Gettin’ Hitched

Powerhouses AdventHealth and Grandview Clydesdales team up to shake some new ground.

Combine more than 80 people, a gorgeous Florida day in late November, signature blue balloons, music and a 2,000-pound Clydesdale horse, and what do you get? The news that AdventHealth Ocala is coming on board as the title sponsor for the Grandview Invitational Draft Horse Show, which holds its second event from January 31st through February 2nd at Florida Horse Park and will then embark on a nationwide tour.

AdventHealth President and CEO Joe Johnson welcomed some celebrated guests—including Florida State Senators Dennis Baxley and Keith Perry, along with Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn, city and county officials, and a group of children from the pediatric rehabilitation unit of AdventHealth—at a press conference to announce the multi-year deal. The crowd was there to greet the celebrity equine guest, Earth of Grandview Clydesdales.

Johnson shared the story of his family’s visit to the inaugural Grandview Invitational Draft Horse Show and was impressed with the “ground shaking” experience.

“We’re excited to partner with Grandview Invitational as we join the rich and storied history of the prestigious horse farms in Marion County,” he offered. “We are more than a hospital and this sponsorship is part of our commitment to make investments in this community and to build partnerships that allow us to welcome thousands from around the world to experience all we have to offer in Ocala.”

Karen Cobbs is co-owner, with her husband Shannon, of Grandview Clydesdales and is the director of the hitch class horse show. “Grandview Invitational is very excited and honored to be partnering with AdventHealth,” she shared. “We look forward to working with everyone, and we are very excited for the future of the AdventHealth Grandview Invitational.” The show focuses on hitch classes that feature one to eight horses pulling carts and wagons. 

Wearing an AdventHealth blue horse sheet, Earth tossed his head, flopped his ears, showed his teeth, ate treats and happily posed for photos. He’s 18.2 hands (over six feet tall at his shoulders) and was also the Kiss the Horse for Literacy guest equine two years in a row. Draft horses are known for their calm demeanors, and Earth presided over all the activity with scarcely a blink.

For more information, visit AdventHealth’s news page at and for tickets, visit

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