A Sneak Peek at the New Ocala Jockey Club Cross Country Courses

One of the showcase pieces is a carved fish in the new water feature, masterfully carved to honor the involvement of Seminole heritage on the Ocala Jockey Club property, which served as the location of Fort Drane and neighbors a burial site of Chief Emathla. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club. One of the showcase pieces is a carved fish in the new water feature, masterfully carved to honor the involvement of Seminole heritage on the Ocala Jockey Club property, which served as the location of Fort Drane and neighbors a burial site of Chief Emathla. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

Everyone is looking forward to the unveiling of the Ocala Jockey Club’s new cross country courses, which are nearly ribbon-cutting ready in advance of the inaugural event.

The inaugural Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day CIC 3*, CCI 2* and 1* Event, organized and promoted by Equiventures LLC, will be held over Thanksgiving weekend, November 24-27, in Reddick, Florida.

The CIC3* course was designed by Mike Etherington-Smith and the CCI1*/2* courses by Clayton Fredericks, all built out by Tyson Rementer and Levi Ryckewaert. The two grass dressage and show jumping arenas, designed by Richard Jeffery, are competition-ready. Rounding out the star-studded lineup is Alec Lochore, who will serve as Event Director.

The cross country design and build team. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross country design and build team. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

Mike Etherington-Smith remarked, “The footing is looking fantastic, some of the best I have seen in the USA, well done to all.”

Tyson Rementer concurred, “Speaking for the cross-country course, I am very confident we are headed toward a top class course.”

By all accounts the OJC facility sounds lovely, featuring rolling hills and old-growth Spanish-moss-laden oak trees. The cross country course description from the event’s Omnibus listing notes, “The area for the courses is very much in a traditional English style park with mature trees and flowing lines. There is significant footing prep being undertaken to make it as good as possible. There will be two water fences, excellent viewing, and all the courses run through the newly developed main arena.”

One of the many new cross-country jump built onsite. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

One of the many new cross-country jump built onsite. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses for CCI1*, CCI2* and CIC3* have been carefully improved and maintained over the last year. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses for CCI1*, CCI2* and CIC3* have been carefully improved and maintained over the last year. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The new main grass arena has been built with derby banks sloping up towards the clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The new main grass arena has been built with derby banks sloping up towards the clubhouse. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The Ocala Jockey Club is a 924-acre property featuring multiple training barns, a Thoroughbred training track, rental town houses and a 9,700-square foot restaurant and event facility.

The cross-country courses wind over the miles of rolling hills of the farm, through the oak tree-studded parkland setting. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

The cross-country courses wind over the miles of rolling hills of the farm, through the oak tree-studded parkland setting. Photo courtesy of Ocala Jockey Club.

“It has taken a lot of great work by this outstanding design and build team over much of the past year, and a large capital commitment by OJC, to transform some 400 of our 924-acre Thoroughbred training farm into a world class eventing competition and special events venue,” said Ocala Jockey Club President and owner Pavla Nygaard. “We are thrilled with the results and looking forward to hosting the first of exciting future special events and competitions next month.”

The competition features a $100,000 prize pool, the largest ever for a CIC3* in North America, of which $15,000 will be awarded to top-placing Thoroughbreds as part of OJC’s desire to recognize and incentivize their post-racing careers. The closing date for entries is Nov. 8. Click here for entry status.

For more information on the Ocala Jockey Club and its inaugural event, visit www.ocalajc.com.

[New ‘Fantastic’ Ocala Jockey Club Cross Country Course Nearing Completion]

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