FLORIDA THOROUGHBRED BREEDERS' AND OWNERS' ASSOCIATION
[ www.ftboa.com ]
From Ocala/Marion County's Thoroughbred farms and training centers, to major bloodstock auctions and the excitement of racing at four racetracks and ITW simulcasting, Florida has it all!
Florida is home to some 600 Thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located near Ocala in Marion County. Ocala is also home to the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company, which stages major bloodstock auctions throughout the year. OBS also operates an ITW simulcasting theater and each March hosts the annual Week of Champions races.
The Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association is also located in Ocala. The FTBOA administers the $15-million state breeders' incentive program and is responsible for promoting the Florida Thoroughbred industry.
The concentration of the Thoroughbred breeding and training industry in the Ocala/Marion County area is strongly supported by a network of equine services, such as veterinarians, feed and tack retailers, blacksmiths, equine dentists, and major horse transportation companies.
All these factors make Ocala one of only four major Thoroughbred breeding and training centers in the world.
Click here for a map of Marion County provided by Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association.
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THE APPLETON MUSEUM OF ART
[ appletonmuseum.org ]
The Appleton Museum of Art in Ocala, Florida is one of the South's premier art repositories and education centers. Originally built to display and preserve the collection of Arthur I. Appleton, the museum has expanded to include traveling exhibitions, educational programs, and cultural events.
The Appleton Museum of Art is the focal point of the Appleton Cultural Center, a 44-acre complex which also includes the Ocala Civic Theatre and the Pioneer Garden Club. The museum building is a contemporary interpretation of classical architecture clad in travertine marble. Sitting on 11.3 wooded and landscaped acres, it commands a small rise preceded by a cascading marble reflecting pool and fountain.
The original museum building is a two-story edifice of 45,000 square feet with 30,000 square feet devoted to gallery space. Galleries are arranged in a quadrangle which surrounds an interior courtyard and fountain. Five large galleries are divided into several smaller bays which enable more intimate viewing of smaller objects. Remaining space is allotted to a 250-seat auditorium, administrative offices, and storage. The 20,000 square foot Edith-Marie Appleton Wing opened in July 1996. It houses a 4,000 square foot two-story exhibition gallery, three conference rooms, an interactive video classroom, an art library, a workshop, and additional office and storage space.
The Appleton Museum is the realization of a dream of Arthur I. Appleton, retired president of Appleton Electric Company of Chicago, avid art collector, and owner of Bridlewood Farm, a Marion County thoroughbred operation. Appleton, together with a group of community leaders, persuaded the City of Ocala to donate land for the museum. Arthur, his wife, Martha and his sister, Edith-Marie Appleton donated funds to build the museum structure. The museum opened to the public in December 1987. Jointly owned by Florida State University and Central Florida Community College since July 1, 1990, The Appleton Museum of Art is now wholly owned and operated by Central Florida Community College and the Central Florida Community College Foundation.
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OCALA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
[ www.ocalacc.com ]
The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce is a voluntary organization of the business community. The Chamber is not a civic club, charitable organization or a department of the city or county government. The Chamber is a private, not-for-profit, organization.
The Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce unites hundreds of business and professional firms, thus creating a unique agency working to improve business and build a better community. Over 85 percent of the membership is composed of small businesses interested in prospering and creating a healthy environment in which to conduct business.
But most importantly, the Chamber is people. People such as you. People who realize that through the Chamber they can accomplish collectively what no one voice could do individually. The strength of the Chamber lies in attracting a great number of members, thus creating a pool of resources from which to draw ideas, energy and finances.
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OCALA/MARION COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
[ www.ocalaedc.org ]
The Ocala/Marion County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was established in 1954 under the name of the Committee of 100 to promote economic vitality. Working with local governments and corporate partners, it provides the primary economic development initiatives for Ocala and Marion County.
The EDC is led by a Board of Directors and a professional staff of five. It is located at The Enterprise Center on the campus of Central Florida Community College. Partnering with the EDC to serve Ocala/Marion County are Central Florida Community College, City of Ocala government, CLM Workforce Connection, Enterprise Florida, Inc., Marion County government, Marion County School System, and private sector investors.
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[ www.silversprings.com ]
Silver Springs is a 350 acre nature theme park surrounds the headwaters of the beautiful Silver River, the largest artesian spring formation in the world. Located 90 miles north of Orlando, just east of Ocala, Florida.
Here you can view the underground springs from our famous glass-bottom boats, where you’ll see fish, shellfish, turtles and alligators in water that’s up to 80 feet deep and 99.8% pure. Walk the beautiful grounds and experience the natural habitats of Florida’s largest alligators, endangered bears and panthers, Kritter Korral petting zoo, plus an entertaining variety of wildlife shows from Birds of Prey to snakes and reptiles. There are rides and exhibits for all ages in a natural setting of stunning beauty.
Images courtesy of Silver Springs Nature's Theme Park.
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