Host Your Next Meeting at World Equestrian Center in Ocala
The largest equestrian complex in the United States is nestled in the Horse Capital of the World in Ocala, Florida. World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s top-class facility, which features indoor and outdoor arenas equipped with state-of-the-art amenities, accommodates more than just equestrian sport. All styles of premier events are welcomed to the pristine grounds of this world-class, one-of-a-kind resort complex.
Not everyone knows much about equestrian sport, but they may want to learn this: World Equestrian Center – Ocala is unlike any other meeting facility in the world. Newly built in 2020, we are a team and a property that’s guided by the core principles of quality, class and distinction. This commitment to excellence positions WEC – Ocala as an exquisite event and exhibition host.
The 378-acre property is not just a place for equestrian sport spectators. With 16 outdoor rings, a stunning open-air stadium, hotel-adjacent Grand Outdoor Arena, five climate-controlled indoor arenas and two expansive exposition centers, WEC – Ocala is already a home for spectators.
Nestled amongst the sprawling sapphire fields of grass, and underneath its towering trees dressed in Spanish moss are facilities and amenities primed to host meetings and convention programs with substance, style and size, as well as service. WEC – Ocala has a dedicated team of professionals who ensure the needs of each group are met and account for every detail throughout the planning and execution of on-site events.
With its central location, under two hours from either coast, WEC – Ocala is easily reached and enjoys flexibility in available travel options. Ocala International Airport is just down the road from the resort, but visitors can take advantage of airports conveniently located in Gainesville (40 miles away), Orlando and Tampa (both 90 miles) and Jacksonville (110 miles).
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Indoor and Outdoor Event Space
Visiting convention attendees will feel excitement in the air at WEC – Ocala, whether their event is hosted in the property’s centerpiece Grand Arena or one of the many other flexible, multi-purpose spaces throughout the property. The two column-free exposition centers each provide more than 132,300 square feet of contiguous event space. The serious sprawl of floorspace means the property can allow for nearly any event configuration.
World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s exposition centers provide state-of-the-art and flexible trade show possibilities for an almost limitless variety of industries. In the past, we have successfully hosted car shows and auctions, pop culture conventions like anime and Comic-Con, home shows, recreation expos, robotics competitions, volleyball tournaments and much more. Each exposition center offers extensive indoor space accessed via dedicated dock slips and multiple 16- and 20-foot freight doors for ease of move in. Additional conveniences include up to 50’-foot ceilings, on-site parking, ample restrooms in each building, built-in concession stands, audiovisual services, high-speed Wi-Fi, a full-time security staff, programmable lighting and oversized LED walls with streaming and broadcasting capabilities.
The WEC Grand Arena sets the scale as the centerpiece of large-scale shows, and can be used for signature events and entertainment with built-in, stadium-style seating and a three-tiered VIP terrace connecting to The Equestrian Hotel. Bring your featured event, from keynote speakers to five-course al fresco dinners, and make memories at this picturesque locale.
Nearby, the open-air World Equestrian Center Stadium, which has covered grandstand seating on two sides for up to 7,000 spectators, serves as a venue for concerts and large-scale events, thanks to its state-of-the-art sound system and two massive LED walls, each covering 30-by-60 feet. Meeting and event professionals can also make use of various fields for outdoor events and receptions, including the on-site chapel’s idyllic, oak-canopy garden with room for upwards of 100 guests.
Organizers and meeting planners can expect the best in every aspect of their event, including the catering options from World Equestrian Center – Ocala’s expert culinary team. Select a perfectly-tailored package from the 38-page catering menu, ranging from buffets with sumptuous action stations to elegant, multicourse meals where attendees can sit and enjoy the atmosphere. Make your meet-and-greets memorable with special signature cocktails and mocktails, or work with the facility’s Master Sommelier to find suitable selections for the occasion. A world-renowned pastry team can also provide delicious custom cakes to any specification you desire.View the Convention Venue Photo Gallery
Accommodations and Amenities
Event attendees can lodge in style, and within budget, by staying at our variety of overnight accommodations. The Equestrian Hotel’s 248 stylishly-appointed rooms and suites offer stunning views of the Grand Arena below. The impeccable design showcases custom furniture, fine European linens, marble-clad bathrooms and velvet draperies that make every overnight guest feel like royalty. There’s also a dry bar area featuring a SubZero™ stainless steel refrigerator and beverage center—so no meeting attendee will have trouble storing delectable selections from the hotel’s impressive restaurants or in-room dining program.
For those group members looking to elevate their experience, The Equestrian has several suite options that provide additional space to relax and enjoy. The Vice-Presidential and Presidential Suites feature the utmost in luxury, including clawfoot bathtubs and walk-out balconies with prime property views, and respectively offer 1,200 and 2,200 square feet of private space.
Guests looking for extended stay options will enjoy the three-bed, two-bath, pet-friendly Home Away from Home rental units, just a short, five-minute drive from the heart of the complex. The nearly 300-slip, fully-equipped RV park may also be of interest to meeting guests traveling with their own motor coach. Guests can find every convenience on-site, including over 30 retail vendors, seven different dining options, a general store, gas station and plenty of recreation, entertainment and events.
For many attendees, the Calluna Spa will take top billing after an action-packed meeting. At the spa, visitors are encouraged to truly succumb to relaxation. Try out one of many rejuvenating services, like the Calluna Signature Massage, which includes warm stones and aromatherapy, or the Milk & Honey Nourishing Wrap, after which skin will be glowing. In addition to skin care, body treatments and massage journeys, the menu includes full hair care and salon services. Attendees who prefer more strength training to spa-going will be glad to know there’s also a full-service fitness center within the hotel. For the full Florida experience, guests can swim and soak in the sunshine at The Equestrian’s Horse to Water Pool and Bar while lounging next to the hotel’s outdoor zero-entry pool and splash pad.
On-Site Food and Beverage
No one will want for a tasty meal at WEC – Ocala. There are seven unique places to grab a bite to eat right on property, in addition to in-room dining that serves guests morning through evening.
Stirrups, our southern-inspired, fine-dining steakhouse is the largest restaurant on-site and is located within The Equestrian Hotel. Quickly becoming one of Ocala’s top fine-dining restaurants, Stirrups serves seasonal specialties and prime steaks, along with sumptuous sips from its sommelier-curated, 1,500-bottle wine cellar. Guests can choose to dine inside in the sophisticated and elegant ambiance, on the outdoor terrace overlooking the Grand Arena, or in the luxurious, private dining room that can accommodate up to ten guests.
Another popular property option is the Yellow Pony, a casual gastro pub and bar located on The Equestrian Hotel’s first floor. Sporting a fun equestrian-inspired design—complete with real saddle bar stools—Yellow Pony is a local hotspot known for its rare bourbons and lively patio scene. Visitors with a sweet tooth will enjoy The Equestrian’s patisserie, Emma’s, which serves authentically French pastries and coffee alongside decadent confections and a fresh grab ‘n go case.
The quick-serve outlets around the property have a variety of options that satisfy no matter the craving. Filo’s Mexican Cantina is a spirited spot for tacos and has an open-air patio for outdoor dining. Ralph’s Burger & Sandwich shop dishes up classic American fare, including milkshakes and pie, while Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen is the happening spot for pizza, pasta and build-your-own salads. Don’t miss the whimsical Miss Tilly’s Lollipops right off the Grand Plaza for unique desserts and ice cream.
At WEC – Ocala, there’s plenty to do in between meetings—especially for attendees who want to engage in a little retail therapy. A shopping experience worth making time for, there are several luxury retailers, including: Lugano Diamonds; The Debonair Collection, a treasure trove of rare and worldly-inspired selections; A Sudden Impulse, the headquarters for all WEC-branded merchandise and custom embroidery, engraving and printing services; and Mr. Pickles & Sailor Bear Toy Shoppe, with its supremely edited playtime collection. There are also several shops specializing in the love of all things equestrian, including fine Italian leather riding boots that even non-riders adore.
The things for attendees to see and do during downtime are abundant in Marion County. Ocala and its surrounding area abound with epicenters of activity and appealing attractions. Outdoors enthusiasts can explore the stunning surroundings of Ocala National Forest, which has hiking trails for a walk or run in the woods. Visitors can mountain bike at the Santos Trailhead, which features more than 80 miles of diverse bike trails (all skill levels welcome). Another unique outdoor activity is a glass-bottom boat ride or kayak loop trail along the crystal clear waters at Silver Springs State Park. History buffs can step back in time and learn about the area’s role in the Seminole War with a visit to the Fort King National Historic Landmark.
Lovers of the arts will enjoy Ocala—especially after visiting Appleton Museum of Art, which boasts a more than 24,000-piece collection, as well as an outdoor sculpture walk and garden. The museum is part of the Appleton Cultural Center, which also includes the Ocala Civic Theatre, a performing arts venue that has been putting on shows for more than 70 years. The city is also home to the Brick City Center for the Arts, which produces rotating exhibits showcasing work from local artists.
Don’t miss the opportunity to explore World Equestrian Center — Ocala. Submit an RFP to connect with a member of our sales team.