C At A Full Gallop
The Ocala Jockey Club and Equiventures partner to bring a premier equine event to the area. › By JoAnn Guidry
all three-day eventing the equine version of the triathlon. But instead of swimming, biking and running all on one day, there’s dressage, crosscountry and stadium jumping each on separate days. On November 24-27, the inaugural $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event will showcase some of this exciting sport’s best riders and horses in the world. Owned by Erik and Pavla Nygaard, the Ocala Jockey Club sits on 950 acres of expansive meadows and rolling hills, just northwest of Ocala in Reddick. The multi-use property includes a 9,700-square-foot clubhouse available for weddings and other special events, rental townhouses and the Nygaard’s 200-acre thoroughbred farm. The OJC International Three-Day Event will take place on a 400-acre tract, which features the cross-country course and competition arena for the dressage and stadium jumping. Here’s a little three-day eventing primer. Dressage, which comprises a precise, intricate set of movements by rider and horse in an enclosed arena, headlines the first day of three-day competition. On day two, the focus turns to cross-country competition, where rider and horse are judged by speed, endurance and jumping ability over various terrain and obstacles. The final day is reserved for stadium jumping, where rider and horse negotiate a series of jumps in an enclosed arena as a final test of ability and endurance. “Jennie Brannigan, a four-star event rider, was renting one of our townhouses, and she noted that the rolling hills topography of our property was perfect for a cross-country course,” says Pavla Nygaard. “Then, we contacted Richard Trayford with Equiventures who stages three-day events and had him come out to look at the property. He agreed that it would be a great site for a three-day event, and things just progressed from there.” An equine event of this magnitude takes a top-level team. Organized by Equiventures, the OJC International Three-Day Event features 2012 London Olympics Eventing Manager Alec Lochore as event director. The There will be something brand-new cross-country course was for everyone in the family, designed by Mike Etherington-Smith including a vibrant vendor and Olympian equestrian Clayton village. Besides food, there will Fredericks. Four-star show jumping be artists of all kinds, a beer designer Richard Jeffery created the garden, a car club exhibit and stadium course. Equestrian Events plenty for kids, too. › Richard Trayford Inc., the organizer of the annual renowned Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, has also signed on as a partner. In addition to drawing the eventing sport’s best, the OJC International will also be a family-friendly event, complete with a countryfair atmosphere. “Of course, the horses are the draw for equine enthusiasts,” says Trayford. “But there will be something for everyone in the family, including a vibrant vendor village. Besides food, there will be artists of all kinds, a beer garden, a car club exhibit and plenty for kids, too. We are excited to bring such an event to Ocala. We invite everyone to come out to enjoy an exciting equestrian sport and have a good time in a beautiful setting.”
WANT TO GO? › $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event › November 24-27 › Ocala Jockey Club, 8720 W Hwy 318, Reddick › Gates open 8am each day, free general admission › Parking: $10 per vehicle per day › OJC3de.com NOV ’16 ›
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