From the soil to the springs to the sheltering oaks,
Marion County, Florida, is horse country.

A city has risen here,
resting on broad backs and propelled by hoofbeats.

Open spaces and beautiful places
are the hallmark of greater Ocala.

Horse Farms Forever is dedicated to preserving the character and culture that makes us the Horse Capital of the World®.

INTERACTIVE MEMBERS MAP

See what we’re protecting and who is with us.
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Horse Farms Forever is a compact and powerful nonprofit,
founded in 2018 to:

Protect

Marion County’s Farmland Preservation Area was established in 2005. Its mineral-rich soil and water, and spring sheds are subject to increasing development and roadway threats. We participate and defend.

Promote

The culture, character and vibrant economy of greater Ocala is uniquely based on the presence of horses and horse farms. We share the facts.

Preserve

Landowners who love their land and wish to see it passed along to future generations have many options. We show the way.

Plan

The blueprint for Rural Land Management is written at the county level and made strong by collaboration and community influence. We facilitate progress.

The Threats Are Real

From new roadways to rezoning. We are here to gather and multiply all of the voices that understand the value of our rural heritage and seek to preserve it forever.

News:

New & Renewing Members in the Dog Days of Summer

Every new member makes us stronger. We welcome the following new and renewing individuals and businesses who support open spaces and beautiful places.

July-August 2020 Equestrian Events

Many venues are coming back from hiatus with changed schedules. There are fewer events this season, but still plenty of safe, outdoor equestrian fun to be had. Heads up for these July-August opportunities!

Renewing Founders Explain The Relevance of HFF in These Times

In Horse Farms Forever’s short history, we have been faithfully supported by a core group of Founders. This week, the following Founders chose once again to affirm their commitment to our mission. Here, they share why, in these times, the need for a watchdog organization is even more relevant than it was during the toll road threat of 2018.

Sidelines Magazine Features HFF’s Busy Byerly

In the Sidelines article, you will learn more about our new Director of Conservation Strategies, Busy Shires Byerly and why she is uniquely qualified to help Horse Farms Forever as we begin helping farm owners explore their options for conservation of their property. There are over 1,200 horse farms in Marion County. Preserving those farms not only ensures that the character and culture of this special place remains, it protects a thriving horse industry, which contributes over $2.6 billion to the economy and employs over 20,000. As we launch into this important phase of Horse Farms Forever’s history, we are thrilled to have Busy’s passion and expertise to bring to bear on this monumental challenge.

Behind the Gate: Team Cone

In this edition of Behind the Gate, Horse Capital TV visits with president/CEO Doug Cone, who makes a convincing case for Horse Farms Forever’s role in managing growth and protecting Marion County’s global brand.

Good News for the Farmland Preservation Area

Horse Farms Forever is grateful to announce tremendous growth at the grassroots level. This is solid evidence of a growing movement to protect the Farmland Preservation Area (FPA) of Marion County.

Horse Farms Forever Welcomes New Member Businesses

Every new member makes us stronger. We welcome the following new and renewing businesses who have chosen to stand with us: Agricon, Cloverly Farm, Fox Hill Paso Fino Farm, Lane’s Mark Farm, Oakmont Rehabilitation & Wellness, Ocala Jockey Club, Photonic Health, and Michael J. Saxe.

Florida Bred Horses Make Strong Showing in the Belmont!

With the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes moved to Sept. 5 and Oct. 3, the Belmont took an unusual position as the first jewel in the Triple Crown this year. Last Saturday’s race, held at New York’s Belmont Park, was shortened to 1-1/8 miles and run with limited audience attendance.

The County Commissioners say YES to the Farmland Preservation Area, and NO to the ATV Racetrack!

At their meeting on June 17th, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted as follows:

To deny Comprehensive Plan Amendment 20-L05 submitted by Blitch Plantation, LTD to amend the future land use designation from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center for 18.2 acres.
To deny Application 200507Z to rezone 18.2 acres from Rural Land to Rural Activity Center; but to approve the rezoning for 5 acres within that parcel with land use already designated as Rural Activity Center. This means that the 5 acres with the future land use designation of Rural Activity Center now has the zoning to match, and development that is allowed within a Rural Activity Center can now take place there.
To deny Application 200508SU to permit ATV racetrack with ancillary recreational uses, limited ATV sales and repair, RV Park, and event venue requested as a Special Use Permit in RAC and A-1 Zoning Districts.

Today is Hearing Day: Participation Options

The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets today at the McPherson Governmental Campus Auditorium, 601 SE 25th Ave., Ocala, to consider adoption of the Blitch Plantation (Rudianyn) proposal for Double Gate ATV Park and Recreation. Here is the agenda and full application.

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Like our horses, we are safer and stronger together.