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Florida Horse Shows and Equestrian Events

Rodeos | Horseback Trail Riding | Barrel Racing

picture of horse grazingHorseback Riding in Florida

Florida horse shows, equestrian events, and trail riding includes everything from beginner horse riding lessons, guided trail rides, to advanced horse jumping, dressage, and barrel racing. Many horse lovers compete in Florida's numerous horse shows while many more prefer to ride their horses in non competitive activities such as horseback trail riding or just riding.

Florida is home to over 500,000 horses, making it the third largest equine state in the United States. The Sunshine State has a significant horse industry, with over 600 Thoroughbred horse farms and training centers, as well as more than 1,300 Thoroughbred owners, breeders, and trainers.

Where to find Horseback Riding on the Beach in Floridaflorida horseback beach riding

Enjoy a beach horse ride along one of Florida's fantastic beaches with expert guides and seasoned horses to show the way. Florida offers some of the best beach horseback riding on both the Atlantic Ocean beaches and the Gulf of Mexico beaches. You can even experience fantastic sunrise and sunset rides.

You can find guided horseback beach tours at Jacksonville's Amelia Island, at Ft. Pierce on Hutchinson Island, Bradenton in the Tampa Bay Area, and at Port St. Joe in the Florida Panhandle. Riding horses on the beach will give you some wonderful memories of your visit to Florida. All the horses are well trained so you don't have to be an experienced horseback rider to join the fun.

You can expect rides of one to three hours depending on your choice. Occasionally inclimate weather will call for cancellation of a scheduled ride which can be rescheduled or refunded.

Florida Horseback Riding

Like horses? Horseback riding is available in every area of Florida. Rent a horse by the hour of enjoy a guided trail ride through some of the finest trails in the eastern United States.

Florida Horse Show Venues

Florida is the horse show capital of the world with top rated FEI show jumping, dressage, eventing, equestrian driving, and western horse shows. Florida hosts some of the most prestigious equestrian show venues in the world including Wellington International, the World Equestrian Center, HITS Ocala, and the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, FL. Additionally, Fox Lea Farm in Venice Florida, and TerraNova Equestrian Center near Sarasota, FL offer rated horse shows all year.

Florida Pro Rodeos

Florida hosts numerous professional rodeos throughout the year in including the Saturday Night Rodeo at Westgate River Ranch, the iconic Davie Rodeo, the Silver Spurs Rodeo near Orlando, and the Ocala Shrine Rodeo. Here is a list of various rodeos throughout Florida, including dates and locations for events such as bull riding, roping, and riding.

Florida Barrel Racing

Barrel racing, a fan favorite, can be witnessed throughout Florida with prize money attracting both female and male riders to these weekly events. These fast moving horse races involve both speed and agility on the part of the horse and rider. There is a barrel racing venue in virtually every community.

Florida Polo

Florida is now host to the United States Polo Association, headquartered at the National Polo Center, Wellington, FL. Polo is a great spectator sport at any one of the active polo clubs throughout the state. Check out this link for a comprehensive listing of Florida Polo Clubs and their playing schedules.

Florida Horses for Sale

Buying and selling horses is part of the horse culture and Florida is no exception. In addition to the normal horse inventory, Florida has many horse breeding farms that sell horses through direct sales and auctions. Also, many horse show participants bring horses for sale to the horse shows.

Florida Horseback Riding Trails

In addition to the equestrian oriented spectator sports in Florida, many Florida horseback riders like to hit the numerous horse trails that dot the state. Horse trails are featured in many state and national parks such as Ocala National Forest. Riders can choose from guided trail rides or riding on their own horses.

Horseback Riding Trails in Southwest Florida

Includes riding trails near Naples, Fort Myers, Venice, and Sarasota.

Horseback Riding Trails in East Central Florida

Includes trails in Brevard County, Indian River County and Volusia County in Florida.

Horseback Riding Trails in Orlando, Florida

Includes riding trails in Orlando, Claremont, Lakeland, and Apopka in Florida.

Trail riding in state parks in Orlando and Central Florida is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the region. There are many state parks in Central Florida that offer trail riding opportunities. Lake Louisa State Park is located in Clermont and offers over 20 miles of equestrian trails. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including alligators, deer, and bald eagles. The trails at Lake Louisa State Park are well-maintained and offer scenic views of the park’s lakes and wetlands.

Horseback Riding Trails in Ocala, Florida

The Ocala National Forest is one of the largest state forests in Florida and offers over 100 miles of trails for horseback riding. The forest is home to a variety of wildlife, including deer, wild turkey, and black bears. Wekiwa Springs State Park is another popular destination for trail riding. The park has over 13 miles of equestrian trails that wind through pine forests and along the Wekiwa River.

Horseback Riding Trails in Jacksonville, Florida

Jacksonville and Northeast Florida offer some of the most scenic riding trails in a cooler part of Florida. Julington Durbin Creek Preserve Yellow and White Loop: This is an easy trail, rated 4.5 out of 5, and is one of the top trails for horseback riding in Jacksonville. Cecil Field Recreational Trail: Another easy trail, rated 4.4 out of 5, it's a popular choice for horseback riding.

Horseback Riding Trails in the Florida Panhandle

The Florida Panhandle is one of Florida's most visited locales, mainly for the fantastic snow white beaches and clear blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. But, it also host some of Florida's most interesting horse trails through slash pine and shaded live oak hammocks.
Blackwater River State Forest: Offers off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding activities as one of the largest state forests in Florida. Topsail Hill Preserve State Park: Provides 5 miles of paved trails and 15 miles of unpaved trails for biking and eco-biking activities. Blackwater Heritage State Trail: This trail offers 8.1 miles of paved asphalt trail, suitable for cycling, walking, running, and skating. Equestrians are also allowed to use the paved trail or the unpaved shoulder at their discretion. These are just a few examples of the riding trails available in the Florida Panhandle.

Horse Shows in Florida

Florida horse jumpingFlorida hosts several of the world's most important horse show venues that offer rated horse shows all year. These include Wellington International in Wellington, FL, Fox Lea Farm in Venice, FL, Ocala, FL, often called the Horse Capital of the World, features the World Equestrian Center, HITS Post Time Farm, Florida Horse Park, Southeastern Pavilion, and Majestic Oaks.

Wellington, Florida

Wellington International hosts major FEI international horse shows during the winter and spring seasons. Featuring, the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Global Dressage Festival (GDF.) During the remainder of the year Wellington Classic Dressage and Gold Coast Dressage sponsor horse shows almost every week.

Riders from all over the world compete in the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and Global Dressage Festival (GDF) in Wellington which has become one of the premier horse show events in the world. Additionally, horse jumping competition levels range from FEI CSI*2 - CSI*5 events and dressage shows feature levels CDI*2 -CDI*5.

Palm Beach Equine Sports Complex at Wellington

White Fences Equestrian Center at Wellington - Loxahatchee

The Ridge at Wellington Groves

Palm Beach County, Florida

Wellington is located in Palm Beach County, Florida which is also home to Jim Brandon Equestrian Center, West Palm Beach, and Jupiter Park Farms Equestrian Center in Jupiter, FL.

Ocala, Florida

Ocala is known as the horse capital of the world because of its world class horse show venues and numerous horse farms. Ocala is home to hundreds of horse breeding farms that produce many champion thoroughbred race horses and sport horses.

Additionally, Ocala has several important horse show venues that attract horse riders from all over the world.

The World Equestrian Center (WEC) is a very impressive horse show venue in Ocala, Florida. Featuring, five climate controlled riding arenas, plus a fabulous five star hotel overlooking the oversized main show arena. The World Equestrian Center has attracted many top level FEI horse shows and is becoming an international destination for equestrians.

The HITS Ocala twelve week winter USEF sanctioned horse jumping circuit draws top riders and riding fans during its January - March season. HITS Ocala features some of the largest prize money awarded in show jumping contests.

Florida Horse Park in Ocala is operated by the State of Florida and hosts multiple horse shows including dressage, eventing, cutting horses. and pleasure shows. The park allows horse riders to practice at available times. Wellington Classic Dressage offers shows here several times a year.

Florida Horse Park is also home to the Ocala Polo Club, a men's and women's polo club that plays throughout the year.

Majestic Oaks is just north of Ocala in Reddick, FL.and is popular cross country and eventing site. Majestic Oaks is open daily for schooling, clinics, schooling shows, and three-phase horse trials.

Fox Lea Farm, Venice, Florida

Venice, Florida is home to Fox Lea Farm, an increasingly important horse show venue in Florida. Furthermore, the venue features horse shows all year around including CSI* rated horse jumping shows.

The Venice Equestrian Tour runs from January into March each year and features USEF Regional Hunter Level 3 Jumper shows. Other horse shows are held at Fox Lea almost every weekend throughout the year. Fox Lea Farms also provides a unique summer camp for kids with all levels of equestrian skills and features USEF level shows with large cash prizes.

TerraNova Equestrian Center near Sarasota, FL

TerraNova Equestrian Center is a multi-discipline equestrian competition facility in Manatee County, near Bradenton and Sarasota. TerraNova provides a beautiful backdrop for all levels of a range of equestrian disciplines. Especially, top international, national, and regional competition in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere with many amenities.

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