The Florida show circuit for dressage and show jumping in Wellington might experience some heavy competition from Ocala in two years.
Three hours north of Wellington, the town of Ocala is already known for being an established horse community with show circuit, but the construction of the "World Equestrian Center" there will be lifting the show venue to global proprotions.
The Ocala WEC has a main stadium, 4 indoor and 17 outdoor arenas, climate-controlled stabling for 1,500 horses. The event grounds will feature a luxurious six-story, 5-star hotel, located at the heart of the equestrian resort.
The first major horse shows are expected to be staged there in two years. The venue has announced that it will apply for U.S. Equestrian Federation and International Equestrian Federation (FEI) dates.
The Ocala WEC wants to copy the business model of Wellington and establish an entire horse community with a strong focus on showing as well as real estate? There are nearby lots of land for sale and there is a requirement to join the adjacent Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club.
Complaints of Wellington being overcrowded (and overpriced) in its 12-week show period, can fade when Ocala is in full swing by giving riders alternate options to compete at a state of the art show ground.
Mark Bellissimo, CEO of Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, promised newly built dressage show grounds at the Polo Club for 2018, but so far dressage remains to be at the same venue, also in 2019.
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