Just north of Ocala, slightly east of Hwy 301 on CR 316, Star Runner Farm and its 70 acres of gorgeous barns, pastures, paddocks and homes operates like many other working equine facilities. Owners David Diamond and Marcy Brooks maintain a top-notch atmosphere at Star Runner Farm, where even yearlings (handled consistently since birth) come into the barn at least once weekly for a special spa day and each horse is treated with the best…
“We’ve been blessed,” David said, during an interview “We’re very blessed to have a facility like this and such great friends.”
David and Marcy, along with colleague Kim Benson of Flying Star Stables and Saddlery, also have a heart for sharing knowledge throughout the equine community. That’s why, with their collective resources, Star Runner Farm has committed to hosting three upcoming horsemanship clinics, provided free of charge to the Ocala community.
“We’re trying to bring the community and the equine participants together,” David said. “The goal is, depending on the clinic, attendance of between 30-60 people. For bigger events throughout the year, we might hold them in a larger facility. We’re working on that now. We cater to everyone. We want it to be a pleasure for people to come, and we’re doing this because we love horses.”
“We decided that we were going to do something that would help promote and educate horse people in our area through sharing and not dictating,” he continued. “The big part is that everything is free. When you come here, coffee, donuts whatever, it’s no charge. When the break comes, lunch is free.”
Thanks to sponsorships from local businesses and international vendors, including Showcase Properties of Central Florida, attendees are also welcome to audit the clinics admission-free. Riders who wish to have scheduled lessons on their own horses (reservations required in advanced) are welcome on a limited basis. Private lessons are available for $85 per hour, and semi-private lessons cost $50.
“People learn from other people,” Marcy said. “We want to help others think about how a horse behaves and perceives his environment.”
Clinic themes will range from riding to feeding, training and equine management.
“So many equine-related events cost a great deal of money and you don’t always know that you will get you get your money’s worth,” David said. “We wanted to organize events to truly help people and share knowledge from the most respected people in the industry.
The series of Star Runner Farm clinics are aptly named “When Stars Collide.”
The first complimentary clinic will be held Sunday, Dec. 11 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and will focus on “Core Influence” with instructor Kim Benson. Objectives will include helping riders isolate core muscles, improve timing, balance, and feel; and enhancing the horse’s performance through the clarity of the rider’s core aid. Lunch and refreshments are provided.
Next in the lineup is a hands-on saddle-fitting clinic, with demonstrations from Flying Star Saddlery and Passier representatives on Jan. 11. The schedule will run from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. and includes a cocktail party, door prizes and entertainment.
Finally, on Jan. 28, equine reproductive specialist Karen Berk will conduct an afternoon of equine reproductive talks, from 11 a.m. -3 p.m., followed by a foal handing demonstration onsite. Lunch will be provided.
“One of the attractions for me to live here is that we are surrounded by so many different equine disciplines,” Kim said. “We can go watch the 2-year-olds and go watch a dressage show or a barrel race, and yet we are so divided as an industry. This can be a way to bring communities together. All walks of horsemanship.”
For more information about the upcoming When Stars Collide Clinics, follow Star Runner Farm on Facebook, contact Marcy Brooks at (978) 337-2317, or visit www.starrunnerfarm.com. A few select clinic sponsorships are still available.
When Stars Collide Clinics
Star Runner Farm
1441 East Hwy 316
Dec. 11, 2016: Core Influence
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Jan. 11, 2017: Saddle Fitting
4 p.m. -7 p.m.
Jan. 28, 2017: Equine Reproduction & Foal Handling
11 a.m.-3 p.m.