The History of Horse Country: How Ocala Became the Horse Capital of the World

Feb 5, 2024 | Ocala Florida

Ocala, Florida, often referred to as the Horse Capital of the World, is a region synonymous with equine excellence. This blog post explores factors that have propelled Ocala to the forefront of the equestrian world, examining its favorable climate, picturesque landscape, affinity for elite equestrian sports, and vibrant horse racing culture.

The Climate

The climate in Ocala is a cornerstone of its success as an equestrian hub. Boasting a subtropical climate with mild winters and warm summers, the area offers an ideal horse breeding and training environment. This year-round agreeable weather allows for uninterrupted training schedules, which is vital for young horses being conditioned for competition. The mild climate is conducive to the health and well-being of the horses, with fewer extreme weather events that could disrupt their care and development.

The Landscape

Ocala’s landscape is as rich and varied as it is beautiful. Rolling hills, expansive green pastures, and a unique limestone-rich soil characterize the region. This soil composition contributes to the high-quality grasses grown in the area, providing excellent nutrition for horses. The natural drainage the soil facilitates also ensures that pastures remain lush yet not soggy, creating safe and comfortable grazing and training environments. The picturesque setting of Ocala offers aesthetic pleasure and practical benefits for the horses raised and trained here.

Elite Equestrian Sports

Ocala’s reputation as a premier destination for equestrian sports is well-earned. The region hosts numerous prestigious events across various disciplines, including show jumping, dressage, and eventing. For example, the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit is a renowned show jumping competition that attracts some of the world’s top riders and horses. Additionally, the Florida Horse Park offers world-class facilities for various equestrian events, further cementing Ocala’s status as a hub for elite equestrian sports. And, of course, we can’t forget the World Equestrian Center.


The sphere of horse racing has a special place in Ocala’s equestrian narrative. The region has numerous thoroughbred farms and training centers, where some of the finest racehorses are bred and prepared for the track. For instance, the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company is a focal point in the thoroughbred industry, hosting sales that draw buyers and sellers from around the globe. Ocala’s contribution to the racing industry is significant, with many Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown contenders having roots in the area.

Visit GoldMark Farm

Ocala’s ascent to the pinnacle of the equestrian world is no mere coincidence. It is the result of a harmonious blend of a favorable climate, a nurturing landscape, dedication to elite equestrian sports, and a rich racing culture. These elements, combined with the passion and expertise of the equestrian community, have shaped Ocala into not just a location but a symbol of equine excellence. It is a testament to the enduring bond between humans and horses, where this relationship is celebrated and elevated to its highest form. This is why the area was chosen for GoldMark Farm.

Discover Excellence, Discover GoldMark Farm 

Contact us to schedule a visit, discuss equine dry stall and paddock boarding for trainers and owners with 10 or more horses, learn more about our show cattle, or set up a tour of our Triple Crown Museum.  

GoldMark Farm


Skip to content