Sara and her young American Warmblood mare “Ever After”

Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Gifford Photography

“On behalf of the Horse Farms Forever Board of Directors, I am excited to announce the promotion of Sara Powell-Fennessy to Executive Director of the organization,” said Bernie Little, HFF President. “Sara brings energy and enthusiasm for the organization’s mission that assures its future success. Sara is a powerful voice for protecting and preserving the farmland that is foundational to the equestrian industry in Marion County. Sara serves as a role model for others seeking to impact their communities. On a personal level, people like Sara give me such great confidence in the future of this community.”

Sara grew up in an equine-centric household. A lifelong horse show and racing enthusiast, she devoted much of her time as a hunter-jumper competitor while attending school in Lexington, Kentucky. During her almost 12 years in Marion County, Florida, she has devoted herself to a career of outreach, communication, management, and promotion in the local community and equine industry. Today, Sara owns and rides hunter jumpers.

“My parents had me in the saddle before I could even walk,” Sara noted. “My most valuable life lessons came from my time on the back of a horse. I am a firm believer that horses instill a sense of responsibility, patience and a work ethic that cannot be replicated, she notes.”

A Generational Legacy

A fifth-generation horsewoman, Sara has a lifelong family history focused primarily on the Thoroughbred and show-horse sectors. Her parents and grandparents owned and trained racehorses and Saddlebreds. Sara’s grandfather was a successful jockey on the West Coast, and her father is a lifelong member of the Thoroughbred world and an industry executive.

Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Gifford Photography

An honor’s graduate from the College of Central Florida, Sara’s educational background is in Paralegal studies.

“My work with Horse Farms Forever over the past 5 years has been deeply fulfilling on so many levels,” she explained. “Like so many others here in Marion County, the horse industry is my family’s livelihood and legacy. Advocating for the very thing that makes Ocala/Marion County so unique and special means everything to me.”

“I feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to serve alongside the accomplished staff and dedicated Board of Directors as we work to preserve our global brand as Horse Capital of the World®. I am overflowing with excitement for what lies ahead on the horizon for this incredible organization,” Sara concluded.

Photo Credit: Jennifer M. Gifford Photography