Ocala, FL – It’s Kentucky Derby weekend at World Equestrian Center – Ocala and we have a full lineup of fun family-friendly events in store including the Region XII Arabian and Half Arabian Championship, Festivals of Speed Auto Show, Kentucky Derby Hat Party and a viewing of the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby at the WEC Grand Arena.
Don’t miss the best two minutes in sports! From 5pm-7:30pm, we’re hosting the Kentucky Derby Hat Party on the terrace at The Equestrian Hotel. Pull out your best derby attire and catch all the action on our Jumbotrons as Thoroughbreds take to the track to race the iconic first leg of the Triple Crown.
The Hat Party features chef-attended action stations serving a fresh variety of small plates inspired by the Bluegrass state. Tickets include bar offerings including beer, wine, Mint Juleps and two other derby-day specialty cocktails (cash bar available with additional upgraded options.)
Tickets will include your choice of one derby hat OR a Woodford bourbon bottle per person (first-come, first-served). Visit https://www.showclix.com/event/2023-kentucky-derby-hat-party for additional detail or to purchase tickets.
Starting after 5pm, join us for the Kentucky Derby FREE viewing in the Grand Outdoor Arena. Watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby on the Jumbotrons. Come dressed in your derby best and dine with us at the many restaurants around the property or enjoy special offerings from the WEC food truck. Sip classic derby-day cocktails at the on-site cash bars. Bring the whole family and join us for this free event!
The 45th Annual Arabian/Half Arabian Championship Show will be held May 2-7, 2023 featuring 650 beautiful horses from around the country. Spectators enjoy vendors and watch the show in variety of different arenas including the CaptiveOne Advisors Arena 1, Arena 4, Arena 5 aned the WEC Grand Arena. Click here to view the schedule of events.
On May 5, 6 and 7 at 11am and 2pm visitors can experience Tail Tours, a special tour provided by Region 12 Arabian Horse Association, Inc. Visitors will be taken by tour guides around the barns to meet some of the gorgeous horses that are competing. Tail Tours begin in the Arena 1 lobby by the Tail Tour table. For more information, reach out to Laurie Salmi at email@example.com.
Come out to the WEC Grand Plaza on May 6 from 11am-3pm for the Festivals of Speed car show. Over 200 exotic, class and American muscle cars will be placed for display. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, McLaren and other will make for an incredible show. General admission tickets are $20. Tickets are online here.
WEC Spring Festival powered by Gary Yeomans Ford
May 13, 2023
Bring the family to the WEC Grand Plaza as we roll out an outdoor celebration of spring with live music, yard games, a kid’s zone and more at the WEC Spring Festival powered by Gary Yeomans Ford, formally known as WEC Blueberry Festival. Enjoy the freshest seasonal fare and shop at the artisanal farmer’s market with a wide-ranging assortment of handmade goods from local vendors. Register separately for the 8am Daisy Dash 5K Run and purchase tickets for the 9am pancake breakfast at the links below.
8am to 4pm | WEC Spring Festival Live music, local vendors, children’s activities. Free admission.
8am Start | Daisy Dash 5K Race Separate race registry required at runsignup.com
9am to 10:30am | Pancake Breakfast $20 per person (kids under 6 free with adult ticket); Pre-purchase online HERE.
If you are interested in being a vendor for this event please contact the exclusive event organizer, Kim Kent at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kentucky Derby Viewing Party
Starting after 5pm, join us for the Kentucky Derby FREE viewing in the Grand Outdoor Arena. Watch the 2023 Kentucky Derby unfold on the Jumbotrons. Come dressed in your derby best and dine with us at the many restaurants around the property or enjoy special offerings from the WEC food truck. Sip classic derby-day cocktails at the on-site cash bars. Bring the whole family and join us for this free event!
Passport to Germany
Journey with us to Germany by way of food and wine! Passport to Germany, the second event in our 2023 Wine Series presented by Wheels Up, will transport you across the sea in exploration of the flavors of German culture on Friday, June 16. Gather on the terrace from 6:30pm-9pm to explore German culture and taste over 100 selections from the country’s unique wine-making regions. Small plates, wine samples and live music provided throughout the evening. Visit www.showclix.com/event/2023-stirrups-wine-series-germany to secure your ticket for the event and view the full menu. Event is 21+
2023 Ocala Summer Series
Entries and stall reservations are now open for the 2023 Ocala Summer Series featuring nine-weeks of elite hunter/jumper competition sanctioned by US Equestrian (USEF) from June 13 through August 13, 2023. In appreciation for our exhibitors and acknowledgement of a successful winter circuit and current economic challenges, World Equestrian Center has waived stall deposits. Click here to place entries, reserve stalls and view the prize list.
2023 World Equestrian Center – Ocala Dressage
Top caliber dressage will return to World Equestrian Center – Ocala in 2023 when the venue hosts ten dressage competitions, presented by Hampton Green Farm and Discover Dressage. The schedule includes three Fédération Equestre International (FEI) internationally rated CDI3* shows and two CDI-W (World Cup Qualifying) shows with concurrent US Equestrian (USEF)/United States Dressage Federation-rated (USDF) classes as well as five additional nationally rated events (Pending USEF & FEI Approval). Click here for prize lists and more information.
World Equestrian Center – Ocala is now hosting Sunday Services with Chaplain Edwin in The Chapel. The Sunday Services are 20 minutes long and open to all. Attendees can park by Barns E & F. See the weekly Chapel Service schedule below.
7am – English
10am – English
11am – Spanish
6:30pm – English
What To Do
Visit all of the vendors at World Equestrian Center – Ocala to finish your holiday shopping and pick up that special something for that special someone. Find a gift for everyone on your list at our amazing retailers, listed below along with their locations:
The Equestrian Hotel:
- Lugano Diamonds
- The Debonair Collection
- Mr. Pickles & Sailor Bear Toy Shoppe
- Calluna Spa
CaptiveOne Advisors Arena – Arena 1:
- Ariat International
- Arista Equestrian
- Gordon Reiss Insurance
- Firm Water Road
- Walden Performance and Recovery
UF Health Arena – Arena 2:
- Stellina LLC/Romitelli Boots
- Haala Fashion LLC
- Farmhouse Chiropractic
- Hats Off Boutique
- Kelsey’s Rhinestones
- The Farm House, Inc.
- La Mundial Boots
- Rough Cut Boutique
- Exceptional Equestrian, Inc
- IDA Development, LLC
- I Love My Horse
- Basic Equine Health, LLC
- Everleigh Collection LLC
- Chi Rho Ranch
- The Farm House, Inc.
- Odette, LLC
- Sudden Impulse Boutique
- AGM Beyond Leather
- Exceptional Equestrian, Inc
- Grey Fox Designs
UF Veterinary Hospital at World Equestrian Center – Ocala
The UF Veterinary Hospital at WEC offers leading-edge care to equine athletes on site as well as horses from the surrounding area. We offer personalized service as well as a range of treatments and aids to ensure your horse performs at its best.
We offer ACVSMR performance evaluations and provide several rehabilitation modalities as well as state-of-the art diagnostic imaging. Our sports medicine specialists are supported by on-site board-certified veterinary radiologists with specialty certification in equine diagnostic imaging who provide real-time feedback on imaging and perform complicated imaging during your horse’s visit, ensuring that we provide the highest quality imaging for your horse. We offer standing CT scan, standing PET scan, standing MRI and high-powered X-ray equipment. To learn more about our offerings, visit hospitals.vetmed.ufl.edu/wec or contact us at (352) 414-3858 for information and appointments.
Hours of operation:
Small Animal Hospital
A Sudden Impulse Boutique
Stop by A Sudden Impulse Boutique for the latest and greatest World Equestrian Center branded merchandise. A Sudden Impulse is located in Arena 4, right behind Miss Tilly’s Lollipops. The boutique features a collection of jewelry, beautiful apparel and perfect gifts for your family and friends. A Sudden Impulse is also the exclusive shop for custom embroidery, engraving and printing at World Equestrian Center – Ocala.
Use code BLOG for 10% off online of purchases.
Visit A Sudden Impulse at WEC or purchase your items online at suddenimpulse.com.
Each week The Yellow Pony Pub & Garden located within The Equestrian Hotel hosts live entertainment from 6pm-9:30pm. Here is the entertainment lineup for this week:
Wednesday, May 3 | Halfway Hippie
Thursday, May 4 | Michelle Marie
Friday, May 5 | The Big Bad Duo
Saturday, May 6 | Ecliff Farrar
Day at the Spa
Spring Clean the Mind and Body
Head into spring with a fresh new look! For the month of April, receive 20% off all hair color services.
Rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit in our 7,000-square-foot, full-service Calluna Spa. Featuring multiple massage treatments, body wraps, facials, manicures, pedicures and a hair salon for men and women.
Monday – Saturday, 9am-7pm
Call 352.414.7862 to book your appointment or click here.
In Need of a Doctor Visit?
World Equestrian Center – Ocala would like to welcome LifeForce Healthcare, LLC as the facility’s personal on-call primary care service. LifeForce Healthcare will be available to the venue’s exhibitors, visitors, vendors and guests for on-call medical provider visits at and around the World Equestrian Center – Ocala facility. Call 352.873.3800 to book your on-call appointment today.
Where to Eat
Located Within The Equestrian Hotel:
Prime steaks and chops, sustainable Florida seafood and southern inspired seasonal specialties, served in a refined dining room and terrace overlooking the Grand Outdoor Arena.
Breakfast: Monday-Friday: 6:30am-11am | Saturday-Sunday: 6:30am-1pm
Dinner: Sunday-Thursday, 5pm-9pm | Friday-Saturday, 5pm-10pm
Yellow Pony Pub & Garden
Boasting an outdoor patio and fireplace, this lobby gastro lounge offers shareable starters, pub fare, traditional draft beers, bourbons and whiskeys.
Sunday-Thursday, 11am-12am | Friday-Saturday, 11am-1am
A blissful, freshly baked array of authentic French macarons and European-inspired pastries are served within an ambiance of old-world elegance at this very special shop located within the Equestrian Hotel.
Open daily: 6am-8pm
Restaurants throughout the facility:
Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria
Design your own salad or pasta masterpiece with an assortment of delicious meats and toppings. Viola & Dot’s features pizzas and calzones crafted with homemade dough, classic Italian entrees and decadent sweet desserts.
Tuesday – Sunday | 11am-8pm
Ralph’s Burger & Sandwich Shop
A classic, diner-inspired menu with a few contemporary upgrades! Ralph’s invites you to enjoy signature burgers, salads and sandwiches topped off with a homemade milkshake. Open for lunch and dinner, start your day with a breakfast sandwich or enjoy an evening slice of pie.
Breakfast 6am-11am | Lunch/Dinner 11am-8pm
Closed Mondays & Tuesdays
Breakfast 6:30am-11am | Lunch/Dinner 11am-7pm
Miss Tilly’s Lollipops
Indulging is strongly encouraged at this unique sweet shop where specialty ice cream flavors and homemade fudge are the stars. With an array of chocolates, confections and coffees, Miss Tilly’s is the perfect place for a tasty treat.
Wednesday-Sunday | 11am – 8pm
Closed Monday & Tuesdays
Filo’s Mexican Cantina
Traditional Mexican flavors coupled with custom-made convenience. Filo’s serves up street tacos, burritos, quesadillas and much more in a vibrant dining room and open-air patio.
Open Daily | 11am-8pm