Jul 23, 2018

Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event Wins Prestigious Florida Sports Foundation Award

By Ocala Jockey Club - Press Release
Phillip Dutton and Z, winning pair of the 2017 CIC3* Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event. Phillip Dutton and Z used their win on their way to qualify for the 2018 Tryon World Equestrian Games. Shannon Brinkman Photo.

The Ocala Jockey Club is excited to announce that the 2017 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event was honored with the “Small Market Event of the Year” award by the Florida Sports Foundation. The award was presented to the Ocala Jockey Club at the Marion County Board of County Commissioners’ July 17 meeting.

“We are excited to continue welcoming the athletes and their teams to the Horse Capital of the WorldTM for the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event,” said Marion County Board of County Commissioners Chairman Kathy Bryant. “Hosting high-quality athletic events such as this one is a great economic driver, and also a wonderful opportunity to introduce our community to visitors from around the world who might be experiencing Marion County for the first time.”


The Florida Sports Foundation Small Market Event of the Year is accepted on July 17, 2018 by Ocala Jockey Club President, Pavla Nygaard, and Ocala Jockey Club Sponsorship Director, Cindy Oatman. Photo courtesy of the Marion County Board of County Commissioners.

The Florida Sports Foundation, the state’s leading sports promotion and development organization, created this award as one of six awarded annually to recognize Florida’s communities and sports commissions for their outstanding efforts in the state’s sports tourism.

The 2017 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event was the second annual three-day eventing FEI-sanctioned competition at the horse farm community of the Ocala Jockey Club, held from Nov. 16 to 19, 2017. This three-day eventing competition is an equestrian triathlon, with each horse and rider combination competing in dressage, show jumping, and cross-country running over natural terrain and prepared obstacles that mimic large-scale natural challenges such as ditches, drops, and fallen logs.

The excellent footing, viewing opportunities, and stunning spectator-friendly rolling hill terrain have propelled the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event to quickly establish itself as a popular destination for top-level riders with four of the five 2018 U.S. Eventing World Equestrian Team members having ridden in one or both of the first two editions of this event. It has also already become a key event for the Ocala community, with it having brought $1 million of economic impact to Marion County in 2017. In recognition of its sports tourism value, the event has been generously supported with a grant by the Marion County Visitors & Convention Bureau (MCVCB).

The 2018 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event will take place Nov. 15 to 18, 2018. The CIC3* course is again designed by Mike Etherington-Smith, former head of British Eventing, and the course designer for the Sydney and Beijing Olympic Games.

The OJC facility, with its rolling hills and showcase old-growth Spanish-moss-laden oak trees, is a crown jewel in the horse country of Ocala, Florida. About 200 acres of the 950-acre Ocala Jockey Club property serve as a Thoroughbred training farm and to stand stallions, and the facility also includes townhouses and an iconic clubhouse, which serves as a unique venue for weddings, meetings, and other special events. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club, visit www.ocalajc.com. For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event, visit www.ojc3de.com.

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I have had many young horses in my time, and one thing I’ve learned is that it’s rarely the perfect, easy baby that becomes the next superstar. In fact, I’ve always considered it a positive to have the well-behaved youngster throw a little bit of attitude my way, as I believe that it takes fight to become a great event horse.

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