Discover Florida: Florida Horse Park Serves Sport Horses And Thoroughbreds

The following sponsored article is from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Nicole “Nikki” Fried, Commissioner.

The Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park is a 500-acre multi-purpose recreational, sporting and educational venue located in Ocala, Fla. Although it continues to expand, the facility currently includes four state-of-the-art Martin Collins fiber arenas, a 90,000 square foot covered arena with sand and clay footing, a full-sized polo field, and an internationally recognized cross-country course.

Over the years, the Florida Horse Park has grown from 62 events in 2016 to over 120 events currently booked in 2020. Events include an International FEI 3-day Cross Country event, the Sunshine Region Pony Club Rally, the Derby Day Youth Cattle Show, Marion Saddle Club, the RW Cattle Show, Parelli Two Worlds Together and the Pace Center for Girls 5K.

In addition, the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) has selected the Florida Horse Park as host of the 2020 Great American Insurance Group/USDF Region 3 Championships to be held Oct. 1 to 4, 2020. The championships will provide a great opportunity for local dressage supporters to watch top riders and horses qualify for the U.S. Dressage Finals.

Support for the Thoroughbred Industry

The Florida Horse Park is also a strong supporter of the Thoroughbred industry. Located in Marion County, home to many of the most prominent Thoroughbred breeders and owners, the Park holds events each year designed to showcase ex-racehorses. The events include the Annual Thoroughbred Transformation Expo, a competition highlighting nine different riding disciplines including dressage, show jumping, hunter/jumpers, eventing, polo, barrel racing and the freestyle division. The  freestyle division is open to any registered, tattooed Thoroughbred, as well as any unraced Thoroughbred.

“The Florida Horse Park also participates in The Jockey Club’s Thoroughbred Incentive Program, or TIP,” said Jason Reynolds, Executive Director of the Florida Horse Park. “The TIP awards were created to encourage the retraining of Thoroughbreds for other disciplines upon completion of careers in racing or breeding. In addition, TIP offers incentives for competition horses, recreational horses, young riders and Thoroughbreds in a non-competitive career.”

Who Can Utilize the Park

The Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park Authority is available to  organizations, clubs, businesses, special interest groups, professional associations and individuals. Past events include equine and livestock shows, company gatherings, weddings, concerts, car shows, and races to name a few.

The Park’s 500-acre green space has many amenities to offer including:

  • 350 acres of manicured grass fields
  • 320 permanent horse stalls
  • Permanent restrooms with showers
  • One covered arena (212′ x 375′) with clay/sand footing
  • Four Martin Collins arenas with Clopf Fiber footing
  • Two grass arenas
  • FEI regulation dressage arenas
  • Two complete FEI approved show jump sets including warm up fences
  • Equipment for barrel racing
  • Permanent driving obstacles and cross-country jumps from entry level through advanced


History of the Park

Construction of the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park was authorized by the Florida Legislature in 1994. It is located near the Marjorie Harris Carr Cross Florida Greenways and Trails in Marion County. Initially, 200 acres were designed to develop the Park. In 2002 however, the Park expanded to its current 500 acres. The Park Authority held its first full Board Meeting in August 2005 with groundbreaking ceremonies following a few months later.

“Since its groundbreaking in 2005, the Florida Horse Park has served as a multipurpose facility and one of Central Florida’s premier venues for equine, agricultural, educational and sporting events,” said Nicole “Nikki” Fried, current Commissioner of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

“Watching the Park grow has been so rewarding,” continued Commissioner Fried. “As we also strive to preserve greenspace, improvements are always taking place. In addition, we are able to showcase Florida’s diverse agricultural and livestock industries and their contributions to our state’s economy.”

For more information, call the Florida Horse Park office at (352) 307-6699.

For updated news on future shows due to the COVID-19 situation, please visit

The post Discover Florida: Florida Horse Park Serves Sport Horses And Thoroughbreds appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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