May 26, 2020

COVID-19 Statement on Status of 2020 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event

By Ocala Jockey Club - Edited Press Release
USEA/Leslie Mintz Photo.

The health of our competitors, spectators, officials, volunteers, and everyone else involved in the Ocala Jockey Club (OJC) International Three-Day Event production is very important to us. We have been following all related updates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic to assess the potential impact on the OJC Event. Based on what we know at this time, we feel confident that the 2020 Event can run as scheduled. To keep up-to-date with updates, please subscribe to our email newsletter and follow us at our social media channels.

The 2020 Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event is designated as the USEF CCI4*-L National Championships. Additionally, due to the rescheduled Tokyo Olympic Games set to occur in the summer of 2021, the OJC Event is an important Olympic qualifier. As a number of four-star and five-star events have cancelled across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly important to Team USA and the USEF High Performance program that this event be held as scheduled.

The 5th annual Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event is set to run from November 12 to 15 at the 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club farm in Reddick, Florida. The scenery is breathtaking, with the cross-country competition weaving its way through Spanish moss-laden oak trees and rolling hills unexpected in the Florida landscape. The "equine triathlon" competition showcasing dressage, show jumping, and cross-country segments ridden by the same horse-rider combination teams over the course of multiple days has already become a popular destination. It won the 2018 Florida Sports Foundation's Small Market Event of the Year award. The prepared galloping tracks have gained reputation among riders as having some of the best footing in the country, if not in the world.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created much uncertainty to health and the economy in all corners of activities and locations. This is even more so the case for sport events of international caliber like the OJC Three-Day Event, with competitors and spectators traveling domestically and internationally," said Pavla Nygaard, President of the Ocala Jockey Club. "There are many months of planning involved to stage a world-class event. Based on our communications with stakeholders to date, it is clear that competitors are excited for the OJC Event to run, and so is the Ocala community. While some of our regular sponsors may need to pull back in times of economic recovery, we are looking forward to working creatively together with the community toward another successful competition. The event has provided over $1 million annual economic impact to Marion County. This year, more than ever before, the community will benefit from this event. America has missed the inspiration that sports provide, and we believe that this event is an important part of recovery for Ocala, Florida and our nation. As an outdoors event set on hundreds of acres, we feel confident that the event can run safely and successfully with social distancing and other safety protocols."

There will be four FEI levels of competition, with star system's designations CCI2*-L, CCI3*-L, and the Olympic qualifying levels CCI4*-S and CCI4*-L. Each of the levels also features special recognition and prizes for young horses and off-the-track Thoroughbreds, with the popular Thoroughbred Makeover Masterclass event showcased by the Retired Racehorse Project. More updates and information about the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-Day Event will be available at the event website at www.OJC3de.com.

The Ocala Jockey Club facility is a 950-acre crown jewel in the horse country of Ocala, Florida. It serves as a Thoroughbred training farm and to stand stallions, as well as featuring townhomes and an iconic clubhouse functioning as a unique venue for weddings, meetings, and other special events. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club, visit www.ocalajc.com.

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