Ocala’s nickname of “horse country” describes more than simply its high concentration of equine industries. The title conjures up an idyllic landscape full of rolling green hills, mossy live oaks, and miles of verdant farmland stretching into the distance. But this paradise isn’t just an ideal. In the north of Marion County, among the communities of Cardinal Hill, Winner’s Turf, the Meadowlands, and Ocala Downs, it’s an everyday reality. These equestrian communities lie nearly straight north of Ocala proper, occupying lands that in the late 19th century were more famous for their fertile fruit orchards than horse farms. The orange groves are (mostly) long gone now, but the same limestone-enriched fields that supported North Central Florida’s vast citrus empire bolster some of the most beautiful horse farms in Marion County.
The impressive equine training facility known as Cardinal Hill lends its name to the surrounding farm neighborhood peopled with thoroughbred breeders and trainers, paso fino farms, and cattle operations (one of which is the largest Brahman operation in the Southeast). The facility itself is extensive, with nearly a hundred stalls, a 5/8 mile irrigated track, a dressage ring, and a 6,695 square-foot main home. Its surrounding community sits on a gently-sloping hill, lending the area an atmosphere of tranquil seclusion, peace, and security Neighbors jogging or riding their horses down the street at all hours is not an uncommon sight, and most of the properties are gated.
• Home of the training facility Cardinal Hill, for which the subdivision is named.
• Perfect for Thoroughbred Breeders and Trainers, Paso Fino Farms, and Cattle Operations.
• Tranquil and secluded, with a focus of privacy and security.
• Home to one of the largest Brahman operations in the Southeast.
Even more private and removed from the hustle and bustle of the main highway, the Winner’s Turf neighborhood sits behind Cardinal Hill and adjacent to the Meadowlands. Residents here are even more removed from Hwy 301 and enjoy less traffic than the Cardinal Hill properties. The town of Sparr is close by, which hosts the largest fence supplier in the area. Winner’s Turf is still decidedly equine-focused, with a number of mid-sized farms inside its borders including drill teams. There are also a number of beautiful and spacious residential properties in the neighborhood. As with Cardinal Hill, there is a distinct focus on security and privacy, and many of the properties are gated or protected by privacy hedges.
• Even more private than Cardinal Hill properties.
• Close to Sparr.
• Adjacent to The Meadowlands and behind Cardinal Hill.
• Equine-focused, featuring a number of mid-sized farms.
• Distinct focus on security and privacy.
Next to Winner’s Turf lies The Meadowlands, a hilly collection of paso fino, carriage-driver, and eventer farms. The neighborhood also includes a sub-community called Hickory Downs that is primarily residential. An especially unique highlight of The Meadowlands area is the tunnel which runs under Hwy 301 and connects it with Ocala Downs.
• Connected to Ocala Downs via tunnel under HWY 301.
• Adjacent to Winner’s Turf.
• Features a sub-community called Hickory Downs (primarily residential).
• A hilly area, perfect for eventer farms.
Across the highway from Cardinal Hill and The Meadowlands, Ocala Downs is a gated equestrian community arranged in a circular manner much like a traditional subdivision. It includes a variety of farms and residential properties, and features the sub-community of Summit Downs. The entire neighborhood has both a farmland and residential atmosphere, with people often out walking their dogs, riding their horses, jogging, or biking.
• Across from Cardinal Hill and The Meadowlands, the latter of which is connected via tunnel under HWY 301.
• A variety of farms and residential properties.
• Features the sub-community of Summit Downs.
Properties for Sale in Cardinal Hill, Winner’s Turf, The Meadowlands, and Ocala Downs
Sound like a place you’d like to live? Contact a Showcase team member to find that perfect horse country farm in Cardinal Hill, Winner’s Turf, The Meadowlands, or Ocala Downs!
These neighborhoods not quite what you’re looking for? Take a look at our other Neighborhood Spotlights to see if there’s a better fit for you!