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Industry Facts

“Horse Capital of the World”™

Known as the “Horse Capital of the World”™: Ocala/Marion County is home to the largest number of horses and ponies – more than any other county in the United States. The diversity of breeds and disciplines make it an ideal setting for any horse fanatic or casual horse lover. 

The equine industry represents a $2.62 billion annual economic impact on the Ocala MSA economy.

Additional Ocala MSA Equine Resources 

2015 CEP Marion County Equine Economic Impact Study

2015 CEP Press Release on Marion County Equine Economic Impact Study   

Equine Industry in Marion County Economic Impact Analysis 

Check out this informational video series about where Triple Crown winner American Pharoah trained right here in Marion County:

Episode One: Welcome to Marion County

Episode Two: Meet the McKathan Brothers

Ocala/Marion County Thoroughbred Statistics*

Thoroughbreds in Ocala/Marion County: Approximately 35,300

Thoroughbred farms/ training centers in Ocala/Marion County area: 431

Acres dedicated to the Thoroughbred industry in Ocala/Marion County: 70,000+

Economic impact of the Thoroughbred industry on Ocala/Marion County: $1.3+ Billion

Investment dollars in farms, training centers, improvements, equipment, storage, breeding, and racing stock in Ocala/Marion County: ** $3.5 Billion

*American Horse Council Study, 2005 ** FTBOA

Home of Champions

Florida’s Thoroughbred farms and training centers have produced 50 National Champions, 6 Kentucky Derby winners, 7 Preakness Stakes winners, 6 Belmont Stakes winners, 26 Breeders’ Cup champions, and 6 Horses of the Year. Thoroughbred breeding and training farms cover more than 70,000 acres of Florida’s prime, mineral-rich pastures. Florida is home to some 600 Thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located near Ocala in Marion County. Ocala is also home to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company, which stages major bloodstock auctions throughout the year. OBS also operates an ITW simulcasting theater and each March hosts the annual Week of Champions races.  The concentration of the Thoroughbred breeding and training industry in the Ocala/Marion County area is strongly supported by a network of equine services, such as veterinarians, feed and tack retailers, blacksmiths, equine dentists, and major horse transportation companies. All these factors make Ocala one of only four major Thoroughbred breeding and training centers in the world.

Additional Florida Thoroughbred Industry Resources 

2012 Florida Thoroughbred Industry Video

Champions Through History

Key Thoroughbred Stats