Needles, of Bonnie Heath Farm, in Ocala, becomes the first Florida-bred Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner. His win increases the number of farms from a few to hundreds in less than a decade. A Needles statue honoring the champion is at Heathbrook Mall.
Joe O’Farrell moves to Ocala from Maryland, where he raised horses.
O’Farrell becomes part-owner of Ocala Stud (formerly Dickey Stables), with 993 acres and 21 horses.
Thoroughbred horse farms in Marion County jump from seven to 21, totaling 8,446 acres.
The largest farms become Rosemere, Ocala Stud, Shady Lane and Bonnie Heath Farm.
Ocala’s population exceeds 15,000.
Bonnie Heath II and Jack Dudley form separate farms.
P.A.B. Widener III, grandson of Hialeah Race Track’s Joseph Widener, buys 6,700 acres. It becomes Live Oak Plantation and boosts Ocala’s credibility as a horse-breeding region.

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