Matt Varney

Ocala Horse Properties

Craig Bernick

Matt Varney is an accomplished real estate professional who started his career in residential site construction and estimating before working for a privately held Florida-based real estate developer; where at just 26, he quickly became the leading salesman in the company.  In 2010 (along with Chris & Rob Desino), Matt started Ocala Horse Properties’ sister company, Wellington Equestrian Realty. Even though Wellington is widely known as one of the most competitive places in the country to sell horse farms, Matt excelled quickly selling more farms than any other realtor in Palm Beach County.

In Ocala, Matt’s extensive transactional experience has helped further solidify Ocala Horse Properties’ position as the most successful horse farm brokerage the last decade (and counting). In 2020 and 2021, Matt was Marion County’s leading realtor.

Matt’s involvement with Horse Farms Forever started at the ground floor.  After hearing about possible FDOT routes that would destroy the NW Horse Farms, Ocala Horse Properties quickly jumped into action rallying the community and communicating with Tallahassee.

Weeks later and in front of a packed house at the County Commission Chambers, Matt delivered a powerful speech that laid out the frustrations of the community, the fault of the FDOT study and challenged the county commission to act immediately and decisively.  The result of that meeting was unanimous, the commissioners were on board and had listened to OHP and the community and they began drafting a resolution against the Coastal Connector.  Knowing the resolution was only the start (OHP knew it was ultimately a state issue, not a county one), Ocala Horse Properties quickly came together with Bernie Little (president of HFF) along with many other farm owners to create Horse Farms Forever.

Matt was also a recent recipient of the Carry Back Award.  The Carry Back Award is given out by the Florida Thoroughbred managers to someone that has done something exemplary in their community.

“Matt was driving force and impetus in having everyone at the commissioner’s meeting. His presentation and speech was a real service for the equine community. It was such an important event and he helped mobilize the public so the County Connector road project received attention and got taken out of consideration.”  – George Issacs, Bridlewood General Manager and current Horse Farms Forever board member.

“Horse Farms Forever would not have been able to make such an impact so quickly without the expertise, leadership, and tireless efforts of Matt Varney and Ocala Horse Properties. Through his knowledge of real estate and passion for the preserving the Horse Farms, Matt has been able to work with multiple entities creating solutions to protect farmland and maintain proper developmental growth.” – Bernie Little, President of Horse Farms Forever


Matt lives his equestrian competitiveness vicariously through his wife, Dr. Courtney Varney, DVM. Matt enjoys accompanying Courtney, an accomplished FEI Dressage rider, USDF gold medalist, and equine veterinarian, to as many competitions as his schedule will allow. Matt and Dr. Varney remain active in helping preserve Marion County’s horse farms with Horse Farms Forever.