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Thoroughbred Farms in Marion County, Florida…

Posted by on November 6, 2015

NOVEMBER 6, 2015

MY STORY CONTINUES. Tomorrow our coach will be out of the shop and good-to-go. And on Sunday we’ll begin our two-day drive tohorse2 Gulf Shores, Alabama, where we’re spending the winter at the beach. So, with just one more day in the state of Florida we decided to visit some of the nearby Thoroughbred Farms in Marion County, which is one of the four major thoroughbred centers in the world. There are six hundred horse farms here and they have produced 45 national champions, 6 Kentucky Derby winners and 20 Breeders’ Cup champions. With over 70,000 pristine acres of breeding and training grounds, Marion County is a “can’t-miss destination” for equine enthusiasts. There are more horses in residence here than anywhere else in the entire country.


CLASSIC MILE PARK. Soon after arriving in the area, we were exploring country roads and winding past lavish farms. Our first stop was at the Classic Mile Training Complex, where we drove down a seemingly endless lane fringed with oak trees, board fences and barns. We learned that the barns are operated by different trainers who share the track…sort of a prep school for racehorses where young horses learn their trade, get fit and begin to show if they have what it takes to succeed on the racetrack.


The first stop on our self-guided tour was Classic Mile Park, a huge thoroughbred training facility.

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Pasture area at Classic Mile Training Complex.


Extraordinary care is reflected in appearance.


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A trainer brings one of the horses from the barn and heads to the track.


The morning workout.


The horse farm looks like a country club. The landscaping is beautiful!

BRIDLEWOOD FARM. The next stop on our self-guided tour was Bridlewood Farm. It encompasses almost 1,000 acres of world-class equestrian estate and is located in some of the most premier and storied farm grounds in Central Florida. The property features a 7/8-mile dirt training track, an equine swimming pond, 13 barns with 350 stalls, 145 fields and paddocks and a large main residence with a panoramic view of the farm. Brindlewood’s training division has a 30 year history of training many of racing’s most elite runners. When I stopped at the office to inquire about taking a tour, I was told we were welcome to drive around the farm and take photos, but we weren’t allowed to get out of the car. Whoaaa, Nelly! We totally get it! We understand completely. We’re just thankful you’re kind enough to let us look around…thank you! Anyhow, because they were taken from inside the Jeep, these pictures aren’t the greatest but they will at least give you an idea of what we saw this afternoon. We enjoyed spending time here. As Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”

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Roads like this meander all through the property at Bridlewood Farm.


If I were a racehorse I’m pretty sure I could be happy living here.

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This farm is stunningly beautiful. It almost looks in this photo like a Rockwell or Grandma Moses painting.

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As we left Bridlewood Farm, the sky was beautiful. Come to think of it, this is the way it’s looked every day since we arrived in Florida a couple weeks ago.

GULF SHORES…HERE WE COME! It’s almost time for us to head to Alabama. Our next stop will be Gulf Shores. We can’t wait to show you the Bella Terra RV Resort where we’ll be staying for the winter. And there’s so much to see and do in the area we think you’ll want to join us often. So, plan to join us there, won’t you?





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