Scenic USA - Florida

Thoroughbred Country

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Winding Oaks Farm - Ocala, Florida

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Artist Website

     Much can be said about healthy competition, but this particular case headed to the legal system, and finally put an end to Kentucky's bid to be the Horse Capitol of the World. The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association (FTBOA) claimed the trademark (Horse Capitol of the World) for Ocala and Marion County, and was eventually capped off with a seal of approval by Department of Agriculture. Even though Kentucky is very well known for its horse breeding and racing, and while the FTBOA had no desire to diminish Lexington's position in the Thoroughbred industry, the association had a strong desire to secure the cherished slogan for Florida.
     Here in the Sunshine State, beautiful Marion County is home to 600 Thoroughbred farms. Ever since Florida bred Needles won the Kentucky Derby in 1956, the area has grown significantly. Winding Oaks Farm - Ocala, Florida Another large boost came to Ocala in 1978 when Thoroughbred racehorse Affirmed captured the Triple Crown, a horse breeder's ultimate dream. Since then a dozen race horses have come close, but none have been able to match this feat.
     For those unfamiliar with equine terms, a Thoroughbred is a unique or distinctive breed of horse, such as Hanoverian, Arabian, saddlebred and Morgan. Purebred is a general term applied mostly to horses, cats, rabbits and dogs where animals come from an unmixed lineage and often have a pedigree. Where farms raise over 40 different horse breeds, Ocala seems to have the optimal combination of soil, rain and plenty of sunshine.

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