthdate to find out whether you are registered to vote in Marion County and where you vote. Not registered? Register online at www.registertovoteflorida.gov or in person at any tax collector office, public library or the elections office. Important: The deadline to register to vote in this year’s General Election is October 5th.


In Florida, there is no such thing as an “absentee” ballot. Any registered 20


voter is allowed to vote-by-mail. Simply go online and request a vote-by-mail ballot by October 24th. Your ballot will be mailed to you and you can fill it out at your convenience. Vote-by-mail ballots do not require postage and can be returned by mail or any drop box located at early voting sites and the elections office. To be counted, voteby-mail ballots must be received (not postmarked) by the elections office by 7pm on election day. Voteby-mail ballots must be signed by the voter. “I personally vote-by-mail and so does my family,” says Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox, “so you can trust that vote-by-mail is secure.” He explains that a voter can track the status of his or her ballot online at www.votemarion.gov to get details about when it was requested, sent,

received and counted. New this year, voters can sign up to receive either text or email notifications about the status of their ballot by visiting www.marionballottrax.com or by scanning the attached QR code. “The greatest threat to the 2020 elections is to undermine voter confidence in the electoral system through misinformation and disinformation,” Wilcox notes. “Florida is one of the most, if not the most, engaged state working with the Department of Homeland Security on securing election systems infrastructure.”

How to Vote

There are three ways to cast your vote: • Vote-by-mail • Early voting • Election day

precinct have been opened, they are inserted into a high-speed reader to be tabulated. The total count is then verified against the number of ballots accepted.

Vote-by-Mail Myths: Busted

Myth: Most vote-by-mail ballot are rejected because the signature doesn’t match. Fact: Only a miniscule number of vote-by-mail ballots are rejected, usually because there is no signature at all. The voter’s signature is examined to verify it matches the signature on the voter’s record. If the signature matches, the ballot is accepted. If there is no signature or a signature mismatch, the voter is immediately notified and has until two days after the election to provide their signature. Myth: If you vote-by-mail, you can vote again on election day. Fact: When your vote-by-mail ballot is received at the elections office, your voting status is updated. This prevents a voter from voting twice in the same election. Myth: Vote-by-mail ballots are only counted if needed. Fact: Vote-by-mail ballots are actually counted first. Beginning 22 days before the election, the Canvassing Board, made up of a county judge, a county commissioner and the Supervisor of Elections, convenes at an advertised time to publicly open and count all accepted ballots. Myth: Vote-by-mail ballots are not kept secret. Fact: When the Canvassing Board opens vote-by-mail ballots, one person removes the ballot from the envelope and hands it to the next person, who unfolds it and places it facedown. Once all ballots from a

Myth: Vote-by-mail ballots are not actually secure. Fact: Vote-by-mail ballot results are securely stored until after the polls close on election day. By 7:30pm on election day, a copy of the first set of unofficial results is published online, which contains the total of all accepted vote-bymail ballots. Vote-by-mail ballots are included in the public manual audit conducted after each election by the Canvassing Board.

Early Voting

If you don’t want to vote by mail but don’t want to wait in line on election day, a great option is early voting. “Voters who prefer to cast their ballot in person and avoid crowds on election day are encouraged to vote early,” Wilcox says. From Monday, October 19th through Saturday, October 31st, any registered Marion County voter can vote at any of the county’s nine early voting sites between 8am-6pm.

Marion County Early Voting Locations:

• Marion County Election Center, 981 NE 16th St. • Belleview Public Library, 13145 SE Hwy. 484, Belleview • Deputy Brian Litz Building, 9048 SW State Road 200 • Dunnellon Public Library, 20351 Robinson Road, Dunnellon • Forest Public Library, 905 S Hwy 314A, Ocklawaha • Freedom Public Library, 5870 SW 95th St. • Mulberry Center, 8445 SE 165th Mulberry Lane, The Villages • Reddick Community Center, 4345 NW 152nd St., Reddick • Silver Springs Shores Community Center, 590 Silver Road

Election Day Voting

If you vote on November 3rd, Florida law requires that you vote at your own precinct, determined by where you live. To find out where your polling place is located, visit www.votemarion.gov and click Voters › Check My Registration Status. Polls are open from 7am7pm, and every voter in line at 7pm will be allowed to vote. When you check in at the polls, election workers are required to verify your photo identification and signature. A photo ID may include a Florida driver’s license, Florida identification card, U.S. passport, military or student ID, retirement center or neighborhood association ID, concealed weapon license or government employee ID card. Please note if your photo ID does not include your signature, you will also be asked to present a second form of identification that contains your signature. A voter information card is not required and is only for your information. Florida is a paper ballot state. You fill in your selections with a pen and deposit your vote in the ballot box. The ballot box uses an optical scanner that reads the paper ballot, tabulates and securely transmits a copy of the results. Although Florida is a closed primary state, party does not matter in the general election. Voters registered Democrat, Republican or no party affiliation can vote for any candidate.

October ‘20


Want to see what’s on the ballot? Sample ballots are now available online at www.votemarion.gov. Click Sample Ballot, enter your information, and click View Sample Ballot to see the local, state and national races you’ll be voting for as well as constitutional amendments. You are allowed to print and bring your sample ballot with you into the voting booth.

Election Security

Marion County Supervisor of Elections Wesley Wilcox has more than 20 years’ experience in systems administration and information technology. He serves as a local representative on the executive committee of the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center and is the only representative from Florida. The Marion County Elections Center belongs to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center and has requested that the Department of Homeland Security scan computer systems to check for vulnerabilities. Virus software,

malware and firewalls are in place, along with a password tester and up-to-date network security. All elections center employees have passed a cyber security awareness course through the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The Marion County Elections Center is under 24-hour camera surveillance and doors are alarmed and monitored by a third-party security service and have restricted key card access. All Marion County voting equipment is certified by the state and must pass rigorous testing prior to each election. A public logic and accuracy test verifies the equipment and will accurately examine, count and record votes exactly as marked by the voter. All voting equipment is sealed prior to and recorded before delivery to the polls. On election day, individual paper ballots are locked up and returned to the elections office, along with paper results printed at each precinct, to be verified against the electronic copy. Precinct results are encrypted and electronically transmitted to a stand-alone server

that has no connection to the internet to tabulate and report election results. After the election, paper ballots are securely stored under video surveillance for 22 months and can be rescanned or verified by hand if needed. A public manual audit is conducted after every election to ensure counts are correct.

Now Go Vote!

“Voting is one of the most, if not the most, important rights and responsibilities that U.S. citizens have,” Wilcox maintains. “Many generations of Americans sacrificed to preserve our nation’s democracy and ensure our freedom is protected. Honor them with your vote.”

BY THE NUMBERS Marion County Registered voters: 258,894 Democrats: 82,602 Republicans: 117,802 Others: 58,490 Election Workers: 700+ Marion County Precincts: 125 Early Voting Sites: 9

General Election: Important Dates October 5th: Deadline to register to vote October 19th-31st: Early voting October 24th: Deadline to request a vote-by-mail ballot November 3rd: Election day



Lisa McGinnes, left, and Supervisor of Elections Wesley, Wilcox. Photo by Meagan Gumpert.

October ‘20





The Community Foundation Ocala/Marion County has created a new day of giving to allow you the opportunity to easily support the vital work of our local nonprofits in need. By Allison B. Campbell, Director of Strategic Communications, Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County

elivering meals to seniors. Offering shelter and support to those who have been abused. Teaching, sharing play time with and coaching our children. Coloring, creating and enhancing our shared spaces. Each day, nonprofits from the forest to the Rainbow River, from Weirsdale to those with northside pride, meet men, women and children right where they are. It’s up to us to partner with our nonprofits so they can continue their valuable work. What if we brought the four corners of Marion County together to try to meet as many needs as possible in one 24-hour period? That’s what Give4Marion is all about. From October 20th at 10am through October 21st at 10am, our community will come together, providing financial resources that will raise the quality of life for everyone in our community. “Giving days happen all over the country, and the Community Foundation wanted to bring one to Marion County,” says Lauren DeIorio, President and Executive Director for the Community Foundation for Ocala/ Marion County. “With all that’s going on right now, there’s no better time than the present.” Give4Marion is a 24-hour fundraising event hosted by the Community Foundation, raising money for local nonprofits through a single online donation platform. On this day, we come together to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits, to connect donors to community needs and to strengthen nonprofit capacity. “The purpose of the giving day helps the Community Foundation grow our vision to build a stronger community for everyone… one passion at a time,” DeIorio explains. “With the minimum gift set at only



$10, nearly anyone with a web-enabled phone can get involved. We will even accept checks or cash at the foundation offices, too.” Generous community members can search for nonprofits by name or cause, like arts and culture, disability services, animals or veterans, and essentially have a shopping cart of giving. It will be 24 hours of connecting passion to purpose to raise the quality of life for everyone in Marion County. Nonprofits have already signed up to participate. Corporate and individual sponsorships are still needed to help match gifts of any dollar amount. Cash prizes through sponsors can be set to award nonprofits that meet certain goals along the way. Match Minutes will occur throughout the 24 hours, when every dollar donated up to a certain amount will be matched by a business, foundation or personal donor. Those opportunities are open now and can be set up until the second week of October. All in all, the inaugural Give4Marion promises to be a great time for all of Marion County to come together and not only see the needs but meet the needs. “We know it can sometimes feel overwhelming when there are so many unmet needs all around,” said DeIorio. “So, the Community Foundation is using Give4Marion to help guide people to make a lasting impact. During Give4Marion, everyone who gives can truly be the hero our community needs.” Visit www.give4marion.org to see the participating nonprofits and begin giving as early as October 5th. All donations for Give4Marion conclude at 10 am on Wednesday, October 21st.


Expert Whole Farm Veterinary Care Dr. Yayanti Sonday is an experienced, highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian providing routine and emergency mobile care for farm animals and horses.


arm owners have long known the convenience of veterinary house calls for their livestock, but the option for at-home veterinary care is a great alternative for a variety of animals. Dr. Sonday offers expert mobile veterinary care on your property, reducing stress on your animals and eliminating the hassle and anxiety of transporting them to a clinic. Dr. Sonday has been operating in the Ocala area for more than 10 years and has established a devoted group of clients that praise her for her expertise, compassion and caring. While she initially established her practice around the equestrian industry, she soon broadened her clientele to include all sorts of animals. Dr. Sonday believes every animal should have world-class veterinary care, whether it is a pet, performance animal, show stock or Dr. Sonday and Christina Atkins production animal. “I have clients with horses, goats, pigs, llamas and alpacas, and other farm animals,” she explains. “I love working on all species of farm animals from large dairy goat herds and specialty cattle to individual pets.” She has many equine clients, including world champion American quarter horses, show horses, pet horses and donkeys. “They all get the best veterinary care possible. I work with some of the top specialists in equine medicine, surgery and podiatry in the country to ensure my clients get the best result. I enjoy helping people and making sure their beloved horse is cared for in all stages of life and no matter their ‘use.’” There are very few other veterinarians in the area that have the same extensive experience with, and the

willingness to work with, such a large range of farm animals—which has made her a sought-after local expert. “Anything I can’t handle on the farm is referred to the University of Florida,” she offers. What also sets her apart is her commitment to compassionate care. “I believe that all animals—no matter their intended purpose—should be treated humanely with respect and compassionately treated for diseases, injuries and pain relief,” she explains. “All surgeries are done with anesthesia or heavy sedation, from dehorning to castration. It doesn’t matter that they may end up on a plate for dinner. While they are here, they should be treated the same or better than the cats and dogs who have the honored purpose to be our companions and make us happy. Why shouldn’t we treat the ones who provide us dairy products or make the ultimate sacrifice even better?” She also partners with the owners to ensure they are not only a part of the treatment plan, but that they understand all their options. “My clients appreciate my candid and honest approach to communication and educating them on helping them have the happiest healthiest animal possible,” Sonday offers. When she’s not working, she loves spending time with her own dog, horse and cat, as well as tending to her saltwater reef fish tank. She also loves to travel and engage in outdoor activities such as camping and hiking. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit www.ocalafarmdoc.com, email ocalafarmdoc@gmail.com or call (904) 434-4452. October ‘20



Herd Community The Appleton Museum of Art’s equine art collection spans more than 3,000 years of history from around the world. Just as Ocala is genuinely heralded and officially designated as the Horse Capital of the World, horses and equine art are part of the College of Central Florida museum’s ancestral and historical roots. By Jason Steuber, Director, Appleton Museum of Art


t’s hard to believe how quickly two decades have galloped by since 2001’s Horse Fever public art project leapt onto the local art scene. Spearheaded by the Marion Cultural Alliance, with assistance from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association, the large, colorful herd of more than 50 horse sculptures came to life and populated downtown and the surrounding area, including one at the Appleton: Journey, by artist Brenda Flynn. As success breeds success, Horse Fever is returning to Ocala in testament of the area’s lifeblood. Arthur I. Appleton (1915-2008) and his wife Martha Appleton (née O’Driscoll, 1922-1998), bought their rambling Ocala property in the 1970s and established the 1,600-acre Bridlewood Farm (1976) as a premiere thoroughbred breeding and training facility that successfully continues today under new ownership. Since the Appleton Museum of Art opened just 11 years later, it is easy to recognize and highlight how horses and equine art became pillars of the institution. Ranging from Eurasian Steppe Bronze Age horse-bridle bits to eighth century Chinese mortuary tomb sculptures to 19th century European oil paintings to contemporary photography and sculptures, the museum’s equine art collections are particularly notable for the breadth of historical materials and varied media. Horses are indeed fascinating and awe inspiring. We frequently field such questions as: What is the history of the domestication of the horse for agricultural needs? What



Earthenware Funerary Sculpture, China

Journey, Brenda Flynn

Bronze Horse Bit, Western Iran

roles do horses play in military and police maneuvers? Or, simply, how did horses come to be so important that September’s fan-less Kentucky Derby track was impacted by COVID-19 in such a way that the Nasdaq-traded Churchill Downs Inc. investment strategies also were influenced? As a community, our love of and interest in horses is championed by many vital organizations and encompasses the promotion of our equine population in many forms, including various art forms. Recently, the horse industry welcomed a new collaborative partnership, the Ocala Horse Alliance, a group focused on the collective needs and possibilities ever present in the equine industry. As the Appleton Museum of Art’s director, I am so lucky to have unbridled access to rare museum artifacts that document the wide range of human-horse relationships—riding, hunting, racing and farming, to name just a few. Equine art is art for all as it is accessible to everyone given the long tenure of our horse-human relationship. The Appleton family entrusted an internationally renowned collection to the Appleton Museum team to steward. I look forward to welcoming you back soon into the Appleton fold to enjoy the collections, especially our exhibition from the permanent collection showcasing equinecentric art and objects. Visit www.appletonmuseum.org for more information and online offerings. Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., (352) 291-4455.

Making History A local teen with a deep heritage in agriculture will lead the Florida FFA Association in 2020-21. By Susan Smiley-Height Photography by Bruce Ackerman


he ongoing pandemic of 2020 has caused restructuring across platforms including business, education, sports, the arts and healthcare. It also is impacting the historic reign of Marion County’s first-ever president of the Florida FFA Association (formerly Future Farmers of America). Riley Rowe, 18, of Weirsdale, made history in August when she was named to the top post. There have been other state officers from Marion County, but Rowe is the first to serve as president. Among the changes under her tenure have been a virtual state campaign and the interruption of about 300 days of traditional travel duties expected of someone in the leadership role. The Florida FFA Association has approximately 30,000 middle and high school student members in more than 300 chapters. The FFA mission is to “make a

positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.” After graduating from Belleview High School in June, Rowe is taking a year to fulfill her duties as FFA president before she attends Santa Fe College to complete her AA degree and then plans to obtain a bachelor’s degree in agriculture communications from the University of Florida. She has grown up in an agriculture-based family and has been active in groups such as 4-H, the Southeastern Youth Fair and FFA since she was 5 years old. “The ag lifestyle and industry sculpted pieces of who I am and shaped what I want my career path to be,” she offers. “I’ve always been around agriculture, but I never really wanted to grow up and be a farmer. I’ve always

been interested in the ag communications side, and the journalism and marketing.” “Agriculture as a whole is something that we all use every day, whether we realize it or not,” she adds. “From the clothes we wear to the foods we eat, everyone can relate to it because it’s something we all use. Being able to speak to strangers who might not know a lot about the industry, but are impacted by it, and being able to find middle ground, that’s something I love about this industry.” According to Caitlin Bainum, a livestock agent with UF/IFAS Extension, Marion County, agriculture and related industries generate 35,561 jobs, or 24.2 percent of total jobs in Marion County and $1.83 billion in Gross Regional Product (GRP), or 18.8 percent of the GRP. “The equine industry alone is a $2.3 billion dollar impact annually to the county,” Bainum explains. “Marion County ranks first in the state for equine and 10th for beef cattle numbers. Amongst livestock enterprises, commodities such as peanuts, watermelon, vegetable crops and nurseries are also a mainstay of

Marion County agriculture.” Molly Rowe, Riley’s mother, is a middle school agriculture teacher who grew up in a farming family in Weirsdale. “I have lived in Marion County my whole life and my husband Ricky is from Marion County,” she says. “We have a lot of family in Marion County. Riley is our oldest of two daughters. Reagan is the youngest. We have always been involved in agriculture.” Riley says she became active with the Southeastern Youth Fair, the oldest and largest fair of its kind in the nation, when she was 5 years old. “I was able to do stuff for the younger kids, like the kiddie goat show. Around 8 years old, I started showing beef cattle, and lambs and hogs. In sixth grade, I joined FFA at the earliest age possible,” she explains. “I continued through middle and high school, when I became more competitive. As I got older, I began to focus in on what interested me the most in agriculture and FFA specifically. I’ve always wanted to be a state officer, but I never really understood what goes on behind the scenes and the work that is put into it. I started realizing From left, Molly, Reagan, Riley and Ricky Rowe

this was a servant leadership position and a role that I wanted to take on to give back to this organization.” She was an FFA chapter officer in middle and high school and served as a sub-district chairman, Marion County Federation President and Florida FFA District 5 President. “I took on more responsibility with each one and gained experience in a leadership position, which prepared me for state office,” she states. “I thought I had the experience and tools that would make me successful.” The typical two-day screening process for selecting the cabinet, which includes seven officers in addition to the president, was reduced to one day this year because of COVID-19. “This year it was one day because it was virtual,” Rowe notes. “You go through several practicums, such as personal interview, an ag knowledge interview and an extemporaneous speech. I was one of two who screened the top highest and was able to run for president. Everyone in the state gets to vote for their respective areas and then on president and secretary. I did a couple of weeks of campaigning before our virtual convention and then the votes were in.” “There is a screening committee for the virtual practicums, around 16 people, and they get past officers, national officers and industry people,” Molly explains. “That committee decides who gets to run for state office and then the students vote for the final outcome.” Among the duties for Riley would typically have already been a visit to the annual Citrus Expo, which this year would have been held in Fort Myers, and to Washington, D.C., for a conference. “We did have to do these things virtually this year,” she says. “However, we are hoping in upcoming months we can travel to schools around the state to present chapter programs and workshops. I know a lot of these programs may have to be done virtually, but we’re hoping to do some in person.” She says that if she were talking, for example, to a group of middle school students, she would enforce that they may not know exactly how they fit into the agriculture industry, but she could guarantee there is something for everyone. “It can be anything from raising a small herd of beef cattle to working at Publix in the food supply chain,” she offers. “There are a lot of opportunities, but they have to do research and see what is the best fit.” “I’m a middle school ag teacher and it’s neat that when you get kids who have no agriculture background and they’re not sure they’re in the right place, and not sure that they should try it, but then they find out they don’t have to raise animals,” Molly notes. “There’s a lot of opportunity and the leadership skills they are gaining, no matter what career path they choose, are going to be valuable. And that definitely is unique to FFA. We’ve had a lot of state officers and there are some

businessmen and women in this town who have gone on to do some amazing things and they started out as FFA members and state officers.” “We are super proud of the eight young people who were elected to serve as 2020-21 State FFA officers,” offers Ronnie Simmons, executive secretary/director, Florida FFA Association, Inc. “Riley and her teammates are fantastic representations of what FFA is all about. Each of them comes to us with a heart for service and a passion to make a positive difference in the lives of others, all while representing Florida’s industry of agriculture. For many of us, life over the last six months has had its share of disruptions, but even during this unprecedented time, these young people continue to rise to the occasion and find new and innovative ways to serve and lead. Agriculture is the most basic and most necessary industry in the world, providing the food we eat, the fiber we need, and the natural resources that we depend on. And now, more than ever, the industry of agriculture needs young people who are excited and committed to feeding, housing and clothing an evergrowing world population. We are excited that these young people, along with 30,000 more Florida FFA members just like them, are stepping up to ensure a bright future for Florida agriculture.”

Past Marion County Officers The National FFA Organization was chartered in 1928 and the Florida FFA Association was chartered in October 1929. Prior state officers from Marion County were: 1942-43 Charles Howe, 4th Vice President 1943-44 Vernon Abshier Jr., 3rd Vice President 1945-46 Bobby McLucas, 6th Vice President 1947-48 Gwenn McCormick, 1st Vice President 1956-57 Duncan Wright, 4th Vice President 1964-65 Paul Adams, 2nd Vice President 1965-66 John Hooker, 1st Vice President 1985-86 James Glisson II, Region II Vice President 1987-88 Sonja Mullins, Area III Vice President 1989-90 Billy Carr, Area III Vice President 1991-92 Erin Freel, Area III Vice President 1994-95 Megan Tanner, Area III Vice President 2001-02 Melissa Stanley, Area III Vice President 2017-18 Kaylin Kleckner, Area III Vice President 2019-20 Taylor Burns, Area III Vice President Source: “Florida FFA - Our History,” copyright 2015 by Seasoned Owls of Florida

It’s our pleasure to introduce you to some great dogs that are currently available for adoption at local shelters and rescues. These are just a few of the cute canines searching for a new home and a new start in life, and we hope these photos inspire you to visit the rescue organizations and find your forever match. We had lots of fun photographing these doggies at some of our favorite local dog-friendly spots, alongside our caring animal ambassadors. Check out these fascinating people, pooches and places and please consider opening your heart and home to a rescue dog. By Susan Smiley-Height Photography by Bruce Ackerman

Kaos Humane Society of Marion County Kaos is a high-energy 8-year-old male mixed breed. Because he is so active, he must go to a home with no other pets, and his adoptive family should not include small children as he is better with adults and teens. To learn more, visit www.thehsmc.org Twistee Treat – The distinctive cone-shaped venue at 2394 SW College Road offers a wide variety of sweets for humans and “Pup Cups” for canines, with a swirl of vanilla ice cream topped with a doggie treat. Brooke Pace – Our own graphic designer and her husband Troy, who recently became official Ocalans after closing on their first home, adopted their 3-year-old male Canaan dog Cisco, who loves belly rubs, car rides and treats, from a rescue. They also adopted a “very opinionated” 2-year-old female calico shelter cat Eevee, who never lets them miss her mealtime. Brooke says her family always thought she would grow up to be a veterinarian.



Baloo Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL) Baloo is a hound/boxer mix a little over 3 years old. He loves to be loved and is sure to be truly devoted when he finds a new family. He came to VOCAL a little over a year ago with his mom and three siblings. All have been adopted now and he is waiting patiently for his turn. Baloo likes car rides and is good in public. He is well-behaved on leash walks once his initial enthusiasm for “adventure” ceases. To learn more, visit www.vocalforpets.org

Sayulita Taqueria – Located in downtown Ocala, in addition to their super-yummy “human” menu, this festive eatery and social destination offers “Mutt Meals” for canines. Miguel Gonzalez-Floyd – This Ocala actor, writer and artist says he is looking to tell stories and share ideas that move and inspire like-hearted people. One of his best friends is his dog Donnie Appleseed, a small terrier mix who “brings laughter and joy to my life every day,” he offers.


Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL) “Happy Jack,” as he is affectionately called, is an American bulldog/Labrador retriever mix. He is nearly 6 years old, loves belly rubs, and greets people with a smile and his “happy dance.” He is in a foster home with four other dogs and plays well with all of them. Jack walks well on a leash and has good “house manners.” To learn more, visit www.vocalforpets.org The Crazy Cucumber – This southwest Ocala spot is a great option for drinks with friends, 32


a delicious lunch or a leisurely dinner with family members and your furry friend. The parent company, Crazy Foods, also has Horse & Hounds Restaurant & Pub and Swampy’s Bar & Grille, both with pet-friendly patios. Salina Som – After obtaining her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida, Salina is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Central Florida and is hoping to convince her significant other to adopt a pet for their new home.

Daisy and Marbles Marion County Animal Services Daisy, below, is a mixed breed estimated to be 3 years old. She likes cuddles and attention, is motivated by treats and enjoys toys and being close to people. She had fun playing with Marbles, so staffers expect she will be good with other dogs. Marbles, left, also is a mixed breed and is approximately 2 years old. He is very high energy and active. He loves chasing a ball and is treat motivated. He does well with dogs that are submissive as he can be dominant. He should not be in a home with cats. Both Daisy and Marbles came in as strays, so staffers are unsure about them being housebroken and their behavior with children. To learn more about them, visit www.marioncountyfl.org Letty Towles Dog Park – Running for fun is just one of the activities encouraged for canines who visit this park, which is adjacent to the Jervey Gantt Recreational Complex in southeast Ocala. Cote Deonath – This world champion Elvis tribute artist has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada and England. The budding entrepreneur, who lives in Dunnellon, recently launched his own entertainment company, 49th PL Productions. He has a husky named Jasmine and cats named Tyson and Bryson.

October ‘20


Tiger The PIBA Foundation Tiger is an 8-year-old American bulldog and Malinois mix who loves children, but is not good with other dogs or cats. He is a “huge couch potato” who loves his toys and chasing lizards. He has rebounded from shelter shock and heartworms and just wants a family to love. To learn more, visit www.thepibafoundation.org Todd and Shelly’s Farm Fresh Café & Pub – This Belleview favorite with a focus on freshness is open

daily for breakfast and lunch, and offers delicious homestyle meals and delectable baked goods. Arianne Ramirez – Animal lover Arianne also loves art, museums and trying new things. Her fur babies are a 7-year-old cat named Versace and a very sweet 5-year-old husky named Athena. “Verse, for short, is my best friend and one of the chillest cats you’ll ever meet,” she says. “Athena is the family dog and sweetest girl, and just wants to make friends with everyone.”

Andrea Humane Society of Marion County This 6-year-old female Labrador retriever mix was found as a stray. She does not get along well with cats, but can be tested with other canines. She likes to pull hard on her leash, but otherwise aims to please. Staffers say an experienced dog handler would make a great match and that anyone willing to put in some time and effort would find her to be a great companion. To learn more, visit www.thehsmc.org Bank Street Patio Bar – This sleek downtown destination specializes in fresh, locally sourced food, and eclectic cocktails, all served in a truly unique setting that mixes an ultra-modern vibe with industrial chic. Ethan Larson – The son of our own in-house photographer Lyn Larson, Ethan is also 6 years old. He loves animals and not-so-secretly plots every day to have a pup of his own. However, he may have to convince his tabby cat Nugget, who thinks he is a dog, that it is a good idea.

Gimme Shelter As many as two-thirds of American families include a pet, and area animal rescues have more than enough available adoptees—and love—to go around. By Lisa McGinnes


lue-eyed female seeks companion for cuddling and long walks on the beach. Active male seeks outdoor adventure buddy for high-energy runs and swimming. Their ads read like online dating profiles. Their glossy photos are designed to make you fall in love at first sight. But this isn’t Match or eHarmony. These are adoptable animals waiting for a forever home. “The first step is always coming to the shelter and falling in love,” says Amanda Thurber, director of humane education and outreach coordinator for the Humane Society of Marion County. “We want to make sure that connection is there and that you’re open to adding them as your new family member, because that’s ultimately what the pets are to us—they are family members.” Director Jim Sweet of Marion



County Animal Services agrees that the online photos and descriptions of their more than 100 animals waiting for adoption are usually what inspires someone to come into the county shelter on Baseline Road. “A lot of times, people come in with a particular animal in mind because they saw it on our website, and it reminds them of maybe a pet they had in the past or resembles a pet that somebody owned that they know,” he says. “It’s an emotion. They feel that emotion, they see that animal and they want to meet it.” But, he says, just like online dating, the personality behind the photo doesn’t always spark a connection. “The reality is a picture is one thing but meeting the pet is a whole separate experience,” he explains. “Sometimes it works out with that

animal and sometimes we redirect them to a better fit. It’s kind of like a game of matchmaker. The one that brought them in may not be the one that’s actually going to be their furry friend forever.” For cat lover Zac Prine, it was a true case of love at first sight when he met the gray tuxedo bobtail he named Stump at Marion County Animal Services around five years ago. “I felt this little pat,” he remembers. “I turned around and Sarah McLachlan’s Angel starts playing and I see this beautiful little milk-mustached gray cat. I instantly fell in love with him.” Prine would later save Nobuu, a soft, black-haired Manx found in a litter of strays, to be a friend for Stump. When he found the third member of what he calls his “NoTail Kitty Crew” last year on the

Humane Society website, he didn’t hesitate to adopt the one-eyed orange Manx believed to be 5 to 7 years old, who would later need to have one leg amputated. “He was a little older, had a disability and needed a good home, and I knew I could provide for him, so I took him in,” Prine offers. “He was missing an eye, had a bum leg and was a Manx. I was like, ‘He’s perfect!’ I got lucky with three incredible cats.” Rick Schmidt met his beautiful, fluffy-eared, sable-coated companion Abby at the Humane Society shelter. “I wasn’t necessarily looking for a dog like her, but I immediately fell in love with her,” he remembers. He says the browneyed beauty “loves to go for rides and trips and really enjoys it” when Schmidt takes her to work with him at National Parts Depot. “She’s the most well-behaved dog I’ve ever had, and she’s a real sweetheart.” Marion County Commissioner Jeff Gold also found his dog Puzzle at the Humane Society. Although he and wife Shawn somewhat reluctantly made the decision to adopt the severely abused German shepherd in early 2019, the gentle pup who likes to swim and chase squirrels instantly became a treasured member of the family and inseparable playmate for then 1-year-old granddaughter Skylar. With more than 200 adoptable animals between them, Animal Goose owned by Zac Prine

Stump owned by Zac Prine

Services and the Humane Society are great places to meet a wide variety of cats, dogs and other critters. Both shelters are open to the public, so if you’re looking for a family pet you can stop in to see who’s around, and hopefully meet your new furry family member. Both are no-kill shelters, and they both make sure animals have veterinary examinations, vaccinations, spay or neuter surgeries and are evaluated for behavioral issues before they are ready for adoption. “We want people who are willing to take a chance at times with some of our pets, and give that opportunity and just kind of be open minded about what’s at the shelter and the benefits they can provide them,” Sweet says. “We just want people to be open minded.”

Additional Local Cat and Dog Rescues

Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL), a Marion County dog and cat rescue, and Sheltering Hands, an Ocala cat rescue, are always looking for permanent homes for adoptable animals, but they operate a little differently than the larger shelters. “The way we handle our adoptions are more on a oneon-one, tailored basis,” explains VOCAL co-founder Lauren Carpenter. “A majority of our animals are in foster care. For us, it’s not necessarily about the quantity of animals that we’re Nobuu owned by Zac Prine

adopting out but more so the quality of the adoptions. We feel like that’s super important to do from the perspective of the animal but also for the person, because they’re looking to adopt a lifelong pet so we want to be able to provide a service where we’re able to give them as much information as possible and make that really good match to get that pet into a home and also fulfill that family’s desire to have a great pet in their home.” VOCAL advises potential adoptive families to start by filling out an adoption application on their website. Volunteers then learn as much as they can about the adoptive family to match them with a pet that will be a perfect fit with their lifestyle. Sheltering Hands, a cat-only rescue, also encourages potential adopters to start by filling out an application, as many of their adoptable cats are living in foster homes. However, explains Chair Elena Goulet, they also take adoptable cats to meet the public seven days a week at the PetSmart in Lady Lake and on Saturdays at the PetSmart in Ocala. Goulet encourages adopters to think of bringing a feline into the family as a 12- to 20-year commitment. “We believe that the animal, when it goes into your home, is meant to enhance the quality of your life. We believe it’s important for you to form a bond with the animal. We want you to understand what the cat needs Mikey available at VOCAL

from you to make sure it fits your lifestyle.”

Breed-Specific Rescues

Maybe you’ve decided you’re ready for a new canine companion—one who reminds you of the golden retriever who was your faithful childhood friend or your neighbor’s beloved wiener dog. Breed-specific rescues throughout Florida cater to people who already know and love a particular breed of dog and who are willing to wait until just the right pooch comes along. “A breed specific rescue such as DARE is not a one size fits all,” explains Alicia Duval, president of the statewide Dachshund Adoption Rescue & Education (DARE), based in Tampa. “You’re going to know about the dog you’re interested in or you’re adopting from us because the dogs are in our homes, we are familiar with the breed.” A lifelong dachshund lover and dog mom to five, as well as several foster dogs, she maintains the “quirky, funny little dogs” make great family pets, but she cautions adopters—many of whom request puppies—to carefully consider their lifestyle before choosing a dog. “The perfect home is out there for every dog,” she says. “It’s our job to facilitate that match.” Duval recalls that over the last several years she’s seen a few people who quickly figured out the tiny puppy they thought they wanted was not, in fact, their ideal fur baby. Angel available at VOCAL

“If they’re adopting a puppy from me I make them get on the floor in their living room and see what they can see. And every cord they see, I show them if they can see it so can the puppy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve adopted dogs out and the owners will text me a couple days later a chewedup iPhone cord or a chewed-up remote control. And I say: ‘Take a newspaper and roll it up like you’re going to smack somebody—and whack yourself on the head. It’s your fault for leaving it out!’ she says with a laugh. And they’re like, ‘You’re so right, you warned us.’” Duval remembers one woman who was approved to adopt a puppy. “After three days she called back and said, ‘I’m too old for a puppy. I can’t do this.’ And I went and got the puppy back from her. And so when the right adult dog came along, I placed that dog for her and it was a perfect match.” Bob Levenson of The Villages found his ideal canine companions in rescued greyhounds. He came to Florida in 2003 with the beautiful, sleek Sophia, a full-size greyhound whose leg injury had forced an early retirement from the dog tracks of Southern California. In 2015, he applied to a Florida Italian greyhound rescue and adopted 5-year-old Siena and 9-year-old Sicily, who he describes as “excellent walking dogs, a lot of fun, and great company” for he and his wife Grace. Debby Moyer, president of

Brooklyn available at Marion County Animal Services

Woodstock available at VOCAL

Senior Greyhound Adoption of Florida, says after Florida passed Amendment 13 in 2018, greyhound racing is nearly phased out. They specialize in placing older dogs in forever homes. “Senior greyhounds are the best-kept secret in the greyhound adoption community,” she says. “They are friendly, intelligent, affectionate dogs who fit right into the family as if they’ve been there for years.” After decades of rescuing Shetland sheepdogs, Barbara Davis founded Mid Florida Sheltie Rescue in 2004. With only a small number of adoptable dogs living in foster homes, her rescue focuses on finding “the best and last home” for each one, where they will be treated like a valued family member. Suncoast Basset Rescue places the lovable, long-eared hounds in homes throughout Florida, and President Gail Wilson says the organization “gives bassets a second chance to live, as they were intended to be someone’s best animal friend.” Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida started in the early 1990s with volunteers from the local breed club and help from the Golden Retriever Club of America. Since then they’ve rescued thousands of the beloved, intelligent pups made famous by Duke, the Bush Beans dog, and Shadow from the Homeward Bound movies. The group finds adoptive homes for both purebred and golden retriever Dulce available at Marion County Animal Services

blends they call “one-of-a-kind furry companions that can give you a lifetime of love and devotion.”

Schmidt and Gold photography by John Jernigan. D.A.R.E. event photography by Stephaniellen Photography

Older Pets

While many people picture a playful puppy or cute kitten as their first choice in a pet, more and more animal lovers are discovering the joys of adopting an older companion. Animal rescues say there are always many senior pets waiting for homes. “I like older dogs because you kind of know what you’re getting, their personalities and their behaviors; you’re going to see pretty quickly what they’re like and what they like to do,” Sweet says. Thurber agrees: “What you see is what you get with a senior animal.” She explains that the Humane Society’s Seniors for Seniors program matches older pets with senior citizens, which gives older folks health benefits that can include lowering blood pressure and reducing depression and loneliness while giving deserving dogs and cats loving homes. “A lot of times people will say to us they don’t want an older pet because they can’t handle the heartache,” she says. “It’s hard to lose a pet as a family member.” But, she says, “They need love as much as any of the others.” Sheltering Hands currently has more than 70 cats age 8 and older in their Senior for Senior program, who have been placed with some 55 senior citizens age 75 and older. Rick Schmidt and Abby

“There is a distinct advantage for senior citizens to have a pet in their life,” Goulet explains. “The responsibility of caring for another creature often is what gets seniors motivated to be more active.” Both programs are supported by donations to minimize costs for seniors. Sheltering Hands covers the cats’ medical care and can sometimes, if needed, help with food and litter. They consider the placement a long-term foster situation, which means if at any time the person can no longer care for the cat it can be returned to the program. The Humane Society waives adoption fees for seniors, can help them find resources if they need assistance with pet care costs, and will also welcome the pet back if the person’s situation changes. “We are firm believers that Seniors for Seniors is something that this community needs,” Thurber notes. “There are a lot of people out there that are on fixed incomes and we don’t want that to keep them from being able to make that emotional connection with a furry animal.”

Animal Farm

Do you live on a farm? Did you know companion animals, including horses, pigs, goats, cows and chickens can be adopted? Run for the Ribbons, based in Morrison, rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes retired thoroughbred horses. Founder and president Laurine Fuller-

Jadiel Berrios and a dog from D.A.R.E.

Running wild at D.A.R.E.

Vargas says their Cedar Lock Farm only takes in five rescue horses a year, and some need more rehab than others before they go to an adoptive home. Farm owners can apply on the website and must prove they have the ability to provide “the best possible home.” At Marion County Animal Services’ Shocker Field, 40 acres of pastures and corrals provide temporary shelter for a variety of livestock animals. “Right now we have horses for adoption and pigs for adoption,” Sweet says. “We tend to have a lot of potbellied pigs. We do get goats and chickens and cows every so often.” He explains that many farm animals come in as strays or have been confiscated because of neglect. “We really want them to go somewhere that’s going to be a permanent home and they’ll never have to live through what they lived through previously,” he notes. “That’s the end-of-the-day goal.” Could your farm use a barn cat? While most rescue cats are placed in homes where they’ll live a strictly indoor life, Sheltering Hands and Animal Services have adoption programs that place less-social cats, who prefer to live outdoors, with farm owners. “We have a barn cat program, Working Whiskers,” Sweet notes. “Some cats are not as outgoing as others and they would be happy to live at your place but they may not want you cradling them. But they still deserve an opportunity.” Jeff Gold and Puzzle

October ‘20


Adopt Don’t Shop

No matter what kind of pet you’re looking for, rescues say the most important thing is to adopt rather than purchase an animal from an unknown breeder or pet shop. Be patient with the process, and let personality, rather than looks, guide your selection. Recognize that pet adoption is a lifelong commitment— but one that will provide lifelong love. “In the end that pet is always going to love you,” Thurber says of rescue pets. “They know that you’ve given them that second chance and they always find a way to repay it.”

Meet adoptable pets:

Marion County Animal Services, 5701 SE 66th St., Ocala Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm www.marioncountyfl.org/departments-agencies/departments-a-n/ animal-services (352) 671-8700 Marion County Humane Society, 701 NW 14th Road, Ocala Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am6pm; Sunday 10am-4pm. www.thehsmc.org (352) 873-7387

Apply to Adopt:

Dachshund Adoption Rescue & Education (DARE), www.daretorescue.org Golden Retriever Rescue of Mid-Florida, www.grrmf.org Mid Florida Sheltie Rescue, www.midflsheltierescue.com Run for the Ribbons, www.runfortheribbons.org Senior Greyhound Adoption of Florida, www.seniorgreyhoundadoption.org Sheltering Hands, www.shelteringhands.org Suncoast Basset Rescue, www.suncoastbassetrescue.org Voices of Change Animal League (VOCAL), www.vocalforpets.org

To the Rescue Area animal sanctuaries provide homes to a variety of animals, including exotics and equines. These are a few of those organizations. By Susan Smiley-Height Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary (EARS) Founded in 2001, EARS is a not-for-profit in Citra. It provides care for malnourished, abused and abandoned big cats and other exotic and domestic animals. Current residents include lions, tigers, ligers, cougars, leopards, bears and primates. One-day membership tours are offered the first Wednesday of each month and every Saturday, with registration. Group tours also are available. The organization always welcomes donations. Find on Facebook or visit www.earsinc.net

Photo courtesy of Forest Animal Rescue

Forest Animal Rescue - The sanctuary was founded in 1998 by Lisa and Kurt Stoner. More than 100 animals, rescued from abuse, neglect and exploitation, will live out their lives on 80 acres in the Ocala National Forest. They range from tigers and other big cats to bears, wolves, primates, fruit bats and flying foxes, tortoises and a few domestic animals. Most of the animals suffered at the hands of humans before their arrival, so they are naturally uncomfortable in the presence of new people. Twicemonthly tours have been temporarily suspended. The sanctuary relies on donations. Find on Facebook or visit www.forestanimalrescue.org Front Range Equine Rescue - This nonprofit was incorporated in Colorado in 1997 and added a location in Ocala in 2015. Horses enter the rescue from situations of abuse or neglect. They receive rehabilitation that includes veterinary services and farrier care. Once healthy, they are assessed to determine if they can be adopted (Colorado only) or, due to special needs, retire in Ocala and Colorado. FRER also helps through a discounted gelding program, hay and vet care support, and disaster evacuation aid. Tax deductible donations help with expenses. Find on Facebook or visit www.frontrangeequinerescue.org

Horse Protection Association of Florida - The charitable organization, founded in 1990, helps horses that are victims of starvation, neglect and abandonment, and specializes in horses in critical condition. According to Executive Director Morgan Silver, “Our unique rehabilitation program is renowned by veterinarians from across the country. Horses that are suitable go into training to become riding horses. Companion horses (unrideable) and rideable horses seek out adopters for lifetime homes.” The association operates solely by donations. It leases a 149-acre farm in Shiloh for $1 per year. The farm is very wet and not suitable for horses, causing hoof and health problems. “We are seeking the donation or lease of a farm where our work can continue,” Silver notes. Volunteers are always needed. Find on Facebook or visit www.hpaf.org Kindred Spirits Sanctuary - This nonprofit in Citra was formed in 2003 to provide sanctuary to disabled, abused, abandoned and neglected farm animals. Events such as tours, sleepovers and vegan meal gatherings have been suspended due to the pandemic. The sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Find on Facebook or visit www.kssfl.org Ocala Wildlife Sanctuary Inc. – OWLS, as it is best known, provides humane care for all birds in distress, though owls are the main rescues. The goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and release when possible. The pandemic has caused a pause in tours and programs, and a decrease in donations. Needed items include help with a webpage, monetary donations, bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, trash bags, gardening tools and accessories, volunteer assistance and a shed. Call (352) 895-0451 or email owls-ocalainc@hotmail.com October ‘20


A Humane Mission Call it going from laws to paws. After three decades in law enforcement, Eddie Leedy shifts gears to lead the Humane Society of Marion County’s animal advocacy mission.


lifelong animal lover, Eddie Leedy’s current menagerie includes seven horses, three dogs, one cat, a flock of guinea hens and chickens, and two sulcata tortoises. And if that wasn’t enough critters to care for, Leedy also oversees those residing at the Humane Society of Marion County (HSMC). After serving on the HSMC board for several years, Leedy became the HSMC executive director in January of this year. “As a kid, my first pet was a hamster named Mikey and my first dog was a white German shepherd named Wolf,” says Leedy. “I got my first horse when I was 18 and I’ve had horses ever since. I just love having and being around animals.” Leedy retired as a captain after 34 years with the Marion County Sheriff ’s Office (MCSO) and continues to be its volunteer mounted unit commander. As far as HSMC President Roseann Morton is concerned, he is a perfect fit for the executive director’s position. “Eddie obviously loves animals, but beyond that he brings great management skills from his years in various roles with the Sheriff ’s Office,” says Morton, who began volunteering at the HSMC in the 1990s before becoming president in 2013. “People seem to forget that nonprofits are a business and if you don’t 42


run one like a business, you’re going to be in trouble. Besides having a lot of heart, Eddie has the excellent management skills that we need to keep moving forward with our mission to speak for the animals and their welfare.” A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the HSMC was founded in 1964 and built its first facility in 1979. The organization moved to its current six-acre location at 701 NW 14th Road in Ocala in 2005. The no-kill shelter takes in dogs and cats, including strays, those surrendered and animals from the Marion County Animal Center, which is also now a no-kill facility. HSMC can house 95 dogs in a combination of indoor/ outdoor kennels and 100 felines in six cat rooms. The facility also includes a small clinic, staffed by two veterinary technicians to treat animals who come in injured or sick. A veterinarian also comes in once a week to handle more serious cases, as well as the neutering and spaying and vaccinations. “The HSMC is totally funded by sponsors and donors. People often leave the HSMC money in their wills,” says Leedy. “And our thrift store is also a good source of our revenue, thanks to the public who shop there. I am always touched by how generous the Marion County community is. We appreciate the community support each and every day.”

Eddie Leedy, left, and Nicole Hatch with Silas, a catahoula mixed breed Labrador retriever

By JoAnn Guidry | Photography by Bruce Ackerman

Ask Leedy about a typical day at HSMC and he chuckles, saying, “I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day here. We do have a schedule for each day and try to do our best to stick to that, but we also have to be flexible depending on unexpected events. We might get in a lot of animals one day that we have to deal with and the injured or sick ones are definitely more time intensive. But we have a great staff and great volunteers that can handle it all.” Among those volunteers is Leedy’s wife, Tamie, who retired as an executive secretary with the MCSO. Married 26 years, Leedy says, “Tamie is as animal crazy as I am, so it’s nice that we both put that to good use at HSMC.” And even while the society’s facility was closed to the walk-in public during the early COVID-19 shutdown, Leedy notes happily that “adoptions stayed steady and we expect to reach our annual adoption number of 2,000.” The facility opened back up to the public with regular hours on July 13th, with COVID-19 protocols, including the wearing of masks by staff and the public. Leedy is looking forward to several HSMC programs kicking back in soon as well. “Hopefully, we will get our DogGone Good reading program restarted soon. It’s always a joy to watch and listen to the kids reading to the dogs,” says Leedy. “We also have our humane education programs, including the Magic Bark Bus that goes to all Marion County public and private schools.” Future plans include a possible expansion at the facility. “We hope to build a new building that would include a larger veterinary and surgical clinic than what we have now,” says Leedy. “And it would include a quarantine intake area that we definitely need. But, of course, it’s on our wish list right now and the funding would have to be raised to finance the expansion.” Meanwhile, Leedy says he is content in his new position. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s also very rewarding work,” he says. “Every day, I love seeing people make that special bond with a new pet and give it a forever home.” To learn more, volunteer or help in other ways, visit www.thehsmc.org or call (352) 873-7387.

Leedy with an adoptable shelter cat

Stone, a German shepherd mixed breed

Leedy with Power Ranger, a black Labrador retriever

October ‘20


Creatures Great and Small Meet some area residents whose unusual pets are truly members of the family. By Susan Smiley-Height Photography by Bruce Ackerman


fter she had a bath and was told to be a good girl for 10 minutes, until it was time for her photo shoot—Patty, much like a rambunctious child, instead waded into a favorite mud hole and wallowed in cool abandon. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Callie Sue Edwards of her female Asian water buffalo, affectionately known as Rice Patty. Edwards, along with her partner Shane Kuhn, are “parents” to Rice Patty and Banjo, a male Asian water buffalo.



“Banjo was given to us by Tim and Patty Rivers,” Edwards explains, referencing the well-known exotic animal trainers based in Citra. “Shane had one of theirs [water buffaloes] before as well.” “They had him for years and I used him to trick rope on him,” Kuhn says of his first exposure to water buffalo. “I used him in rodeos and always wanted another one.” “Basically, they gifted him to us,” Edwards offers, speaking of Banjo. The couple has had Banjo for two years and has brought him to local events such as the Farmland

Preservation Festival. “With Rice Patty, I was cutting hair about a year ago,” notes Edwards, who owns the Stinky Flamingo Salon and Boutique in Shiloh, “when Kelly Rick, down the street, who is a vet tech with the University of Florida, called and said someone was giving away a water buffalo. They followed me online and saw that we had one that loved us, so we got her.” “When Banjo and Patty saw each other, it was like they were in love,” she remarks. “They had never seen another one.” Both buffalo are about 4 1/2 years old. Kuhn says they don’t mature until age 5 or 6. “That’s why water buffalo dairy products are pretty expensive, because they can’t reproduce and start milking until they’re 6 years old,” he explains, adding that one such delicacy is mozzarella cheese. He says he has seen photos from the 1800s that showed water buffalo pulling carts in South Dakota, so he knows they have been in America for some time, perhaps arriving with immigrants coming to work on railroads. “If they are domesticated,” he offers, “I’d say they are tamer than a horse.” In terms of training enticements, Edwards says they respond best to “petting.” “They get jealous,” Kuhn offers, commenting on Banjo’s behavior as our photographer paid attention to Rice Patty in the mud rather than him standing nearby. “They want to be part of what you are doing.” With tongue in cheek, or perhaps not, Kuhn offers that Banjo, “Banjo the Famous Water Buffalo” chimes in Edwards, can do “predictions,” such as guessing the gender of a baby, and also “takes confessions.” “He’s done a couple of weddings,” says Edwards. “They both have, with the bride on one and the groom on the other for photos.” The animals are members of the species that includes yak and bison. The life expectancy can range to 25 years. They can range in size from 1,500 to 2,600 pounds. According to a National Geographic article, “Water buffalo have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years. Wild water buffalo are at-risk and live only in a small number of protected areas in India, Nepal, Bhutan and Thailand.” As with their counterparts around the world, Banjo and Rice Patty love to head into their pond, where they fling mud onto their backs to ward off bugs and cool off. “They can just lay there for hours,” Edwards says, “and it’s fun to come sit with them and talk to them.” As the couple look over their buffalo, Honey, a miniature Australian shepherd, wades into the pond. “She thinks she’s a buffalo,” Kuhn offers, adding that Honey also likes to grab onto to Rice Patty’s rope and “lead” her around the property.

The couple also have a number of horses, four other dogs, a donkey, a pair of love birds and a scarlet macaw.

Animals Galore

A few miles to the southeast, Katy Maclachlan has a menagerie more like that of Noah’s ark, with some of the animals becoming pets due to the pandemic and others through “foster failure.” Her brood includes an African spurred, or sulcata, tortoise; an African bullfrog; a juvenile peacock; a flock of chickens and roosters; a sugar glider; two macaws; two snakes; three ferrets; five dogs; and seven horses. And that doesn’t include the wildlife she rehabilitates for release into the wild, currently five baby raccoons and a baby squirrel. Maclachlan, who was born in Chicago, moved to Boca Raton in 1969. “My first rescue, I was riding my bike home from school and I saw somebody hit a duck,” she offers. “I picked up the duck and went home and got in trouble, but saved the duck. And I’ve been doing it the rest of my life.” She had horses early in life, then lived on a sailboat for seven years so had to give them up. She moved to Ocala in 2000 and devoted her time to her two young sons before she got horses again. In 2019, she became one of the organizers of Homeward Bound Horses and Hounds Rescue, Inc., a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. “We do cats and dogs, but we also take in horses and donkeys and exotics,” she explains. “We do the whole

Shane Kuhn and Callie Sue Edwards

October ‘20


Katy Maclachlan

gamut of reptiles, and pretty much anything that you don’t have to have a state license to own. I had the ferrets and sugar glider when the pandemic hit. Well now I love them, so they’re part of my family.” The ferrets, Sinbad, Seiko and Sable, love to romp and play, turning flips and disappearing into the crevice of a cabinet. “They are very funny,” Maclachlan offers. “They are fairly common, but they have an odor like any weasel or skunk. They don’t spray like a skunk, but are messy.” The tortoise, Madagascar, or “Maddie,” is 3-yearsold and small, but will top more than 100 pounds when fully mature. The gorgeous blue male peacock, named Latif, is very young and doesn’t yet have enough plumage to make the signature tail fan. The African bullfrog, which weighs about a pound, has teeth and feeds on mice. His rotund appearance led to his name, Jabba, as in Jabba the Hutt from the Star Wars movie franchise. “Somebody in Orlando didn’t want him anymore,” Maclachlan offers. The macaws, a blue and gold male named Chico and D’jango, a green wing female, respond to hand signals, lifting their feathers when Maclachlan gives the sign. Jasper, the sugar glider, who is nocturnal, is not happy when Maclachlan opens the small plush sack in which he is sleeping. Uttering a chattering chastisement, he turns upside down to burrow back into his sleeping quarters. With the baby raccoons, Maclachlan brings them to good health by bottle-feeding, then has to reverse course and break them from the habit. She begins by adding baby cereal to the formula, along with hard-boiled egg, 46


berries and grapes. They then spend time in an outdoor enclosure learning to forage before they are released into the wild. As for her dogs, “they are dogs I fostered that I decided I just couldn’t live without,” she explains, letting loose a hearty laugh. “We call it foster failure!” Four of the canines are mastiffs and she also has a Labrador retriever and Rhodesian ridgeback cross. The horses in her care are permanent residents; some having come from situations where a senior citizen could no longer care for them, or they were injured or unwell. “I provide a forever home for them,” she states, “kind of like a retirement home.” “We are part of the VOCAL food group, which is a godsend,” says Maclachlan, who volunteers one day a week with the Voices of Change Animal League rescue group. In turn, she offers local students an opportunity to gain experience with real world issues and an understanding of the work performed by animal rescues, as part of volunteer programs administered by area schools. When asked if there is any animal she will not handle, Maclachlan opens wide her sky-blue eyes and says with affirmation, “No!” The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission oversees licenses and permits for wildlife and captive wildlife. Learn more at www.myfwc.com/license/wildlife

Victim to Victor After recovering from life-threatening injuries, mixed breed canine Molly now relishes a life of ease and serving as the ambassador for Marion County’s animal abuse registry.


By Susan Smiley-Height

ife is good for Molly, a mixed breed dog who was stabbed three times in the head and had her skull fractured with a baseball bat in early 2014. She now has a forever home with the SPCA of Ocala, where the spunky canine enjoys plenty of play time, golf cart rides and loving care. After recovering from her horrifying ordeal, the beautiful mixed breed with the soulful eyes has become the namesake of legislation aimed at publicly identifying those convicted of animal abuse. According to the county website, “the Marion County Board of County Commissioners established an animal abuser registry, otherwise known as Molly’s Law. That law requires that any offender convicted of an animal abuse crime as defined in Marion County Code, Chapter 4, Section 4-15 to be placed on the animal abuse registry. The online database allows citizens, pet sellers and rescue organizations to verify that they are not placing an animal with an animal abuser.” Molly’s accused attacker, Steven Scott Fleming, served time in state prison on three counts of felony cruelty to Marion County Animal Services provides animal animals. He no longer appears on the registry because control services within unincorporated Marion listings rotate off in certain time frames. County and the city of Ocala, enforcing state laws Before the pandemic stalled many public activities, and county ordinances relating to animals. Molly was busy as an ambassador for the registry According to the Marion County government “Because of COVID, Molly has been spending more website, animal control officers respond to more than time with her best canine friend,” offers Lilly Baron, 10,000 calls a year and are on-call for emergencies 24 President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty hours a day. They rescue injured, sick or stray domestic to Animals of Ocala (SPCA). “And Molly is really loving animals and investigate aggressive attacks, as well as her golf cart rides twice a day around the neighborhood. animal cruelties that can range from one-animal cases When she was doing all the events, she only got to go to large-scale incidents involving hundreds of animals. around once a day. It’s great to see neighbors running out and waving and yelling ‘Hi Molly!’” To report an animal-related concern or complaint: Baron says SPCA of Ocala assists people in need, • Within unincorporated areas of Marion County or from helping arrange veterinary care to feeding and within the city of Ocala, call Marion County Animal helping rehome animals. Control at (352) 671-8727. For emergencies after“And we are very involved in education about the hours or on weekends, contact the Marion County animal abuser registry, teaching the public if you see Sheriff ’s Office at (352) 732-9111. something, say something,” Baron notes. “We are very • Within the city of Belleview, contact the Belleview active in working with Director Jim Sweet of the Marion Police Department at (352) 245-7044. County Animal Center and County Commissioners. One • Within the city of Dunnellon, contact the of the goals for the SPCA of Ocala is to lobby for a stateDunnellon Police Department at (352) 465-8510. wide animal abuser registry.” Baron notes that SPCA of Ocala holds a Class III Marion County Animal Control provides assistance to license with the Florida Fish and Wildlife incorporated cities upon request, but residents should Conservation Commission. All adoptions are on contact the municipality in which the animal-related hold because of the pandemic. situation is taking place. If you are unsure if you are

Photo courtesy SPCA of Ocala

How to Report Animal Abuse

The registry is accessible at www.marioncountyfl.org/aar For specifics on the county ordinance, visit https://bit.ly/33GP4OA To learn more about SPCA of Ocala, visit www.spcaofocala.org

within a city’s limits, call animal control. To learn more, visit www.marioncountyfl.org/ departments-agencies/departments-a-n/ animal-services October ‘20




Since Carry Back became the first Florida-bred racehorse millionaire in 1962, the venerated distinction has expanded exponentially to 173 champions and counting. To date, a dozen Florida-bred “millionaires” currently reside in Ocala, including a pair at Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Stud. By JoAnn Guidry | Photography by Bruce Ackerman


t Charlotte Weber’s 4,500acre Live Oak Stud, there is no shortage of beautiful vistas. Weber’s regal thoroughbreds graze in verdant pastures, graced by majestic grand oaks, the farm’s namesake trees. In the spring, those pastures are home to rambunctious foals, who test their mother’s patience and grow into their madefor-racing legs. But when Weber looks out a certain back window of her Live Oak Stud home, she has perhaps one of the best views on the farm, that of several very special paddocks. Three of the equine residents of these paddocks are millionaires that Weber bred and raced, including a pair of Floridabred millionaires. Florida-bred Revved Up, who earned $1,548,653 and is the elder statesman at 22, shares a paddock with High Fly, a Live Oak Kentuckybred winner of $927,300. Floridabred World Approval, who banked $3,062,363, is paired with Live Oak Kentucky-bred millionaire Za Approval, now 12, who earned $1,394,666. The 8-year-old World Approval, who retired from racing in 2019, was the 2017 North American champion turf male. He also was named the 2017 Florida-bred Horse

of the Year, as well as champion older male, turf horse and male sprinter that season. In 2016, World Approval was the Florida-bred champion older male and turf horse. “Mrs. Weber really enjoys being able to look out from her house and see her retired horses,” says Live Oak Stud farm manager Bruce Hill. “They gave her lots of pleasure as racehorses and she believes it’s her responsibility to give them a good life in retirement.” And in the paddock between those where the millionaires reside is pensioned (no longer being bred) Florida-bred Win Approval, the dam (mother) of millionaires Revved Up, World Approval and Za Approval. She also is the dam of Florida-bred millionaire Miesque’s Approval, who was bred and raced by Weber and was the 2006 North American champion male turf horse. Live Oak Stud-bred Win Approval, a 1992 gray mare, was the Florida Broodmare of the Year in 2006, 2016 and 2017. She also was named the 2017 National Broodmare of the Year by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA). And, to date, Win Approval has the distinction of being the only thoroughbred broodmare in North America who October ‘20


has produced four millionaires. “All of Win Approval’s offspring are similar to her when it comes to personality. They’re all independent and persnickety,” says Hill. “They are very happy just being horses out in their paddocks. We groom them, comb out their manes and tails once a week, and keep fly spray on them. But other than that, we just let them be horses.” Hill notes that while World Approval likes peppermints, as does Win Approval, it doesn’t make either of them any friendlier. “If you’re going to offer a peppermint to World Approval, it’s best to be careful because he’s more than a bit nippy,” cautions Hill. “As for Win Approval, she won’t take a peppermint from your hand. But if you leave one on the fence post, she’ll take it when she feels like it, maybe.” Weber, along with Ocala Stud, the late Arthur I. Appleton and the late John Franks, have bred the most Florida-bred millionaires to date with seven. Another Live Oak Stud Florida-bred millionaire also calls Ocala home. Awesome Slew, who was also raced by Weber, earned $1,223,310 and currently stands stud at Ocala Stud.

Slew’s Final Answer and Win Approval



Revved Up

World Approval

Awesome Slew

Win Approval

In Summation

October ‘20


In addition to the aforementioned horses, Ocala is, at this writing, home to nine other Floridabred millionaires. Big Drama ($2,746,060/stands at Oakton Stallions): A 2006 bay colt, Big Drama was bred and raced by Harold L. Queen. In 2010, he was named the North American champion sprinter and Florida-bred champion older male. Presious Passion ($2,694,599/retired at Pleasant Acres): A 2003 chestnut gelding, Presious Passion was bred by Joseph and Helen Barbazon. Raced by Patricia Generazio, he was the 2008 Florida-bred champion turf horse. In 2009, he was the Florida-bred Horse of the Year, champion older male and turf horse. Jackson Bend ($1,806,750/retired at Nelson Jones Training Center): Bred by Fred and Jane Breis’ Jacks Or Better Farm, the 2007 chestnut colt was named the 2011 Florida-bred champion sprinter. Silver Tree ($1,781,654/retired at Vegso Racing Stable): A 2000 chestnut horse, Silver Tree was bred and raced by Peter Vegso. 52


Forbidden Apple ($1,680,640/retired at TRF Second Chances Farm): Bred and raced by the late Arthur I. Appleton, Forbidden Apple is a 1995 bay gelding. He was named the 2001 Florida-bred Horse of the Year and champion turf horse. First Dude ($1,442,140/stands at Double Diamond Farm): A 2007 bay horse, he was bred and raced by Donald R. Dizney’s Double Diamond Farm. He was named the 2010 Florida-bred champion 3-year-old colt and was the leading Florida sire in 2017 and 2018. Shake You Down ($1,442,014/retired at TRF Second Chances Farm): Bred by Ocala Stud and raced by Robert L. Cole Jr., Shake You Down is a 1998 chestnut gelding. He was named the 2003 Florida-bred champion sprinter. Diplomatic Jet ($1,267,202/retired at Black Diamond Farm): A 1992 chestnut horse, Diplomatic Jet was bred and raced by the late Fred W. Hooper. He was named the 1996 Florida-bred co-champion turf horse. In Summation ($1,226,166/stands at Ocala Stud): Bred by the late Arthur I. Appleton and raced by Waterford Stables Inc., he is a 2003 bay horse. In Summation was named the 2003 Florida-bred champion colt/gelding.

Photo courtesy of Florida Horse/FTBOA


Carrying A Legacy


Photo courtesy of Florida Horse/FTBOA

escribed by the sports writers of his era as “the colt from the wrong side of the tracks,” Carry Back overcame that snub to become the first Florida-bred millionaire. Oh, and along the way, he also became the first Florida-bred Preakness Stakes winner. In the early 1950s, Jack and Katherine Price owned Dorchester Farm in Kirtland, Ohio. When one of their boarders failed to pay his $150 bill, they acquired the mare Joppy as payment. Joppy, who had been banned from racing for frequently refusing to leave the starting gates, earned all of $325 as a racehorse. The Prices would later breed Joppy to the stallion Saggy, and, yes, these were real horses with these less-than-flattering names. Saggy, who had actually once beaten 1948 Triple Crown winner Citation, stood for a $500 stud

fee at Country Life Farm, outside of Baltimore, Maryland. In the midst of relocating Dorchester Farm to Ocala, the Prices sent Joppy and their other broodmares to be boarded at Ocala Stud. It was at the latter that Joppy foaled a 1958 bay colt by Saggy. Named after a tax loophole, Carry Back was on the small side for a racehorse at 15.1 hands and weighing less than 1,000 pounds. Trained by Jack Price, Carry Back was a precocious runner, becoming a stakes winner at 2 in 1960 and earning $286,299. As a 3-year-old in 1961, Carry Back became the second Florida-bred to win the Kentucky Derby and the first Florida-bred to win the Preakness Stakes. He earned $565,349 on the season and was named the 1961 North American champion 3-year-old colt. That honor made him the third Florida-bred to garner a national title, joining Needles and My Dear Girl. Carry Back returned to the races as a 4-year-old and, on May 30, 1962, he defeated two-time North American Horse of the Year Kelso in the Metropolitan Handicap and became the first Floridabred millionaire. He would remain the only Florida-bred millionaire for six years until Dr. Fager also achieved the earnings milestone in 1968. Carry Back retired with career earnings of $1,241,165 on 21 wins, 11 seconds and 11 thirds in a remarkable 62 career starts. He stood stud at the Prices’ Dorchester Farm, siring racehorses who earned a total of $5,212,406. In 1975, Carry Back was elected into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, located in Saratoga Springs, New York. He was but the second Florida-bred to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, following Dr. Fager, who was inducted in 1971. After being pensioned, Carry Back died at Ocala Stud on March 24, 1983, at the age of 25. October ‘20


photographer Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery | fashion styling Karlie Loland | hair & makeup by Nicole “Nicci” Orio, Pretty n’ Pinned | model Alexis Currier with Bleu Ivy | horse trainer Amanda Ringer



Opposite page: Dress by A Loves A and Kendra Scott necklace from Dillard’s; Earrings from Francesca’s. This page: Antonio Melani jumpsuit from Dillard’s. October ‘20


Antonio Melani blazer from Dillard’s; Top, KanCan jeans, necklace and bracelet from Maurices. 56


Antonio Melani dress and earrings from Dillard’s.

October ‘20


Michael Kors top with Tommy Hilfiger pants from Dillard’s. Earrings from Francesca’s. 58


Sweater, pants and hat from Copper Closet.

October ‘20



Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille 24 SE 1st Avenue, Ocala

(352) 840-0900 › hookedonharrys.com Mon-Thu 11a-9p › Fri & Sat 11a-10p › Sun 11a-8p Located in the heart of downtown Ocala, Harry’s offers traditional Louisiana favorites like Shrimp and Scallop Orleans, Crawfish Etouffée, Jambalaya, Shrimp Creole, Blackened Red Fish, Louisiana Gumbo and Garden District Grouper. Other favorites, like French Baked Scallops and Bourbon Street Salmon, are complemented with grilled steaks, chicken, burgers, po’ boy sandwiches and salads. Their full bar features Harry’s Signature Cocktails, such as the Harry’s Hurricane, Bayou Bloody Mary or the Cool Goose Martini. They also feature wines by the glass and a wide selection of imported, domestic and craft beer.

El Toreo

3790 E Silver Springs Boulevard, Ocala

(352) 694-1401 › 7 days 11a-10p SR 200, Ocala › (352) 291-2121 › 7 days 11a-11p New lunch specials include Taco Salad on Mondays, $5.45; Speedy Gonzalez on Tuesdays, $5.45; Quesadillas on Wednesdays, $7.95; Chimichangas on Thursdays, $6.95; and Burrito Supreme on Fridays, $5.95. New dinner options include Fajita Mondays, $10.95; Chimichanga Tuesdays, $8.95; Alambre Wednesdays, $9.95; and Tacos de Bistec Thursdays, $9.95. Plus $1.95 margaritas on Mondays. On Sunday, kids 12 and under can enjoy $1.95 children’s meals (take-out not included). Wednesday is Special Margarita Day, 99¢ all day. Saturday is 2-for-1 margaritas all day. Happy Hour daily, 3-7pm. Everything is 2-4-1 (exceptions may apply).

Happy Hour Specials: 2-7p every day $3 Draft Beer $4 House Wine & Premium Cocktails $5 Super Premium & $6 Harry’s Signature Cocktails $7 off bottles of wine We are open for dine in, carryout and delivery through Doordash and BiteSquad

Wednesday: 99¢ House Margaritas All Day Thursday: Trivia Night, 7-9pm (Blvd. location) Thursday: Mariachi band at the 200 location, 6-9pm OPEN FOR TAKE-OUT DAILY 11a-9p

Braised Onion

754 NE 25th Ave., Ocala

(352) 620-9255 › braisedonion.com Tue-Thu 11:30a-9p › Fri-Sat 11:30a-10p › Sun 11:30a-8p Braised Onion Restaurant, where you’ll experience “Comfort Food with Attitude” in a fun, warm and colorful but casual atmosphere. Open for lunch and dinner. Our team of experts will be dishing out perfectly seasoned prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce on Friday and Saturday evenings. Don’t forget the decadant dessert menu, which includes the prizewinning bread pudding, coconut cream pie, cheesecake and crème brûlée. Private meeting and banquet rooms available.



Comfort food with attitude We’re Open! New enhanced menu


Sunday Brunch: Bottomless Mimosas & Bloody Mary’s Wednesday: Hump Day Happy Hour all day all drinks half price Thursdays: $18.00 Prime Rib

Salted Brick

At Trilogy at Ocala Preserve 4021 NW 53rd Avenue Road Ocala (352) 509-5183 › Call for hours

Salted Brick restaurant is located in Ocala, Florida and brings to life regional favorites alongside American classics, using locallysourced, fresh ingredients. Featuring a centerpiece exhibition kitchen and wood-fired oven, watch as items are grilled to perfection above a natural flame. Think low country inspired shrimp and grits, “Brick City” half roast chicken, and grilled heritage pork chop. ** Award Winning Restaurant **

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Flavors of Fall Not only is the weather about to change but, with it, the way we’re cooking, from using fresh fall produce to creating comforting rustic meals. By Jill Paglia | Photography by Lyn Larson of Mahal Imagery October ‘20



all will soon be in the air—those refreshing mornings and cool evenings we Ocalans look forward to all summer. And those first autumn breezes put me in the mood for some of my favorite apple recipes. Since October is National Pork Month, also dubbed “Porktober,” I think the perfect autumn dinner is Rosemary Pork Chops with Savory Apples and Onions. In this dish, perfectly seared pork chops are topped with a delightfully fragrant cider pan sauce seasoned with cinnamon and allspice, and served with tender, butter sautéed apples and onions. I am fortunate to get my pork sourced locally from a 4-H hog, so I know what it was fed, and I believe knowing the source is especially important when it comes to pork.

If you think pork chops are dry, it’s most likely because they are so easy to overcook. A few years back, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) lowered the cooking temperature recommendation to 145 degrees, which is what most restaurants were already doing. According to the USDA, a little pink is just fine, and trust me, your meat will be so much better tasting. To add even more moisture, I brine the meat overnight in apple juice and brown sugar, with salt and pepper, which also adds extra flavor. The pan sauce, which is poured over the seared chops, is the highlight of this dish. It’s made with chicken broth for depth of flavor, apple cider for sweetness and Dijon mustard for zip, plus fresh herbs and flavorful autumn spices. I pair them with one of my favorite autumn vegetable dishes:

Sweet and Spicy Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts. These nutrient-packed veggies are the perfect complement to pork chops if you want to bring the heat. Accented with crispy bacon, this savory dish is perfect as a side but can also be served as a main course. It’s also easy to make this dish vegetarian; just leave out the bacon. While it’s easy to fill up on hearty pork and fall vegetables, don’t forget to save room for dessert—this autumn meal isn’t complete without my “can’t keep it in the house” Apple Crumb Pie, a popular gluten-free recipe that I’ve been making for more than 20 years. It forms a wonderful caramel sauce underneath as it bakes, filling your kitchen with the sweet smells of autumn. Happy Fall, y’all!

Rosemary Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

4 boneless pork chops, 3/4-inch thick (5 ounces) 2 medium sweet, crisp apples (such as Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji or Golden Delicious), thinly sliced 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth 1/2 cup apple cider 2 tablespoons butter 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice Salt and freshly ground black pepper Let pork chops rest at room

temperature for 10 minutes while preparing ingredients. › In a liquid measuring cup or bowl, whisk together broth, apple cider, mustard, cinnamon and allspice, then set aside. › Heat olive oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. › Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper (about 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper total). › Once oil is simmering, add pork chops. › Sear until browned on bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes, then f lip and continue to cook until center registers 145 degrees, or about 4 to 5 minutes longer. › Transfer pork

chops to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. › Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat. › Add in apples, onions, sage and rosemary and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. › Pour in broth mixture and season with a little salt as desired. › Let simmer until reduced by about half, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes. (For a slightly thicker sauce, whisk 1 teaspoon cornstarch in with the broth before adding to skillet and stir frequently.) › Return pork chops to pan and spoon mixture over chops. › Serve warm.

Spicy Maple Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprouts with Crispy Bacon 1 pound Brussels sprouts, with stems and outer leaves removed and cut in half 5 cups butternut squash, cubed 4 to 5 ounces (four to six slices) uncooked bacon (pork or turkey) 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves, chopped 1/3 cup dried cranberries 1/3 cup gorgonzola crumbles, blue cheese crumbles or goat cheese crumbles 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves Freshly ground salt and pepper Preheat oven to 400 degrees. › Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and spread out Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. › In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, cayenne, cinnamon and cloves until well combined. › Pour over the Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. › Season generously with salt and pepper. › Use clean hands to toss together, then spread out evenly on the baking sheet. › Roast in the oven

for 15 minutes then flip and roast for an additional 15 minutes until Brussels sprouts turn a slight golden brown and squash is fork tender. › While the veggies are roasting, cook bacon according to directions on the package. › Once crispy, transfer bacon onto a paper towel and pat away the grease, then chop and set aside. › Place pecans in a small pan over medium heat and stir until toasted and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes (they are done as soon as they start looking darker and smell toasty). › Immediately remove the pecans from the pan to a bowl or paper towel to prevent burning. › Once the butternut squash and Brussels sprouts are done, transfer them to a large serving bowl and gently fold in chopped bacon, dried cranberries and toasted pecans. › Garnish with your choice of crumbled cheese.

Apple Crumb Pie

6 Granny Smith apples, medium size, pared, cored and sliced 1 15-ounce package of refrigerator or frozen pie crust (I use gluten-free frozen) 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar 3 tablespoons King Arthur All-Purpose Flour (I use gluten-free)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small pieces 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg Heat oven to 425. › Prepare pie crust according to package directions. › In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. › Add sliced apples and toss until well coated. › Spoon apple mixture into pie crust. › To make topping, in a small bowl combine f lour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter. › Using a pastry cutter or fork, combine butter into sugar and flour until mixture resembles small crumbs. › Sprinkle over apple filling. › Bake 40 to 45 minutes, until apples are tender and pastry is golden brown. (If edge of crust looks like it might become too brown, cover with foil or a pie crust ring.) › Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired. October ‘20


In The Kitchen With Sara Sosa This stylish grandmother who learned to cook at her mother’s side is now passing along her culinary knowledge to a new generation. By Lisa McGinnes | Photography by Meagan Gumpert


ith decades of experience as a hair stylist and salon owner, Sara Sosa is an expert at making people look and feel beautiful. So it’s no surprise that she brings that same artistry into her kitchen, where she loves to turn simple ingredients into appealing, home-cooked goodness for her family. “The food stands on its own,” she maintains. “Less is more.” Her favorite dish to cook? Pasta. In fact, she has a cupboard filled with glass jars that hold a true connoisseur’s collection: shellshaped conchiglie; rounded orecchiette; small, hollow ditalini; curly rotini; bowtieshaped farfalle; long strands of bucatini… The humble pantry staple hearkens to her Italian heritage and was a budget-friendly meal starter when her two adult children were small. Nowadays she effortlessly transforms it into showstopper dishes. With the lilting piano melodies and jazzy riffs of her favorite French “cooking music” providing inspiration, Sosa crafts one of her go-to meals—Linguine with Clams, a hearty entrée that comes together quickly enough for a weeknight dinner but presents elegantly enough to serve at a bona fide formal-dining-room dinner party. She and husband Rolando enjoy it paired with a chilled New Zealand sauvignon blanc. “I like this because it’s easy,” she says. “And Rolando loves it. It’s a very easy dish so I think anyone—who’s not even a good cook—can master it.” Sosa’s love of seafood undoubtedly came from her mother, who hailed from Naples, on the coast of Italy. She has fond memories of growing up in Manhattan and shopping the fish markets where her mother would buy fresh seafood, live eels and snails, and then helping in the kitchen, serving as her



mom’s sous chef. “There were some wonderful fisheries there. The seafood was so fresh,” she recalls, adding, “My mother was a master of fish.” Her children and grandchildren don’t necessarily share her love for anything from the sea, but they do enjoy her pasta which means that even holiday dinners always feature one pasta dish. Sosa’s 35-year-old son Roland and 33-year-old daughter Rita especially like her pasta with broccoli, she says. When they were growing up, she made sure they knew how to cook, for one simple reason. “The whole idea of knowing how to cook for yourself is so that you never go hungry,” she asserts. Now, in her role as grandma, Sosa is enjoying teaching another generation to cook. She cares for her two granddaughters, 9-year-old Sabrina and 7-year-old Savanna, four days a week. “The oldest one loves to cook,” Sosa shares. “I got her a children’s cookbook and we do little recipes every day. The other day she made me lunch and it was delicious. She does it all by herself. She has such a wonderful curiosity about cooking. Her sister is not quite there yet. She’s the taster. Their favorite dish is pasta with peas and carrots.” When Sosa prepares pasta, it’s firmly al dente, the way she likes it, something she and Rolando still like to laugh about after nearly four decades together. “My husband likes it a little bit more soft, but I do not,” she explains with a laugh. He agrees, smiling, and describes her linguine as “really tasty and delightful.” So how does she advise the grandkids to prepare their pasta? However they like it. “There’s no right or wrong,” she maintains. “As long as you like what you eat, it’s right!”

October ‘20


Linguine with Clams (serves 4)

24 fresh clams 16 oz. Italian linguine 4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped 1/2 cup water Extra virgin olive oil Dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc or chardonnay Fresh parsley, chopped Cover clams with salt water and soak overnight in the refrigerator. › Just before cooking, scrub clams under running water. › Cover bottom of large skillet with olive oil and heat. › Cook garlic on medium heat just until it starts to soften, being careful not to burn. › Add clams. › Pour in water and a splash of wine. › Cover and cook for around 15-20 minutes or until all clams open. › Remove clams with tongs and set aside, leaving liquid in pan (this is the sauce.) › While clams are steaming, cook linguine in salted water for 15 minutes or until al dente. › Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking water. › Pour pasta into skillet with sauce and stir, adding reserved pasta water if needed to moisten. › Serve pasta with clams on top and garnish with parsley.


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October ‘20


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The Doctor Is In Need some tips on pet healthcare? These local veterinarians are here to help. Pictured: Dr. Samantha Carter and Rosie. By Susan Smiley-Height Photography by Bruce Ackerman




“I cannot imagine not living with a cat. They bring such joy and a sense of compassion and caring that I think is really important. As a veterinarian, and a mother, the idea of having pets is important for teaching children how fragile life is, because cats and dogs do not live as long as people. For myself as a child, and for my own children, the first understanding of death happened because of a beloved pet passing away. That can help instill compassion, empathy and a lot of very important attributes to all humans.” Here are some of the questions most frequently asked of the docs, along with their best advice.

Dr. Katherine O’Brien – Maricamp Animal Hospital Question: What are the best preventive medicines?

Answer: It is better to prevent a disease process than to try to treat it once it has begun. There are many areas in a dog’s life that require prevention, which includes but is not limited to intestinal parasites, viruses, bacteria, fleas, ticks and heartworms. Heartworm is a deadly disease spread by mosquitos, and some intestinal parasites can infect humans. For heartworm prevention, we recommend ProHeart, an injectable medication that comes in a six-month or 12-month form. We have found that fleas have become resistant to over the counter medications, but any prescription flea and tick medication will work. Most dog owners in Florida have to add a second flea control to help, such as the Seresto

Photos courtesy of Dr. Katherine O’Brien


ow that you have fallen for the charms of that cute puppy, adorable kitten or beautiful foal—or have you decided to give a forever home to a rescued older pet—what’s next? Beyond the obvious considerations that your pet should have that adequate food, water and shelter, it is vitally important to ensure they have care from a qualified health professional. We talked with Dr. Katherine O’Brien of Maricamp Animal Hospital, Dr. Samantha Carter of Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital and Dr. Jenny Salpeter of Brick City Cat Hospital about, first, the bonds between humans and animals, and also about their most commonly asked questions about canines, equines and felines. “The bond that exists between dogs and their owners is an amazing and powerful bond,” offers O’Brien. “This bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that positively influences the health and wellness of both involved. The statement that ‘Dog is man’s best friend’ was first recorded as being made by Frederick, King of Prussia in the 1700s, and it still rings true for today. In a world that is all about self-preservation and selfies, you will find this friend to be truly unselfish and they will never judge you no matter the situation. They depend on us, together, to make the right medical choices and deserve the respect of providing them with the absolute best care.” Carter asserts that “The bond between horses and humans is exceptional because you’re often working with not only a companion, but an athletic team. As a veterinarian, we’re not only making sure that the horses are healthy, but also fit and capable of performing various jobs, such as racing and jumping.” “The human and cat bond is very, very strong,” says Salpeter.

Dr. Katherine O’Brien

collar, which works in alignment with oral medication. Question: My dog’s breath smells bad! What can I do? Answer: We brush our teeth twice daily and get our teeth cleaned once or twice a year, so you can imagine what your dog’s teeth look like without routine prevention and professional dental cleanings. Most of the time, we take pictures of their teeth to show the owners, because not many clients look in their pet’s mouth and especially not all the way in the back where the disease process begins. The best prevention is to brush the pet’s teeth every day, feed them a dental diet and get their teeth professionally cleaned once yearly to prevent tooth aches, tooth loss, pain and suffering. You also can add in chews, and water and food additives. Question: My dog is having age-related health issues. There is nothing I can do, right? Answer: There are many opportunities and modalities to help your dog while it is aging. If the pet parents are willing to put in the time and effort into helping their dogs, the results can be rewarding. I find that when we give our pets the dignity and respect they deserve for all the love they give to us and our families, they get better faster. The pet must be ideal weight or thinner since any extra weight is hard on their joints. Oral supplements (which should be labeled orthopedic and/or advanced) and injectable joint supplements (given at your veterinarian’s office) are the basics of arthritic care. Exercise is super important because as pets age they start to lose muscle mass and become weaker and it is harder for them to get around. Preventative medicine helps ensure we are not missing any disease processes that could make them gain weight or

Dr. Samantha Carter

have inflammation in joints. There is pain and anti-inflammatory medicine, but these have to be processed by the organs and can cause internal damage so we use these as a last resort. My favorite and the most helpful for the pet are regenerative and alternative medicines. Allnatural stem cell therapy helps regenerate tissue, which helps reduce pain and suffering. Other modalities would be platelet rich plasma, which is highly concentrated platelets from their body injected into the joints to give quicker relief; laser therapy to reduce pain and inflammation; ozone therapy, which oxygenates the blood, decreases inflammation and helps kill bacteria; and acupuncture, which stimulates the nervous system and reduces discomfort.

Dr. Samantha Carter Peterson & Smith Equine Hospital

Question: My horse is lying down. Is that normal? Answer: It is normal for horses to lie down for a few hours every day. Even though horses can sleep standing up because of the stay apparatus in the hind limbs, horses need to lie down to enter the REM stage of a sleep cycle. When lying down is accompanied by sweating, pawing, repeatedly lying down, or lip curling, these could be signs of colic (abdominal pain). When you suspect your horse is colicking, October ‘20


it is important to contact your veterinarian. Question: Is my horse overweight or underweight? Answer: It’s best to look at a body condition score (BCS) to evaluate a horse’s weight. You can look at the fat deposits, or lack thereof, at the horse’s crest, tail head, withers, shoulder and ribs. The horse would then get a score from 1-9, with a 1 being very skinny, and a 9 indicating an overweight horse. An ideal score would be 5. Additionally, there are two ways to estimate a horse’s weight that are useful guides for choosing the appropriate amount of grain and forage to maintain an ideal weight. The first method is to use a weight tape and the second method is to calculate an estimated weight by measuring the girth and body length in inches. Using these measurements, you can estimate the weight in pounds using this formula: Weight in pounds = Dr. Jenny Salpeter

girth x girth x body length ÷ 330. Question: What is in my horse’s eye? Answer: The corpora nigra is a normal anatomical structure in the eye of the horse. It is the black lobular mass seen in front of the iris and pupil. The function of the corpora nigra is not known for sure, but it may play a role in blocking sunlight.

Dr. Jenny Salpeter – Brick City Cat Hospital

Question: How do I stop my cat from scratching on things?

Answer: Scratching is a normal cat behavior, so they are not doing anything wrong. They don’t just do it to sharpen their claws, they do it to leave a scent to say ‘this is my territory.’ I think what frustrates people is that cats can damage property through scratching. We’ve learned that declawing causes a lot of problems and it is illegal now in many places and probably will become illegal in Florida within the next year or two. We no longer declaw at this practice because we know it changes the cat’s foot confirmation and they end up with arthritis. Declawing can cause phantom pain and cats can develop regrowth of bone and nail, which is very painful. Cats that are declawed often are surrendered for behavior problems due to chronic pain. We recommend alternatives such as plastic nail caps or teaching cats to accept nail trims (there are videos on our website for how to do this). You also can use scratching posts. The key to a good one is that it is tall enough to allow the cat to totally stretch. And make sure the fabric on the post is different from the fabric of your house. A lot of scratching posts are made with sisal, which is like a rope fiber, but if you have rugs that are a similar fabric, it would not be the right choice because the cat is not going to discriminate between them. I don’t like carpeted posts because cats can’t discern between the carpet on the post and the carpet in your house. An ideal scratching post is bark-like, because they like to scratch trees on the outside. If your cat is not using a post, I recommend Feliscratch from Feliway to give visual and olfactory clues to help encourage them. Question: What should I be feeding my cat? Answer: I think you have to go back to what cats normally eat in the wild, which typically would be seven small meals a day, for about

Photos courtesy of Dr. Jenny Salpeter



210 calories, and they are hunting mice and voles. They only catch about 50 percent of their prey, so they spend a lot of time hunting, which creates kinetic energy. They are going to hunt, then be really still, then have a rapid burst to try to catch it, so they are using a lot of muscles and brain power. When we keep cats inside, or indoor/outdoor, we have a tendency to overfeed, which has a tendency to cause a lot of health concerns with obesity and secondary problems such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. I encourage multiple small measured meals a day. The average cat needs around 220-240 calories a day. I like a mix of canned food predominantly, and some dry. Canned has a lot of water in it to help make sure cats stay hydrated and it’s a little higher in proteins.

Dry can be beneficial for their teeth, but only if the kibble size is super big so they have to crunch it. A lot of kibble is small and the cat just swallows it whole. The best food should be similar to that mouse model, meaning fairly high in protein, with a little bit of carbs and fat. There is a push to be grain-free, but I am not a proponent because grains are part of their natural diet. If we are going to predominantly feed dry food, I like to use food puzzles to try to simulate the hunt. We have a tendency to shower love with food. I’m trying to teach people to make sure their cats are healthy and not obese. Question: What should I do about flea control? Answer: We live in a perfect environment for fleas. It’s the right humidity and our indoor air

is the right temperature. People ask how can my indoor-only cat get fleas? You can bring in hitchhikers on pant legs, socks, etc. Most of the flea’s life is off of the pet. One adult female flea can lay 50 eggs a day. It is super important that even inside-only cats be on flea and heartworm prevention. We recommend an all-purpose f lea, heartworm, hookworm and roundworm prevention. When we have a flea problem, it takes three months to break the life cycle. A lot of times you’ll buy a product, whether it’s through your veterinarian or online or at a pet store, and you’ll think it’s not working, but it is, it just takes three to four months because nothing kills the pupa. It’s really important that all cats— inside and outside—are on a preventative product.

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October ‘20


Breast Care in the Time of Social Distancing

Experts agree that resuming breast cancer screenings and continuation of treatment is crucial during the COVID-19 pandemic. By Valerie Kiser, MBAHM, Ocala Health Oncology Coordinator


hen COVID-19 swept across the globe, routine health care was nearly halted for many women and men in America, and for good reason. In March of 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as well as state and local governments, made recommendations to delay elective care, including breast cancer screening tests. As the country has begun to reopen and a “new normal” surfaces, a trend of delaying breast cancer screenings is emerging. Cancer isn’t pausing for COVID-19. It doesn’t discriminate against age,

race, educational background or any social and economic factor. To get a clear picture of the impact breast cancer has on our community, the statistics speak for themselves: • Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in American women (Source: American Cancer Society, 2020) • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women (Source: American Cancer Society, 2020) • In the year 2017 in Marion County, the age adjusted incidence rate of breast cancer was 134.7 above the state

average of 118.4 (Source: Florida Department of Health, 2020) • In 2019, of 1,120 deaths in Marion County from cancer, 69 were breast cancer related. Cancer was the second leading cause of death, second only to heart disease. (Source: Florida Department of Health, 2020) The first step in assessing whether or not to schedule your routine screening is to speak to your primary care physician. Discuss the benefits and risks that are specific to you; each person is different. If you notice any changes in your breasts or nipples, see a health care provider. For those who don’t

During these challenging times, we remain open and dedicated to safely serving our cancer patients.

You don’t plan for a cancer diagnosis. But, Florida Cancer Specialists will be by your side — throughout the journey. Our doctors and nurses provide personalized, targeted treatment, clinical expertise and new techniques that protect heart health during radiation treatment in breast cancer patients. And with world-class care that’s close to home, we’re always here to help. During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and beyond, we’ll give you the strength to move forward — every step of the way.

Caring for patients at our two Marion County locations.

Your treatment.

Our Journey .

Patrick Acevedo, MD Luis Carrascosa, MD Mohammad K. Kamal, MD Sachin Kamath, MD Shilpa Oberoi, MD Vipul Patel, MD Craig Reynolds, MD







*All required paperwork must be provided at time of referral.

As we all consider current health concerns, we may be forgetting others, like breast health. Early detection of breast cancer offers a nearly 100% five-year survival rate, so don’t postpone your annual screening 3D mammogram. RAO’s breast health battalion can have you in and out safely in minutes, so when the world opens up again, you’ll be ready to enjoy it.

For more information visit: WomensImagingOcala.com ACR Accredited Locations:

Women’s Imaging Center TimberRidge Imaging Center

YVONNE SEYMOR-PALMER Scheduler & Breast Cancer Survivor AMANDA SMITH Physician Liaison

AMANDA AULLS, MD Director of Women’s Imaging

CARRIE LAW Operations Coordinator

MICHELE BARKLEY MRI Technologist & Breast Cancer Survivor

RIDGELY MEYERS, MD Breast Imaging Specialist

Make today a 3D-Day! Schedule your routine screening: 352-671-4300

We are proudly contracted with a variety of insurances and file all claims with the exception of non-contracted HMOs. Visit our website for a detailed list of contracted insurances. Contracted insurances are subject to change.

October ‘20


have health insurance or a primary care physician, contact the Florida Cancer Program at (850) 245-4330 or email cancer@flhealth.gov. The agency has programs available to qualifying candidates to access free or low-cost mammograms. Mammography is the most common screening test for breast cancer. And although a breast cancer screening is not a prevention of cancer, it is the best way to detect early cancer. Cancers that are detected early are easier to treat and result in better overall outcomes and survival rates. There are several breast cancer screening guidelines currently available. The American Cancer Society recommends the following screening mammography schedule for average risk women: • Beginning at age 40 with informed decision making with a health care provider. • Every year ages 45-54 • Every two years starting at age 55 (or yearly if a woman chooses) for as long as the woman is in good health. The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover mammography screening every one to two years with no co-payment for women ages 40 and older. (Source:



Susan G. Komen, 2020) Dr. George Rossidis, General Surgeon for Ocala Health Surgical Group, emphasizes the importance of early detection. “One in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime,” he notes. “Early detection is the key to successful treatment.” His recommendations include: • Perform self-examinations on a monthly basis and do not ignore any lumps or swollen lymph nodes in your breasts. • Have annual screening mammograms after the age of 40. • Exercise often and, avoid both smoking and alcohol consumption.” Here are some additional ways you can feel more safe when deciding to resume routine breast cancer screening. • As with any health care decision, speak to your physician. Many physician practices now offer telehealth visits and patient information access via patient portals. • Visit the website, or call your screening center of choice. Educate yourself on the precautions they are taking to

keep you safe from COVID-19 and learn more about the technologies available. Information is power and provides an added layer of reassurance in the decision making process. • Access local resources. In addition to many national agencies, organizations and groups, Marion County offers a variety of local resources for the community. The Cancer Alliance of Marion County is a collaborative effort to communicate with and educate the community. You can visit canceralliancemc.org for a resource directory. • Incorporate stress management into your routine. Practice meditation techniques, explore aromatherapies, get adequate sleep and rest, talk to a counselor, exercise regularly and find support from family and friends. “Stress has a profound impact on how your body’s systems function,” Lorenzo Cohen, Ph.D., professor of General Oncology and Behavioral Science, and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson, has commented. “Stress makes your body more hospitable to cancer.”

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