Ocala, a mid-size city located in north-central Florida, is one of five sites in the world permitted under Chamber of Commerce guidelines to use the the title, "Horse Capital of the World." The equine industry in Ocala generates $2.2 billion in annual revenue. This area exploded on the international scene when Affirmed, bred and trained in Marion County, won the Triple Crown in 1978. What follows are my experiences in this incredible horse town.
An annual event in Ocala is the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. In March of every year at HITS Post Time Farm, 40 riders compete based on the Great American Million Rider Rankings. Since its first horse show in 1982, HITS has evolved into a nationwide company with world-class hunter/jumper circuits in California, Florida, Arizona, New York, Virginia and Illinois. The event shown below is one of the richest Grand Prix events in the world, part of the HITS Triple Crown of Show Jumping.
Winding Oaks Farms has a mile-long track. Horse owners throughout the country send their 2-year olds here to be evaluated as prospects for what is hopefully a racing future. Located on 72 acres, the Equestrian Center features a new 14-stall barn, a new 12-stall barn and 15 pastures.