West Central Florida is horse country. Many of the communities along the central Gulf coast of Florida revolve around an equestrian lifestyle. Citrus County Florida is right in the middle of this horse lovers paradise.
It all started in the 1930s when Carl G. Rose established the first horse farm in Ocala Florida, which is now where the Paddock Mall and Central Florida Community College stand.
It was the mineral rich soils, hearty grasses and mild weather that allows for year round training that attracted horse breeders. In the 1950s, an Ocala horse named "Needles" became the first triple crown winner from this area.