By Lauren Tjaden
The Sunshine State’s year-round moderate climate, mineral-rich water and soil, coupled with its exceptional horse facilities and support industries make Florida the perfect place for breeding, training and racing, for horse shows, polo and rodeos, and almost every other kind of equine activity.
Here are some top-notch horse facilities that feature a regular stream of events
Florida Horse Park
Florida Horse Park, situated on 500 acres in central Florida, is a world-class facility that offers Olympic-level equine sports competition. Its schedule of world-class events draws top competitors and spectators from every horse sport discipline, from three-day eventing to dressage to driving. Visitors can ride through the hundreds of miles of unspoiled trails that curve through the luxuriant Florida Greenway.
HITS Ocala Winter Circuit
The HITS Ocala Winter Circuit promises one of the largest show circuits in the country, a fixture in Ocala for four decades and counting. Each year it delivers 12-weeks of USEF-Rated Hunter/Jumper competition from December through March, culminating with the Great American $500,000 Grand Prix during the final week.
World Equestrian Center – Ocala
World Equestrian Center holds bragging rights as the largest equestrian complex in the United States. It's a blow-your-mind fancy, world-class, multi-indoor and outdoor arena facility offering state-of-the-art amenities to accommodate numerous disciplines within the equine industry and more-- from hunters and jumpers to reining horses and car shows.
Keep up to date on what's happening there with their live event stream.
Winter Equestrian Festival, The Palm Beaches
The longest-running equestrian event in the world, the Winter Equestrian Festival is one of the largest annual sporting events in The Palm Beaches, drawing national and international athletes preparing for the Olympics as well as those just learning. The competitions run from January through April each season at this blockbuster venue, which encompasses 500 acres and 18 arenas.
Each January through April, the Palm Beach International Polo Season draws the world’s premier polo players and polo enthusiasts to the Palm Beaches for top-level competition. Situated in Wellington, the International Polo Club presents weekly and often daily events. Don't miss its famed Sunday Brunch.
Rocking Horse Stables
Rocking Horse Stables is a 150-acre, world-class training facility that features over 100 cross-country fences scattered throughout its scenic pastures and woodlands, and in the winter months, it’s a favorite location for Olympic hopefuls to train and compete. It hosts six USEA recognized horse trials during the fall and winter months ranging from Advanced Level through Beginner Novice.
Live Oak International, the largest combined driving and show jumping competition in the United States, welcomes the leading drivers, riders, trainers, coaches and owners from Europe and North America each March, thrilling spectators with big fences and tough cross country obstacles.
Jim Brandon Equestrian Center
Just a trot and a skip away from Wellington International, home of the Winter Equestrian Festival, Jim Brandon Equestrian Center is sited in West Palm Beach. This 111-acre equestrian showplace is world class, delivering a quality, competitive and affordable venue and hosting 60-plus horse shows and special events during the winter show season.
The facility encompasses two permanent barns with 128 stalls; a generous covered and lighted arena; and numerous other arenas and riding areas. The center also features nine miles of equestrian surface trails with idyllic lake views—and get this: the Open Riding Area and Trails are available seven days per week, free of charge.
Horse Farm Tours in the Ocala area
Numerous local horse farms offer horse lovers the chance to get an inside glimpse at the biggest names in the sport with guided tours of their properties, which are often home to international champions and legends in the making.
And there's more!
Check out more equestrian events and competitions .
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