Ocala, Florida is widely known as the “Horse Capital of the World” because of its rich tradition of Thoroughbred horse breeding, raising and training. The Marion County area’s rolling hills, large pastures and majestic grand oak trees provide the perfect ingredients for horse farms, training facilities and major competitive events. It’s no wonder that the equestrian industry has the largest economic impact on the local community, contributing almost 25% of the area’s economy and revenue.
The history of the equine industry runs deep in Ocala. Rosemere Farm was the first Thoroughbred horse farm in Ocala in 1936 and in the following decades, Ocala-bred horses have won major races including the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes and other numerous major stakes events (current Triple Crown champion American Pharoah received early training in Marion County). One of the most famous properties, Tartan Farm, bred champion racehorses that included 100 stakes winners across 40 years.
Currently, Ocala is home to more than 1,000 horse breeding and training centers. Ocala and Marion County breed up to 5,000 Thoroughbred racehorses each year, 10% of the nation’s total. In the winter, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit welcomes world-class riders from all over the country for a 12-week circuit, topped off with a million dollar grand prix the last day. The Ocala Breeder’s Sales Company location includes training facilities and hosts seven sales each year with buyers attending from all over America and 22 countries worldwide. In 2014, the Thoroughbred auction house at OBS processed receipts exceeding $142 million, a 20% increase over the 2013 gross sales.
Looking for the perfect horse farm or property to breed, raise and train? Showcase Properties can help you find the perfect equestrian location that’s right for you. Check out these properties and homes with turnkey track facilities or access rights:
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