OTOW residents take horse farm tour

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By Mike Roppel
The H&R department scheduled a horse farm bus trip for OTOW residents for Feb. 28.
The OTOW bus was filled quickly with one seat reserved for the tour guide Karen Grimes from Farm Tours of Ocala (http://www.farmtoursofocala.com/). The residents’ first stop was at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owner’s Association horse museum on SW 60th Avenue next to OBS. Many horse items were on display and Karen gave the visitors a lot of information about the contents. A red racing silk worn by Jockey Dave Erb was one of the first items to be seen. Trophies from different races were on display also.
Another stop was at Hennesy Arabian Farm to see several horses.
Journeyman Stud on Northwest 100th Street in Ocala was the next stop but several horse farms were seen as we went down the road. Several stallions were seen but no live breeding was done. The Jockey club requires that their horses have to do live breeding, nothing artificial is allowed. Brent Ferung gave an interesting tour.
The last stop on the tour was to HITS http://www.hitsshows.com/ to walk around the venue and have a very large buffet lunch of fish, chicken, salads and fresh fruit in the heated VIP tent while watching horses practice and crews setting up another ring. HITS is an annual stop on the schedule for many horses, some of which are flown in by private jet from across the country. There was also a vendors’ area with horse items.
Many thanks to Karen Grimes, the guide and the OTOW bus driver who assisted anyone with mobility problems as there were some mud puddles to navigate without getting your feet wet and dirty. Karen walked us back a different way to avoid the muddy puddles.