September 26, 2017, Reddick, FL: The Ocala Jockey Club is pleased to announce that the venue escaped Hurricane Irma without major damage and the organizing committee is busy preparing for the $100,000 Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event taking place November 16-19, 2017. While the storm created new water features along the farm, the competition areas fared well and will be ready to host another world class event.
Mike Etherington-Smith, world-renowned cross-country designer whose design credits include the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Olympics, is returning to design the CIC3* course after the inaugural 2016 Event cross-country course accolades. He visited the Ocala Jockey Club on September 19th to set this year’s cross-country jumps on the CIC3* course. The designer was highly impressed with the improvement to the courses over last year: “I was delighted with how the courses rode last year, there has been a massive effort even since, and the course is more mature and grown-in this year. The Ocala Jockey Club is one of the nicest places to design a cross-country course in the US. It has exceptional viewing and course visibility from every angle, fantastic tailgating opportunities, great atmosphere, great interest from the riders and a great organizing committee.”
Clayton Fredericks, Australian Eventing team 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and the OJC Event CCI1*/2* course designer, echoed the same sentiments: “The footing is the best in the US. It is a real park with open space, long gallops and gentle undulations. As a rider, there are four important things to me about an event – the footing, the quality of the course and fences, the ability to entertain and keep your owners and sponsors happy, and the opportunity to win some prize money. This event and this venue check all four. There are great opportunities to feel the excitement, watch and meet Olympic-level riders and build up the local community.”
The Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event includes three FEI level divisions of competition: CIC3*, CCI1* and CCI2*, each also including a Thoroughbred Eventing Champion division. The Event will start on Thursday, November 16th with dressage, continuing into the weekend main show-jumping and cross-country events. There will also be a Family Fall Festival with many activities for the whole family to enjoy, such as sack races, scavenger hunt on the cross-country course, and other games. Event information and tickets are on the event website at www.OJC3de.com.
The venue, the Ocala Jockey Club, is a crown jewel in Ocala, the winter and year-round horse destination for many disciplines. The Ocala Jockey Club is a 924-acre Thoroughbred and eventing training and conditioning paradise. It features English countryside-like rolling hills with old-growth moss-laden oak trees, 5/8 mile training track, miles of turf, 35-townhome village and a unique octagonal 9700 sf clubhouse perched on top of the second highest point in Central Florida. The viewing opportunities are second to none, the sunset and natural authentic beauty of the farm are renowned. Venue information is at www.OcalaJC.com.
Course Designers and Event Organizer Visit Ocala Jockey Club September 19 Clayton Fredericks (CCI1*/2* designer), Shelley Page (Event Organizer) and Mike Etherington-Smith (CIC3* designer, with major design credits such as the Hong Kong Olympic Games) during their September 18th and 19th site visit to set cross country jumps and plan the Event. They are sitting on the OJC keyhole jump, which will be used by all the divisions.
The inaugural 2016 Ocala Jockey Club 3-Day International Event drew major interest from top-level riders who gave rave reviews of the venue and the open galloping courses. Competitors represented 8 different countries aside from the USA, including Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand and Ecuador. The quality of riders included top caliber athletes such as the 2016 Rio Olympics Silver Medallist Nicolas Astier. The winner of the 2016 CIC3* Ocala Jockey Club International 3-Day Event, Matthew Brown (seen in above photo riding his winning mount, Super Socks CBF), went on to be 4th as the top US-placing rider at the 2017 CCI4* Rolex Kentucky 3-Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Thank you to just some of our supporters and partners: