For the last year and a half, Richard and Daisy Trayford have run their training and sales program out of Exmoor Farm, a 120-acre property in Ocala, Fla. They hosted both recognized and unrecognized competitions, as well as offering year-round cross country schooling — a true eventer’s paradise.
Now the farm is looking toward an even bigger and brighter future as it has acquired new ownership. Originally from California, Ron and Marisa Di Mauro bought the property this summer, with the goal of continuing and improving its ability to host top-notch eventing training and competition. Equiventures will continue to organize events at Exmoor with Richard and Daisy at the helm.
“When someone came along and wanted to take it on, and, frankly, had more capital that we did to do the things that I wanted done here, we kind of jumped at it,” Richard said. “I’m speaking with my Equiventures hat on — Equiventures runs shows. It doesn’t necessarily want to run facilities. Its much better to have a team of people that do the general maintenance and then we move in and put the event on, which is an expensive enough proposition anyway.
“This has given us a little bit of freedom,” he continued, “which was kind of needed after putting three venues together in three months. That was a tough 18-month period for both of us. Now we can step back a little bit and enjoy the venues, enjoy the shows.”
The Di Mauros dove head first into the property — acquiring new equipment and gear for the farm as well as recruiting a team to make it all happen. “Ron has basically said what I wanted to do over five years, he can do in five months. So we love this guy!” Richard laughed. “That’s a great example of what it’s like to have great owners coming into the game.”
The Di Mauros will also continue to have support from the event’s loyal sponsors, including Ocala Ranches.
In the meantime, Richard and Daisy will be relocating their training and sales operation to upstate New York, where they are excited to be closer to Richard’s son, Atticus, who goes to school there.
“We’ve managed to secure a farm in the Genesee Valley, a 90-acre equestrian property,” Daisy said. “We’re really excited to carry on with our team of event horses up there in the summer. We’re very excited to move to a different area and meet some new clients and spread our wings a little bit.”
They’re also giddy to get back into the area’s foxhunting. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds for us. The Genesee Valley Hunt is one of the oldest hunts in the United States. Daisy and I used to spend four days a week hunting in England, so for us it’s going to be a bit of a jolly taking all the youngsters hunting before they go eventing,” Richard explained.
But, Ocala hasn’t seen the last of them! They are happy to report that they will spend the winter months in Florida. “Each winter we’ll head back down. Me to run the shows and Daisy to compete the youngsters,” Richard said, “so it’s almost an ideal scenario on a selfish level. If you’re in upstate New York in the winter you don’t need much of any excuse to come down to Florida.”
Exmoor isn’t the only venue that is seeing some changes. There are also big upgrades in store for the Florida Horse Park, which hosts three events organized by Equiventures along with many other competition opportunities throughout the year.
“We’re having millions of dollars spent on the horse park in the right direction,” Richard affirmed. “There’s two or three brand new Martin Collins arenas being put in with underground irrigation. It’s $1.7 million work of arenas being put in right now.”
Besides the new arenas with world-class footing, the park’s roadway infrastructure will also see a facelift.
It looks like this winter in Ocala is going to be better than ever!