Ideally situated on 500 acres in the heart of Central Florida, this year-round, world class facility is fast becoming the centerpiece of Florida’s equestrian lifestyle community. The Park offers international caliber competition courses, an exciting schedule of world class events that is drawing top competitors and spectators from every horse sport discipline, locally and globally and educational opportunities for the horse enthusiast. This increasingly popular destination for family tourism offers visitors hundreds of miles of pristine riding trails that wind through the lush Florida Greenway.
Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park was created by the Florida Legislature in 1996 in recognition of the fact that the horse industry was so much a part of Marion County’s identity. Located in the center of the state in an ideal setting comprised of 500 acres on the Cross Florida Greenway and near I-75, Florida Horse Park is one of the most ideal locations in the United States for an equestrian facility. Many years passed between the actual formation of the Park and late 2004 when a series of events shed a light on just how the Park could serve our state and county by developing into a true international venue.
Because of the vision of Park supporters, as well as interest from local Olympians and international competitors, a partnership was fostered with the United States Equestrian Federation, the body that directs high performance and Olympic bound competitors. The Horse Park ran its first nationally recognized 3-day event in November of 2005 and early in 2006, was named an official training site for the United States Equestrian Team.
The Park now hosts the best of the best in World and Olympic level equine sports competition and celebrates our nation through team and individual competition. The Horse Park hosts local, national and international competitions in virtually every equine discipline from dressage to polo to versatility challenges. Park events consistently draw thousands of spectators who are interested in enjoying all the Park has to offer.
The Park is fast becoming one of the top equestrian destinations in the country. The Florida Horse Park represents Ocala/Marion Country and the state of Florida to equestrian and tourist markets around the world. This venue, with the assistance of our community and the state of Florida, is creating a large scale economic impact for the state. The Park is cementing in the minds of all that Marion County is “The Horse Capital of the World”!
Photo courtesy of David M. Elle