Southern Agenda

Hoofbeat Hotel

True to its name, Ocala’s elegant Equestrian Hotel wears its horsey ethos on its sleeve: Sporting art fills the corridors and grand twenty-foot-ceilinged lobby, staff wear Ralph Lauren, and do-not-disturb placards for the 248 rooms read, RIDERS AT REST. (Not to mention the conspicuous number of riding breeches in the queue for lattes and croissants at the patisserie each morning.) The equine vibe goes way beyond decor at the sprawling 380-acre World Equestrian Center that surrounds the hotel—the largest equestrian complex in the United States. With five indoor arenas, nineteen outdoor rings, and stables housing more than 2,800 stalls, the WEC hosts frequent competitions that draw riders from all over, such as the 2023 Winter Spectacular Show Series (through March 26). Spectators (whether staying at the property or not) can grab a free seat in the hotel-side Grand Arena—or splurge on a VIP table: ringside seats paired with a three-course dinner.,