OHA In The Media
These articles highlight how the Ocala Horse Alliance has had an impact in the Ocala community through various channels.
The Appleton Museum of Art’s equine art collection spans more than 3,000 years of history from around the world. Just as Ocala is genuinely heralded and officially designated as the Horse Capital of the World, horses and equine art are part of the College of Central Florida museum’s ancestral and historical roots.
It’s hard to believe how quickly two decades have galloped by since 2001’s Horse Fever public art project leapt onto the local art scene. Spearheaded by the Marion Cultural Alliance, with assistance from the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ & Owners’ Association, the large, colorful herd of more than 50 horse sculptures came to life and populated downtown and the surrounding area, including one at the Appleton: Journey, by artist Brenda Flynn. As success breeds success, Horse Fever is returning to Ocala in testament of the area’s lifeblood.
Arthur I. Appleton (1915-2008) and his wife Martha Appleton (née O’Driscoll, 1922-1998), bought their rambling Ocala property in the 1970s and established the 1,600-acre Bridlewood Farm (1976) as a premiere thoroughbred breeding and training facility that successfully continues today under new ownership. Since the Appleton Museum of Art opened just 11 years later, it is easy to recognize and highlight how horses and equine art became pillars of the institution.
Ranging from Eurasian Steppe Bronze Age horse-bridle bits to eighth century Chinese mortuary tomb sculptures to 19th century European oil paintings to contemporary photography and sculptures, the museum’s equine art collections are particularly notable for the breadth of historical materials and varied media.
Horses are indeed fascinating and awe inspiring. We frequently field such questions as: What is the history of the domestication of the horse for agricultural needs? What roles do horses play in military and police maneuvers? Or, simply, how did horses come to be so important that September’s fan-less Kentucky Derby track was impacted by COVID-19 in such a way that the Nasdaq-traded Churchill Downs Inc. investment strategies also were influenced?
As a community, our love of and interest in horses is championed by many vital organizations and encompasses the promotion of our equine population in many forms, including various art forms. Recently, the horse industry welcomed a new collaborative partnership, the Ocala Horse Alliance, a group focused on the collective needs and possibilities ever present in the equine industry.
As the Appleton Museum of Art’s director, I am so lucky to have unbridled access to rare museum artifacts that document the wide range of human-horse relationships—riding, hunting, racing and farming, to name just a few. Equine art is art for all as it is accessible to everyone given the long tenure of our horse-human relationship. The Appleton family entrusted an internationally renowned collection to the Appleton Museum team to steward. I look forward to welcoming you back soon into the Appleton fold to enjoy the collections, especially our exhibition from the permanent collection showcasing equine-centric art and objects.
Visit www.appletonmuseum.org for more information and online offerings. Appleton Museum of Art, 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., (352) 291-4455.
The mission of the Ocala Horse Alliance is to unify the diverse equine industry and stakeholders in order to champion a unified voice and to design and implement a pro-active agenda to promote, educate and grow the horse industry in Marion County (Ocala, FL).
hHorse Alliance ponies up for those in need
The smallest ripple can reach the deepest oceans.
It was an idea of Ellie Trueman, the founder of the Ocala Horse Alliance, that would be the difference in helping to transform the lives of horse owners throughout Marion County this spring and summer. The Horse Alliance’s Emergency Feed Fund program kept horses nourished and healthy during a time when well-being became a cardinal concern.
“Ellie came up with the idea, and presented it before the executive committee and we said let’s do it,” said Ray Di Maria, Horse Alliance co-founder. “This was in April when COVID was raging. We were the only organization in Marion County that developed a program like this … a lot of people in town donated to the feed fund program. Many people wrote in, got qualified and received help from us.”
The effort was driven by the knowledge that Covid-19 was ravaging the horse industry, just as it was other sectors of the economy and community. Some area horse owners were furloughed or even lost their full-time jobs and faced the prospect of not being able to care adequately for their horses.
“A lot of horses got fed who were owned by people who were experiencing hard times because of Covid,” said Di Maria. “It was very successful. No other organization thought of this or did this in this county. It wasn’t the major farms that asked for vouchers. It was the backyard farms, places that weren’t a commercial venture, but for those owners it’s more of a passion. Whoever qualified for the grant was issued the grant.”
The Horse Alliance emphasizes education and bringing people together in the horse community together, but has focused much of its effort recently on those impacted by the epidemic.
“Those who were approved received a voucher, and when they were approved, they took that voucher to the store,” said Di Maria. The horse owners redeem the vouchers for hay and feed.
Horse Alliance leaders say the response from the community has been overwhelming.
“We were approached by the OHA to partner with them, by the OHA Emergency Feed Fund,” said Suzanne Donaldson, Berretini Feed Specialists. “We were happy to do that as being part of the Alliance. We have a lot of farms in the area that are customers. It kind of worked well. It was a supportive relationship on our end to help those farms that visit us routinely.”
But it was the rapid and direct response by the Horse Alliance that made a marked difference in the success of the program, said Donaldson.
“From the time they had it out on their website, the application process, they tried to meet a couple of times a week to go over these grants and the people that needed them,” said Donaldson. “A person could fill out an application online. They told them they would get back to them within 24 hours, once they met to approve those grants. The paperwork went immediately to us. We put the paperwork together and sent it to our stores. Someone could be granted money that day and go in and get hay and grain. What the OHA did … their timeframe was amazing.”
Many of the pleasure farms in the area are small and had to contend with the evolving environment, one of constant change, where horse owners in some instances had to contend with job loss, compromising their ability to support taking care of their animals.
“Those are the ones we saw the most of, the smaller farms,” said Donaldson, who said many of those in distress found out by word of mouth what the Horse Alliance as offering.
“It was very heartwarming for our staff to feel like they were doing something to help the community and the people they usually see,” said Donaldson.
The mission of the Ocala Horse Alliance is to unify the diverse equine industry and stakeholders in order to champion a unified voice and to design and implement a pro-active agenda to promote, educate and grow the horse industry in Marion County (Ocala, FL). The mission of Palm Equestrian Academy is to champion the partnership of horse and rider through education. The two have a connection in education and are a natural fit.
To foster relationships, the Ocala Horse Alliance organizes monthly connection events hosted by various organizations within Marion County. Saturday, November 14, Palm Equestrian Academy will host the Connection event from 1:00-5:00 at their Fox Grove Farm in Ocala. A full afternoon will allow horse enthusiasts to connect, meet and become members of the Alliance and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Palm Equestrian Academy.
This event will feature a welcome by Ocala Horse Alliance, demonstrations by Lynn Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon, farm tours and a special appearance by 2007 Breyerfest Celebration Horse, Rugged Painted Lark. Visitors can take photos and have autographs with this special horse and the Breyer model in his likeness. And they can even see a Musical Freestyle by Palm and Rugged Painted Lark.
To learn about Palm Equestrian Academy visit lynnpalm.com. To RSVP to the Ocala Horse Alliance event at Palm Equestrian Academy, use this link www.ocalahorsealliance.com/palm-equestrian-academy/.
About Lynn Palm
Palm’s career highlights include 2007 American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) Horsewoman of the Year, a record four AQHA Superhorse wins, AQHA Female Equestrian of the Year by the Women’s Athletic Association, named one of the top United States clinicians by Horse & Rider magazine, over 34 AQHA World and Reserve World Champions, 14 WDAA World and Reserve World Championships, over 50 bridleless dressage exhibitions at events including the National Horse Show, 1989 World Cup and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and World Cup. Palm and Cyril Pittion-Rossillon are co-founders of three horse industry companies: Palm Partnership Training, Women LUV Horses, and Alliance Saddlery USA. Palm is the author of the new release, The Rider’s Guide to Real Collection.
About Cyril Pittion-Rossillon
Pittion-Rossillon hails from Paris, France, where he earned his Riding Master Degree from the French National Equestrian School. With his extensive equine background and thirty years of experience, Cyril brings an ideal background to his instructor duties. His credentials include: Trained under members of French Olympic Team • French Junior Jumper Circuit • French Open Jumper Circuit (Levels 5 and 6) • Eventing Preliminary Division • AQHA & USEF Hunter Division • Youth & Amateur Coach for USEF & AHSA competition • Co-Director and Instructor Palm Partnership Training Clinics • Co-Founder and Managing Director of Alliance Saddlery
Letter Date: FEBRUARY 2020
Click picture to read a recent letter from Ocala mayor, Kent Guinn, spotlighting OHA’s importance.
MTRA Connections Event
Event Date: February 2020
Check out this video to learn more about the February 2020 Monthly Connections Event held at Marion Therapeutic Riding Association in Ocala, Florida.
Inaugural OHA Connections Meeting
The first OHA Monthly Connections meeting held at the Parelli Horse Psychology center was a great success! Here is a peek at a demo put on by Pat Parelli during the meeting.
Email the wonderful people behind the Ocala Horse Alliance.
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