OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - UPDATE 5:00 PM - A new event is getting underway in the horse capital. The inaugural 2020 Florida Horse Park "Winter Classic" started its first session Thursday morning.
The event kicked off with several riders showing off their skills on the course.
According to Horse Show Manager, Bill Worthington, this event is expected to bring in more than 250 horses and their riders to Ocala.
"This is one of the only two nationally ranked competitions ranked with the United States Equestrian Federation, the governing body for all of the horse sports in America," Worthington said.
And with the event taking place at the Florida Horse Park, riders are also eager to compete at a new location as well.
"In the equestrian world, when you travel as much as we do, you go to a lot of the same places every other weekend, so it's really neat to have a new place," said Danielle Appley.
Appley is a trainer at Ke'Aloha Equestrian Centre based in Odessa, Florida.
She said she is loving the event so far and hopes to attend again in the future.
"The staff has been more than accommodating, the jumps are beautiful the facilities are beautiful, so we hope that they do a lot more shows in the future because we will come back for sure," Appley said.
There will be two Grand Prix events, where riders can win up to 25,000 dollars.
Week one will continue until Sunday, the event will take a break and then will pick back up again next Wednesday for week two.
ORIGINAL STORY - The equestrian community in North-Central Florida received a major addition. Thursday marked the start of the inaugural 2020 "Florida Horse Park Winter Classic."
This brand new park includes something for riders and events in the area, including 500 acres of new grounds for agricultural, educational, and sporting events.
They said they're also excited to produce one of the only "A Rating" horse events added to the "US Equestrian Federations" calendar in over a decade here in the area.
The inauguration of the facility lasts until next Monday. It will feature the "Air Show Jumping Team" as part of the events. The Winter Classic runs until January 12th.
Events will take place Thursday through Sunday this week, and Wednesday to Sunday next week.