The Ocala, FL Horse Industry Started with a Rose?
Yes, it is true.
We have a gentleman by the name of Carl Rose to thank for our thriving equine industry in Marion County, Florida. In 1939, Carl Rose built Rosemere Farm on land that would eventually become home to the College of Central Florida and Paddock Mall.
I wonder he had a crystal ball to envision just how much the horse industry would mean to our area three-quarters of a century later?
$2.62 Billion Dollars- The yearly amount of monetary impact the horse industry has on our "Horse Capital of the World":
HITS (Horses In The Sun)- The HITS 500-acre horse park hosts an array of competitive equine events, drawing international riders to the grounds off County Road 475.
OBS- The Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. conducts thoroughbred auctions, a venue where many of Florida's horses are sold. Buyers came from 42 states and 18 countries to account for more than $140 million in sales last year involving about 3,100 horses.
Visitors, Visitors, Visitors- During one OBS auction, 70.7 percent of attendees said they had a favorable view of the area, and almost 94 percent said they would come back. The average stay by those attending was nearly six days, and more than 85 percent were staying in a hotel, condominium or rental unit. Last year, the 10-week HITS circuit accounted for 84,165 room days involving hotels, rented condos, apartments, timeshares and RV campground units. The event drew 20,000 spectators.
JOBS- The county's 700-800 horse farms and equine events provided about 6,250 jobs and another nearly 13,000 affiliated jobs for a total of more than 19,000 full- and part-time positions. That's about 14.5 percent of all county employment.
Real Estate- An industry that attracts visitors and results in people moving to the area increases the opportunities to help these people buy homes and businesses