News & Media Releases

To access a list of World Equestrian Center press releases, click here.

Media

On-Site at World
Equestrian Center

The World Equestrian Center welcomes journalists and members of the media to visit our facility. We have dedicated Media Centers at both of our venues to accommodate your remote working needs. Each of the Media Centers is equipped with comfortable workspaces, printers, Wi-Fi and refreshments during our events.

Please let us know you plan to visit so we can be sure to help secure your accommodations, arrange any interviews you might need and make your visit successful.

Media Contacts

Press Officer:
Candace FitzGerald
603-738-2788 or contact candace.fitzgerald@wec.net

Official Photographer:
Andrew Ryback Photography
224-318-5445
info@andrewryback.com

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Wilmington aerial

WEC Facts and Stats

WEC Background and History

The World Equestrian Center is part of a family legacy that has its origins in top Quarter Horse breeding and competition. With a rich history in Ohio as the ‘Showplace of the Midwest’, Roberts Arena hosted decades of top AQHA competitions and events. Over the years, the Roberts family became known in the Quarter Horse industry as well-respected breeders, competitors and event hosts.

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In 2015, a significant investment was made in the Ohio facility infrastructure with new indoor arenas and stabling; horse show dates were procured and the facility shifted its focus to hunter/jumpers. In 2016, Roberts Area was officially rebranded as the World Equestrian Center.

The World Equestrian Center brand debuted with a distinct logo that celebrated a love for the horse and a passion for equestrian sports. The World Equestrian Center facility aesthetic was bright, clean and well managed with an emphasis on customer service. The first competitions were run at sold-out capacity with a refreshing emphasis on great sport in a safe, fun, family-friendly environment.

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Since their introduction, the World Equestrian Center brand horse shows have experienced steady growth. The World Equestrian Center Ohio hosts 44 events each year drawing nearly 70,000 people to the facility annually.

In late 2016, World Equestrian Center announced the development of a second, much larger facility in Ocala, Florida.

The World Equestrian Center Ocala facility will be the largest indoor/outdoor equestrian facility in the world when it opens in January 2021 with a 12-week winter hunter/jumper circuit.

Ocala, Florida

  • 300 acres with an additional 2,000 set aside for expansion
  • Multidisciplinary facility
  • 22 outdoor rings and 4 indoor arenas, custom blended GGT footing
  • 4 indoor ‘flex space’ arenas for non equestrian events
  • Over 2,000 stalls in air conditioned barns
  • More than 200 turn out paddocks
  • Miles of hiking trails
  • Cross country course designed by Captain Mark Phillips
  • Polo fields
  • 3,000+ mature trees planted, acres of dedicated green space
  • Hotel overlooking Grand  Outdoor Arena
  • 7 restaurants
  • Luxury shopping
  • 12-week winter circuit featuring top Hunter/Jumper competition

 

Wilmington, Ohio

  • 200 acres
  • Multidisciplinary facility
  • 200,000 sq. ft. of indoor riding space
  • Stabling for 800 horses
  • Dedicated schooling, warm-up and lunging rings
  • Large grass paddocks
  • 7 indoor arenas, custom blended GGT footing
  • Outdoor show complex with 5 rings
  • 2 on-site restaurants
  • Vendor Village upscale shopping experience
  • Fitness Center
  • Dark Horse Coffee Co. featuring Starbucks with ride through service
  • 32 Hunter/Jumper horse shows per year
  • 12 AQHA, Breed and Association events
  • Championships, Clinics and special events
Andrew Ryback

Equestrian Sport Information

Equestrian is the only sport where men and women compete equally.

Equestrianism debuted at the 1900 summer Olympics in Paris, France, and has appeared in every Olympics since 1912. Today there are three equestrian events in the Olympics: Dressage, Eventing and Jumping. Each discipline has both individual and team competitions during the Olympic games.

Governing Bodies

Like other organized sports, equestrian sports have associations, organizations and governing bodies at the state, regional, national and international levels.

  • Founded in 1921, the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) is the world governing body for Jumping, Dressage and Para Dressage, Eventing, Driving and Para Driving, Endurance, Vaulting and Reining. The FEI’s mission is to drive and develop equestrian sport globally in a modern, sustainable and structured manner with guaranteed integrity, athlete welfare, equal opportunity and a fair and ethical partnership with the horse. It establishes the regulations and approves equestrian schedules for Championships, Continental and Regional Games as well as the Olympic & Paralympic Games.
  • The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) is our national governing body for equestrian sports. Founded in 1917 the USEF is dedicated to uniting the equestrian community, honoring achievement, and serving as guardians of equestrian sport. Since its inception in 1917, US Equestrian has been dedicated to pursuing excellence and promoting growth, all while providing and maintaining a safe and level playing field for both its equine and human athletes.
  • Each equestrian breed and discipline has their own organization, for example the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and the United States Dressage Federation (USDF).

Media Resources

Horses: Economic Impact in the U.S.

  • According to the American Horse Council’s 2018 Economic Impact Study, the equine industry contributes approximately $50 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy, and has a direct employment impact of 988,394 jobs.
  • Additionally, the industry itself contributes $38 billion in direct wages, salaries, and benefits. From those direct effects, the horse industry’s contribution ripples out into other sectors of the economy. Adding these ripple effects results in an estimate of the total contribution of the horse industry to the U.S. economy of $122 billion, and a total employment impact of 1.7 million jobs.

Estimated number of horses in the U.S.

7.2 million

Estimated number of horses by activity

Recreation : 3,141,449
Showing : 1,227,986
Racing : 1,224,482
Working : 537,261

2019 USEF Member Demographic Profile

  • 85% Female
  • Average age: 39
  • 66% have a college degree
  • Average income of $185,000
  • Average net worth of $955,000
  • Own an average of four horses
  • Compete at least six times per year
  • Average home value is $600,000
  • 22% own two or more homes
  • Own three vehicles
  • 40% own a farm; 66% of those are 10 acres or more

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Visiting World Equestrian Center

Learn more about visiting both World Equestrian Center Wilmington, Ohio and Ocala, Florida.

News

World Equestrian Center — Ocala Releases Call for Vendors

Ocala, Florida – December 4, 2020 – Vendors interested in partnering with World Equestrian Center — Ocala for its inaugural winter show season may apply now to be a part of the superior shopping experience that will be offered for all exhibitors and guests starting in January 2021. With more than 100,000 square feet of retail space at its new facility, World Equestrian Center — […]

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