UF / IFAS Equine Science Center
7:00am - 4:00pm, Monday - Friday
*By appointment only
Established in 1969, this nutritional and reproductive research facility is a 320-acre complex located seven miles north of Ocala in Marion County, the center of Florida's horse breeding industry. The unit provides facilities for research on issues important to the horse industry.
Broodmare barn: 22 horse stalls, two sets of stocks, feed room, weight scales room, storage room, laboratory, break room, restroom with shower, two wash stalls, two foaling sheds, holding paddocks.
Laboratory complex: three laboratories, classroom, restrooms with showers, stocks room with two sets of stocks, two horse stalls, feed storage room, four holding paddocks, weight scales, teasing chute, breeding phantom and European hot walker.
Open mare barn: laboratory, two holding/light pens, two sets of stocks, one teasing chute and stallion teasing paddock.
Three one-acre stallion paddocks with shelters.
The Equine Sciences Program maintains a breeding herd of seven Thoroughbreds, 30 Quarter Horse mares and three stallions split between two facilities. Thoroughbred weanlings and yearlings are either sold privately through the Equine Sciences Center or through the Ocala Breeders Sales annual August yearlings sale. Quarter Horses are sold as two year olds under saddle by the Horse Teaching Unit in Gainesville through the annual Performance Sealed Bid Sale.
Primary research efforts conducted at the center are: Nutritional factors influencing skeletal development in growing horses - emphasis is on trace mineral levels, mineral interrelationships, and bone mineral content. Mechanisms of seasonal reproduction in mares - key effort is to develop tools to control the springtime transition of reproductive activity.