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  • Writer's pictureAcadia Acres

A Day in the Life of a WEC Ocala Competitor

Nestled in the heart of Ocala, Florida, the World Equestrian Center (WEC) stands as a premier destination for equestrian enthusiasts seeking a world-class experience.

This sprawling facility, encompassing state-of-the-art arenas, spacious stables, and meticulously maintained grounds, sets the stage for some of the most prestigious horse shows in the country. WEC was even selected to host a Longines League of Nations™ North American qualifier (one of just four worldwide).

Crown jewels of the repeating shows hosted at WEC include:

  • The 12-week annual Winter Spectacular Hunter/Jumper Circuit, a spectacular showcase attracting some of the premier barns in the country.

  • Weekly Grand Prix events, featuring CSI3*, CSI4*, and CSI5* competitions and Longines qualifying events.

  • The Premier Equitation Cup Championship, one of the most competitive mid-season junior equitation classes.

Not to be overshadowed, the dressage enthusiasts enjoy CDI3* and CDI4* competitions throughout the year, alongside the highly anticipated USDF Region 3 Championships.

WEC's commitment to excellence extends beyond disciplines, regularly hosting AQHA & NSBA Futurities, making it a diverse hub for equestrian excellence and a dream destination for competitors from all corners of the equestrian world.

Let’s take a look at a day in the life of a WEC horse show competitor!

Image of a person riding a horse at an equestrian center

6:00 AM: Our competitor wakes up at her cozy Airbnb in Ocala, Florida.

Acadia Acres is less than a mile from the showgrounds—no commute means she got to sleep in. She spent some quiet time drinking coffee, enjoying a view of the grounds, and checking the daily schedule, class entries and orders of go.

8:00AM: Breakfast at the Iconic Maple Street Biscuit Company.

This is perfect for a late day since it’s a bit of a drive downtown from the show. (Had it been an early class day, our competitor probably would’ve taken a dip into Starbucks at the General Store at WEC, or, for the true local experience, grabbed a breakfast burrito at one of the gas stations along route 40. Trust us, they’re delicious.)

9:30 AM: She arrives at the World Equestrian Center.

Since she’s showing, the horse is already at the facility. The WEC staff ensures that every horse is well-cared-for, going above and beyond to create a stress-free environment for both competitors and their four-legged companions. Our competitor goes to check on her horse.

11:00 AM: It’s pre-competition warm-up time!

The warm-up arena at WEC is surrounded by lush greenery and top-notch schooling rings. The atmosphere is electric with excitement as fellow competitors learn their course, exchange friendly banter and share track tips. One of the best parts of competing at WEC is running into your horse show friends from all over the country on the way to your ring or during your course walk.

1:00 PM: It’s finally time for her division!

Our competitor makes her way to the Grand Arena where her friends and family are watching from the Equestrian hotel. She nails her class, going double clear and fast on Classic Day!

5:00 PM: Taking the horse “home” for well-deserved turnout time.

Having completed her week at WEC, our competitor trailers her horse “home” to the Acadia Acres airbnb. Here, horses enjoy unbeatable turnout under beautiful live oaks for some well deserved R&R.

6:30 PM: Our competitor heads out for a night on the town.

There are several options right close by. The Beach is a local bar that gets busy after show days. It’s closer to HITS, one of the other show facilities, but it’s a local spot no competitor would want to miss. Horse and Hound is right up the street from the showgrounds though, so that’s where our competitor goes.

8:00 PM: It’s time to relax and unwind under the Ocala Fl stars.

The air is warm here even into the evening, perfect for a night spent relaxing on the porch. Our competitor thinks back on the day's excitement as she gazes unfocused over the serene landscape in the shadow of night. She can hear horses winnie in the distance.

In the world of horse shows, WEC in Ocala transcends the rest, offering competitors a stage where dreams take flight and victories become everlasting memories. WEC in Ocala is not just a destination; it's an immersive experience, a celebration of the equestrian spirit, and a testament to the enduring bonds forged in the pursuit of equestrian excellence.

Visit for the World Equestrian Center’s schedule. And if you have any questions about planning your visit, or want an insider’s scoop on the local scene, swing by Acadia Acres to learn more.


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