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Horse Around in Ocala/Marion County, Florida

OCALA, FLORIDA – (February 6, 2015) – More than 70,000 acres of thoroughbred breeding and training farms make Ocala/Marion County the capital to all things equine.

Whether you love the thrill of competition or just enjoy riding horseback, discover a true equestrian escape—the place world champions call home.

Events

The equine world’s premier event, HITS (Horses in the Sun) Ocala Winter Circuit makes its way to the Post Time Farm in Ocala beginning January 13th through March 22nd. As one of five national locations hosting the renowned equestrian show, Ocala welcomes world-class riders from all corners of the country to this unforgettable 10-week event. With three weeks of non-rated circuit competition, followed by seven weeks of skilled riders competing for the million dollar grand prize, HITS is a can’t-miss gathering for any show jumping fan.

The HITS Post Time Farm will also welcome the Federation Équestre Internationale (FEI) Nations Cup Week from February 10th through February 15th, during which international champions will compete for more than $400,000 in prizes. As one of the four locations across the world to hold this prestigious event, the esteemed Ocala venue will host nine national teams from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Venezuela and the United States, with the events being broadcasted worldwide. Admission to the FEI Nations Cup events is $10 and a complete schedule of this legendary event is available at www.HitsShows.com.

Wrangle up the whole family for a day of food, fun and excitement at the Rotary Discovery Festival Cracker Cattle Drive and Cowboy Round Up, happening Saturday, February 21st. Settle in anywhere along Main Street from S.W. 4th Street to N.E. 5th Street to watch professional cowboys lead a herd of cows and bulls down the downtown streets toward Tuscawilla Park. Once the herd’s made it to the park, the party begins, with live entertainment on the main stage, including Alice Wallace, Hayfire and even a rodeo clown and authentic “pistolero.” For more information about this event, email ssuffitt@ocalafl.org.

Featuring cross-country, dressage and show jumping by some of the equestrian world’s most renowned riders, the Ocala Horse Properties Winter Eventing Series promises endless excitement for all those in attendance. Taking place from February 6th through February 8th and continuing April 8th through April 12th at the Florida Horse Park, this main event in equine competition not only features some of the world’s top riders, but also boasts outstanding amenities and food and drink vendors, making for a perfect way to spend a day in Ocala/Marion County.

For the past 20 years, the Live Oak International, held at Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, Florida, has set the standard for combined driving and show jumping competition, welcoming international leading drivers, trainers, coaches and owners. This year, the competition will take place from March 18th through March 22nd, and will also feature a classic car show, as well as plenty of fresh food and cold drinks available for purchase to beat the Florida heat. Admission to the event is $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 12 as well as seniors.

Wrapping up 10 weeks of thrilling competition, the HITS Ocala Great American Million Dollar Grand Prix takes place on March 23rd and is set to welcome more than 40 of the world’s most accomplished horse and rider combinations. Competing for the richest prize in American show jumping, participants will face off at the HITS Post Time Farm where spectators can be a part of this legendary equestrian event. Adult admission is $10, while children under 12 can watch the action for free. For additional information, visit www.hitsshow.com/ocala or call 845-246-8833.

Activities

Experience Ocala/Marion County on horseback. Explore miles of Central Florida’s most extraordinary nature trails and get a truly unique perspective on the countless adventures to be had in this unforgettable destination. Year-round horseback riding is available at the following attractions:

The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours

8045 N.W. Gainesville Road
Ocala, Fla. 34475
www.zipthecanyons.com
352-351-9477

Cactus Jack’s Trail Rides

11008 County Road 475
Ocala, Fla. 34476
www.cactusjackstrailrides.com
352-266-9326

Makin’ Tracks Trail Rides

15901 N.E. 137th Court
Fort McCoy, Fla. 32134
www.ocalatrailrides.com
352-256-3929

Ocala/Marion County’s vibrant culture and equestrian history features legendary horse-drawn carriages and sprawling horse farms. Learn more about the County’s storied past and life in the Horse Capital of the World at the following attractions:

Horse Country Carriage Company & Tours

5400 N.W. 110th Ave.
Ocala, Fla. 34482
www.horsecountrycarriagecompanyandtours.com
352-727-0900

Farm Tours of Ocala

www.farmtoursofocala.com
Call for Reservations
352-895-9302

Horse Carriage Museum

The Grand Oaks Resort & Museum
3000 Marion County Road
Weirsdale, Fla. 32195
www.thegrandoaks.com/museum
352-750-5500


Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau is the official branding, sales, and marketing organization for Marion County responsible for generating brand awareness, increasing travel to the area and booking sporting events, conventions and meetings. For more information, visit www.OcalaMarion.com.