Discover where thoroughbred horses are born, trained and turned into champions. Renowned as the Horse Capital of the WorldTM, Ocala/Marion County’s oak-lined trails and rolling green pastures make it a premier location for all things equine. Home to more horses than anywhere else in the country, the County has produced 45 national champions, 6 Kentucky Derby winners, 20 Breeders’ Cup champions and 6 Horses of the Year.
Beyond its legacy as a top training ground, Ocala/Marion County also hosts national and international horse competitions and countless shows year-round. The destination’s premier event, HITS (Horse Shows in the Sun) Ocala Winter Circuit, is a 10-week show event featuring U.S. Equestrian Federation (USEF) national and premier-rated hunters and jumper qualifiers. The prestige and excitement continues at Live Oak International, a competition which draws entrants from around the world, including past Olympic gold medalists, to compete in combined driving and show jumping events.
Aside from the thrill of competition, the County offers an inside look at the making of these champions with guided horse farm tours throughout the area. One of these tours takes place on the Gypsy Gold farm, where guests get the chance to meet the Gypsy Vanner horses in person and catch a glimpse at one of the most breathtaking horse breeds around.
Ocala/Marion County’s gorgeous year-round climate and captivating scenery also make it a prime location for horseback riding through the destination’s many natural attractions. Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides take visitors through acres of trails on the Cross Greenway Trail System, offering countless opportunities to spot local wildlife and enjoy the fresh, forest air. Guests can also learn about the unique factors that keep Ocala amongst the leaders of the equestrian world on a carriage ride from Horse Country Carriage Co. and Tours.
To learn more about equestrian attractions in Ocala/Marion County, as well as many other adventures available in the area, visit OcalaMarion.com, follow along on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, or call toll-free 1.888.FL.OCALA.