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Florida Horse Shows, Horseback Riding, and Rodeos
Florida Horse Racing and Horseback Riding Lessons
Year Round Horse Shows in Florida
All major show venues in Florida are now showing year around, and the new World Equestrian Center Ocala has four climate controlled arenas to support shows throughout the warmer summer months. Additionally, Ocala's Florida Horse Park hosts a variety of horse shows almost every weekend.
Tryon International Equestrian Center in North Carolina ramps up a full season schedule March through October of each year that includes high level show jumping and dressage.
Florida Horseback Riding Lessons and Horse Rentals
Florida horseback riding opportunities include everything from beginner horse riding lessons, guided trail rides, to advanced horse jumping, dressage, and barrel racing.
Many horse lovers compete in Florida's numerous horse shows while others prefer to ride their horses on the many equestrian trails offered in Florida.
Where to find Horseback Riding on the Beach in Florida
Enjoy a beach horse ride along one of Florida's fantastic beaches with expert guides and seasoned horses to show the way. Florida offers some of the best beach horseback riding on both the Atlantic Ocean beaches and the Gulf of Mexico beaches. You can even experience fantastic sunrise and sunset rides.
You can find guided horseback beach tours at Jacksonville's Amelia Island, at Ft. Pierce on Hutchinson Island, Bradenton in the Tampa Bay Area, and at Port St. Joe in the Florida Panhandle. Riding horses on the beach will give you some wonderful memories of your visit to Florida. All the horses are well trained so you don't have to be an experienced horseback rider to join the fun.
Florida Trail Riding
In addition to the equestrian oriented spectator sports in Florida, most Florida horseback riders like to hit the numerous horse trails that dot the state. Horse trails are featured in many state and national parks such as Ocala National Forest. Riders can choose from guided trail rides or riding on their own horses. See our complete directory of Florida equestrian trails for the best trail riding experiences.
Florida - The Horse Show Center of the World
Florida hosts several of the world's most important horse show venues that support rated horse shows all year. These include Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington, FL, Fox Lea Farm in Venice, FL, and Ocala features the World Equestrian Center, HITS Post Time Farm, Florida Horse Park, Southeastern Pavilion, and Majestic Oaks.
Types of Equestrian Events
Horse jumping, dressage, western dressage, English and western pleasure shows, and eventing are featured at horse show venues throughout Florida. Rodeos and barrel racing are typically held at show arenas designed for their sport. Polo is played at venues featuring the large playing fields required for the fast moving polo ponies.
Palm Beach International Equestrian Center in Wellington hosts major international horse shows during the winter and spring seasons, featuring the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) and the Global Dressage Festival (GDF.) During the remainder of the year Wellington Classic Dressage and PBIEC sponsor equine shows almost every week. Wellington also is home to the International Polo Club Palm Beach (IPCPB.)
Riders from all over compete in this famous equestrian competition which has become one of the premier horse show events in the world. Horse jumping competition levels range from FEI CSI*2 - CSI*5 events and dressage shows feature levels CDI*2 -CDI*5.
Ocala is known as the horse capital of the world because of its numerous thoroughbred horse farms and world class horse show venues. Ocala is home to hundreds of horse breeding farms which have produced many champion thoroughbred race horses throughout the years.
Additionally, Ocala has several important horse show venues that attract horse riders from all over the world.
The newly opened World Equestrian Center (WEC) enjoyed a successful twelve week inaugural show jumping series and will continue with NSBA sanctioned shows, including dressage shows, during the rest of 2021 and into 2022. This impressive new horse show venue, adjacent to the equestrian community of Golden Ocala, features four climate controlled riding arenas, plus a fabulous five star hotel overlooking the oversized main show arena.
The HITS Ocala twelve week winter USEF sanctioned horse jumping circuit draws top riders and riding fans to its Post Time Farm venue during the January - March months each year.
Ocala's Florida Horse Park is a favorite venue for state level horse shows including horse jumping, dressage, western dressage, eventing, western pleasure, and cutting horse shows. Horse shows and events at Florida Horse Park continue throughout the year.
Enjoy watching Sunset Polo 6pm Saturdays June through September at the Florida Horse Park.
Majestic Oaks Ocala is a fabulous equestrian venue covering 100 acres of rolling hills and stately oak trees, and is located in the heart of horse country. Majestic Oaks features daily schooling, jumper shows, eventing horse trials, driving, and clinics.
Venice, Florida is home to Fox Lea Farm, an increasingly important horse show venue in Florida that features horse shows all year around including CSI* rated horse jumping shows.
The Venice Equestrian Tour runs from January into March each year and features USEF Regional Hunter Level 3 Jumper shows. Other horse shows are held at Fox Lea almost every weekend throughout the year. Fox Lea Farms also provides a unique summer camp for kids with all levels of equestrian skills and features USEF level shows with large cash prizes.
Florida Barrel Racing
Florida has a busy barrel racing calendar with weekly races staged throughout Florida almost every weekend. Barrel racing entails circling three barrels on horseback while striving for the fastest time. Barrel racing is an exciting sport that attracts many fans and riders of both sexes. Cash prizes, local events, and frequent races attract many riders to this fast paced sport.
Florida's top rodeo season schedule is during the winter months, but several major rodeos are held at various times throughout the year. Classic rodeo events include bull riding, calf roping, and barrel racing. Florida rodeos also may include cutting and reining categories that feature such events as team cutting that vividly demonstrate the skills of riders and horses working as a team.
The Ocala Shrine Rodeo, the Southeastern Pro Rodeo in Ocala, the Davie Pro Rodeo, and the Silver Spurs Rodeo in Kissimmee, are among the most popular with Florida residents and visitors. Most of the Florida rodeos are sanctioned by the PRCA and WPRA. Rodeo schedule.
Florida Polo features daring riders and fearless polo ponies over the polo fields of Florida every winter. Polo reigns supreme on Sunday afternoons when high goal polo at the International Polo Club Palm Beach entertains crowds of enthusiasts sipping champagne and feasting on strawberries. If you like your sports with nonstop action and heart pounding excitement, a polo match is a must see when in Florida. Also, check out the Vero Beach Polo Club for weekly polo competitions in Indian River County and the Villages Polo Club near Ocala.
Summer polo is featured at Florida Horse Park at 6 pm on Saturdays June through September.
Spring and Summer in Florida also means live horse racing at Gulfstream Park from April 1, 2021 thru September 26, 2021 and features stakes races throughout the summer months.
Tampa Bay Downs Race Course racing dates are Nov 25, 2020 - May 2, 2021 featuring live and simulcast racing. The Tampa Bay Downs card room and simulcast racing is open all year.