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Florida Horse Shows and Horseback Riding
Florida Horse Racing and Horseback Riding Lessons
Horse Shows in Florida for 2022
All major show venues in Florida are now showing year around, and the new World Equestrian Center Ocala has four climate controlled arenas to support shows throughout the warmer summer months. Additionally, Ocala's Florida Horse Park hosts a variety of horse shows almost every weekend.
Wellington International, formerly Palm Beach International Equestrian Center, offers rated show jumping and dressage shows throughout the year as does Fox Lea Farm in Venice, Florida and TerraNova Equestrian Center near Sarasota, FL.
Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina ramps up a full season schedule March through October of each year that includes high level show jumping and dressage.
Florida Horseback Riding Lessons and Horse Rentals
Florida horseback riding opportunities include 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 others prefer to ride their horses on the many equestrian trails offered in Florida.
Where to find Horseback Riding on the Beach in Florida
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.
Florida Trail Riding
In addition to the equestrian oriented spectator sports in Florida, most 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. See our complete directory of Florida equestrian trails for the best trail riding experiences.
Florida - The Horse Show Center of the World
Florida hosts several of the world's most important horse show venues that support rated horse shows all year. These include Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, Fox Lea Farm in Venice, FL, and Ocala features the World Equestrian Center, HITS Post Time Farm, Florida Horse Park, Southeastern Pavilion, and Majestic Oaks.
Types of Equestrian Events
Horse jumping, dressage, western dressage, English and western pleasure shows, and eventing are featured at horse show venues throughout Florida. Rodeos and barrel racing are typically held at show arenas designed for their sport. Polo is played at venues featuring the large playing fields required for the fast moving polo ponies.
Wellington International hosts major 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 Equestrian Sports Productions (ESP) sponsor horse shows almost every week. Wellington also is home to the National Polo Center, headquarters of the United WStates Polo Association )
Riders from all over 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. Horse jumping competition levels range from FEI CSI*2 - CSI*5 events and dressage shows feature levels CDI*2 -CDI*5.
Ocala is known as the horse capital of the world because of its numerous thoroughbred horse farms and world class horse show venues. Ocala is home to hundreds of horse breeding farms which have produced many champion thoroughbred race horses throughout the years.
Additionally, Ocala has several important horse show venues that attract horse riders from all over the world.
The newly opened World Equestrian Center (WEC) enjoyed a successful twelve week inaugural show jumping series and will continue with NSBA sanctioned shows, including dressage shows in 2022. This impressive new horse show venue, adjacent to the equestrian community of Golden Ocala, features four climate controlled riding arenas, plus a fabulous five star hotel overlooking the oversized main show arena.
The HITS Ocala twelve week winter USEF sanctioned horse jumping circuit draws top riders and riding fans to its Post Time Farm venue during the January - March months each year. HITS Ocala features some of the largest prize money awarded in show jumping contests.
Ocala's Florida Horse Park, sometimes searched as Ocala Horse Park, is a favorite venue for state level horse shows including horse jumping, dressage, western dressage, eventing, western pleasure, and cutting horse shows. Horse shows and events at Florida Horse Park continue throughout the year.
Enjoy watching polo on Sundays at 1.00 pm in the December - March Winter Season plus matches June through September Sunset Polo at 6 pm Saturdays at the Florida Horse Park.
Majestic Oaks Ocala is a fabulous equestrian venue covering 100 acres of rolling hills and stately oak trees, and is located in the heart of horse country. Majestic Oaks features daily schooling, jumper shows, eventing horse trials, driving, and clinics.
Venice, Florida is home to Fox Lea Farm, an increasingly important horse show venue in Florida that 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 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, from top international to national and regional competition in a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere with many amenities.
Florida Barrel Racing
Florida has a busy barrel racing calendar with weekly races staged throughout Florida almost every weekend. Barrel racing entails circling three barrels on horseback while striving for the fastest time. Barrel racing is an exciting sport that attracts many fans and riders of both sexes. Cash prizes, local events, and frequent races attract many riders to this fast paced sport.
Florida's top rodeo season schedule is during the winter months, but several major rodeos are held at various times throughout the year. Classic rodeo events include bull riding, calf roping, and barrel racing. Florida rodeos also may include cutting and reining categories that feature such events as team cutting that vividly demonstrate the skills of riders and horses working as a team.
The Westgate Ranch and Rodeo, the Ocala Shrine Rodeo, the Southeastern Pro Rodeo in Ocala, the Davie Pro Rodeo, and the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee, are among the most popular with Florida residents and visitors. Most of the Florida rodeos are sanctioned by the PRCA and WPRA. Rodeo schedule.
Polo in Florida features daring riders and fearless polo ponies racing over the polo fields of Florida every winter. Polo reigns supreme on Sunday afternoons when high goal polo at the National Polo Center in Wellington, FL entertains crowds of enthusiasts sipping champagne and feasting on strawberries. If you like your sports with nonstop action and heart pounding excitement, a polo match is a must see when in Florida. There is a video guide to polo from the TV show 60 Minutes, to help you understand the terminology and rules of polo.
Polo, is played at several venues throughout Florida during the winter season including National Polo Center at Wellington, Florida, Ocala Polo Club at Florida Horse Park, Ocala, FL, Sarasota Polo Club, Sarasota, FL, Vero Beach Polo, Myakka Polo Club in Okeechobee, Florida, and the Villages Polo Club in The Villages, FL. Some clubs also play in the evenings during the summer months. If you have not seen a polo match be sure to check out a match near you and enjoy horses and riders in heart thumping action.