Cooler weather means better opportunities for horses and riders to strut their stuff at Ocala area horse shows.
September in Central Florida holds the promise (usually) of fall. That tiny bit of cool-ish air, the lessening of that oppressive humidity, and the break in summer brings new energy to horses and their riders. Fall also ushers in the horse show season here in Marion County. Here are some fun shows to see this month:
The Royal Gala of the Horses features the baroque breeds of horses who served European and Middle Eastern royalty for centuries. Lipazzans, Andalusians, Friesians, and Arabians have worked as dressage horses, in the bullfight ring, and as flashy performance horses. See this show on September 7th at 3pm. Tickets range from $35-$62.
Grand Oaks Resort
3000 Marion County Rd,
On September 7th, the Ocala Western Dressage Championship will let spectators see this growing sport up close. Dressage is typically associated with English equestrian sports, and Western riders utilize the same basic principles and movements. Horse and rider complete a test of required gaits, gait changes, direction changes, speed and collection, including a musical freestyle test where the rider chooses specific music and rides to that. In the outdoor rings; bring your own seating. Free to spectators.
Also that weekend, the Florida Cutting Horse Association will show off their cow-handling skills from September 5th-8th. In this sport, horse and rider “cut” a cow from a herd and then prevent the cow from returning. Once the cow is cut, the rider drops the reins and the horse does all of the work. Spectators enjoy complimentary seating on bleachers under the covered arena; you may also bring your own.
Florida Horse Park
11008 S Highway 475
The Majestic Oaks Three-Phase Schooling Show takes place on September 21st featuring the three-day event sport. This schooling show gives horse and rider the chance to practice all phases of eventing: dressage, cross-country and stadium show jumping. Dressage is a test in which horse and rider complete a test of required movements. Cross-country is a jumping course of some distance and filled with substantial natural jumps such as fallen logs, chicken coops, and water hazards like ditches and ponds. Stadium jumping is a complex course in an arena composed of challenging jumps. Bring your own chair as seating is limited. Free to spectators.
17500 N US Highway 441