Florida isn’t horsing around – especially when it comes to the equine industry. In fact, if you’re interested in breeding and raising thoroughbred horses, the Sunshine State is the place to be.
The state is home to the Horse Capital of the World®, Marion County, which lays claim to more horses and ponies than any other county in the United States.
In addition, Florida has more than 750 thoroughbred farms and training centers, and the state has produced more Kentucky Derby winners than any state outside of Kentucky.
“Many horses that compete in high-profile races across the nation, like the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, have been trained in Florida,” says Lonny Powell, CEO of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association.
“Ocala is also the worldwide leader in 2-year-old in training sales, so people can come to the state to buy a horse that’s race-ready. This is a big reason that buyers from 49 states and 38 countries have purchased horses from Ocala Breeders’ Sales.”
One of the state’s recent successes is Imperial Hint, a racehorse with several major wins under his belt. The 6-year-old Imperial Hint, owned by Raymond Mamone and trained by Luis Carvajal Jr., was bred in Reddick by Bert and Martha Pilcher of Shade Tree Thoroughbreds, Inc.
See more: Florida Horse Park is Riding High
Since 2015, Imperial Hint has gone on to win races such as the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap at Saratoga (where he set a track record) and Vosburgh Stakes at Belmont Park. In 2018, he was named the Florida Horse of the Year, champion older male and champion sprinter by FTBOA.
“By percentage of foal crop, Florida-bred horses win more major-stakes, high-level races than horses from any other state in the country, and our state’s horses also compete well internationally,” said Tammy A. Gantt, associate vice president at FTBOA.
“Imperial Hint is a perfect example of the caliber of horses Florida produces.” For more information about Florida’s
thriving equine industry and to find out how you can be part of it, visit ftboa.com or call FTBOA at (352) 629-2160.