As you travel through Central Florida and wind your way through Marion County, you will eventually find yourself in the city of Ocala. While the area has many charms, you'll also notice that there's something slightly different about this corner of Florida. That's because Marion County is known as the Horse Capital of the World, with an expansive collection of thoroughbred farms and equestrian facilities that you simply won't find anywhere else. Our real estate agents have all the details on why this part of Florida is truly an equestrian paradise.
The Horse Capital of the World by the Numbers
When you shop for Marion County homes for sale, you can be sure that you won't be living far from great equestrian facilities. According to the Marion County Chamber & Economic Partnership, the equine industry has a $2.62 billion economic impact on the area every year. That comes in part from the thoroughbred breeding and training facilities in the area, with 431 thoroughbred farms in Marion County alone. Those farms are home to more than 35,000 thoroughbred horses, and the thoroughbred industry accounts for more than $1.3 billion of annual economic impact on its own.
Training the Best of the Best
If you follow the biggest horse racing events of the year, including the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes, then you've likely seen a winner who was trained in the Marion County area. That includes the historic Triple Crown winner Affirmed, a horse that was bred and trained in Ocala. Every year, some of the biggest contenders in the Kentucky Derby come from thoroughbred farms in Marion County. In total, six Kentucky Derby Winners, seven Preakness Stakes winners, and six Belmont Stakes winners have been trained on Florida thoroughbred farms... with more sure to come.
The Best Place to Work in the Equine Industry
Do you have dreams of working in the equine industry? Then it's time to start shopping for Ocala homes for sale. The racing industry alone accounts for more than 12,000 jobs in Florida, many of which are located in the Ocala area, and generates more than $400 million in wages annually. There are also a wide variety of different jobs available, whether you're interested in training thoroughbreds, breeding horses, or helping the next generation of riders fall in love with the equestrian world.
More Than 75 Years of Equestrian Excellence
Did you know that the first thoroughbred farm in Florida was founded in 1943? Of course, the farm was located in Ocala and quickly started producing winners in major Florida races. It wouldn't be long before local horses hit the national stage, and many more equine facilities soon followed that first farm. Today, horse farms account for more than 77,000 acres of land in the Marion County area.
Training the Next Generation of Riders and Equestrian Experts
While thoroughbred breeding and racing are major industries, they aren't the only things that make Marion County the Horse Capital of the World. The area is also home to an extensive selection of equestrian facilities, where you can learn to ride and show horses. Young riders can expect some of the best instruction in the world when they visit these facilities. Whether for competition or simply for the love of riding, this is an amazing place to learn.
Searching for your own little slice of equestrian paradise in the Horse Capital of the World? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Marion County, FL area.