Conversations with Ocala’s Equestrian Women: Karen Cobbs

In honor of our annual Women’s Issue, our publisher Jennifer Hunt Murty invited a select group of leading businesswomen from various disciplines within the equestrian world to talk with us about the industry and our very special community. In these pages, they share their stories and valuable insights on building a successful business in the Horse Capital of the World.

Karen Cobbs

Grandview Clydesdales
Grandview Invitational Inc.

Clydesdales, the gentle giants of the equine world, are renowned for their strength, courage and beauty. Karen Cobbs is a powerhouse personality who shares these defining qualities and is living her legacy.

“It is in my blood. I’m third generation showing draft horses at the highest level within the industry,” she explains of her choice to continue the family business. “It is a way of life. The bond you develop with these animals through raising and showing them is unforgettable.”

Beyond that connection, Karen stresses that passion and perseverance are key to being successful in the equine industry, which she and her husband Shannon have proven through their celebrated annual AdventHealth Grandview Invitational (the largest draft horse show in the state of Florida) and why they were recently inducted into the Clydesdale Breeders of the USA Hall of Fame.

“My husband and I own one of the largest Clydesdale breeding farms in the world and have for decades,” she offers and adds, “One-hundred and twenty years ago we all had horses (livestock) that we used for transportation. With the modernization of our world, today 45 percent of all people under the age of 18 in the U.S. have never seen a live horse, let alone a Clydesdale. This was one of the reasons we opened our private farm up for tours—to share them with all ages.”

It is also part of their commitment to connecting the community to their equine industry.

“This is truly an unbelievable place, whether you’re a part of the horse industry or not,” Karen asserts. “I am honored that I can live in the Horse Capital of the World™. My most favorite part is how the local businesses rally together to keep and honor the title of their community. My husband and I are blessed to have 36 world championships. I can say my community is world champion as well.”

Karen says the words she lives by are, “Failure is not an option. If you get knocked down, get back up again. Stand up for what you believe. Treat people fairly. Do as you say and mean what you say. Trust in God. If there is an idea that won’t leave you, go for it! Fight to stay on track.”

Karen invites you to come to the farm for a tour, to meet her and the horses.

If you haven’t experienced the AdventHealth Grandview Invitational, don’t miss the 2022 season from February 4th-6th at the Florida Horse Park and the new Grandview World Nights from February 11th-12th at the World Equestrian Center.

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