Updated: May 4
Show Time: Things We Do When We’re Not Horsin' Around
Going out of town to horse shows is a major part of the Eden Farm experience. It gives our students a chance to learn and grow both in the show ring and in the real world. Once we’re done with the competition, we relax and enjoy one another at some of our favorite places on our show circuit.
Bob Thomas Equestrian Center at the Florida State Fairgrounds
4800 N US Highway 301 Tampa FL 33610 813-627-4217 Equestrian Center - Florida State Fair
With multiple rings, covered arenas, and five concrete barns, this classic Florida show venue has it all. It’s a quick drive from the Ocala area, has easy access off I-75, and makes forays into the surrounding vibrant Tampa Bay area lots of fun.
Residence Inn 9719 Princess Palm Avenue, Tampa, FL 33619 (813) 627-8855 A Marriott offering, this hotel gives us clean, convenient rooms, and great access to the show grounds. The rooms are all suites, which gives us kitchens for having snacks or rewarming a doggy bag from a previous meal. We love staying here!
10165 N McKinley Drive
Tampa, FL 33612
This attraction hardly needs an introduction! A world-renowned animal park, it offers animal safaris, wildlife encounters, and, of course, those awesome roller coasters! Rides range from water flumes, traditional and modern roller coasters, and a more low-key, on-the-ground train ride through the Serengeti Park.
Westfield Brandon/Towne Center of Brandon
459 Brandon Town Center
Brandon FL 33511
A great shopping mall that has evolved with the times. It has lots of goodies to choose from, restaurants, and entertainment. Just one exit down from the show grounds, this is a fun and easy side trip for us.
Fox Lea Farm
800 North Auburn Road
Venice, FL 34292
Note: follow the website’s directions if you’re hauling a horse trailer. You want to avoid the new roundabout!
Established in 1983, Fox Lea Farm is a privately owned, nationally recognized horse show facility located in Venice, Florida. Fox Lea Farm hosts various types of horse shows that attract competitors from all over the country and internationally, and is just minutes from some of the best beaches in the country. Their first show was held in November 1985, and that was the beginning of its now nationally-recognized “Grass Roots to Grand Prix” National series of Hunter/Jumper horse shows. Over $1,000,000 in prizes and money are awarded each year.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott 2935 Executive Drive
Venice, FL 34292
NEWLY RENOVATED! Treat yourself to a rare blend of style and substance at the newly renovated Fairfield Inn & Suites Venice. Featuring an outstanding location just off I-75 in Venice, comfortable, fashionably appointed guest rooms and a variety of useful amenities.
Ramada Inn or an Airbnb
425 US 41 Bypass North
Venice FL 34285
The Ramada is more of an “in town” hotel and has lovely amenities for a restful stay. With its palm trees and outdoor pool areas, this hotel feels nicely “beachy”. (If the Ramada is booked, we’ll sometimes reserve an Airbnb setup instead.)
The beach! Just fifteen minutes from the show grounds, we can relax in the surf and sand, soak our muscles in the warm Gulf waters, and build sand castles.
Evolved from a fish dock that once sold wholesale catch, in 2001, Pop’s Tropigrille and Urbanek’s Fish Market merged into one restaurant known as Pop’s Sunset Grill, keeping the favorite menu items of both. The waterside dining has focused on maintaining the Old Florida charm while updating and enhancing the property. We love their appetizers, seafood options, and raw bar.
Cassariano Italian Eatery
Serving delectable contemporary Italian cuisine, Cassariano’s is a treat for us when we show in Venice. The owners were born and raised in Italy, and their genuine recipes and stellar food have us coming back every time! We love to eat outside here.
Palm Beach International Equestrian Center
14440 Pierson Road Wellington FL 33414 561-793-5867
This show venue in Wellington is another world-class equine destination. From dressage and hunter/jumper championships to equitation and other flat classes, this show site has it all.
2155 Wellington Green Drive
Wellington FL 33414
Convenient, clean, and with solid amenities, we stay here when showing in Wellington. It’s a five-minute drive to the show grounds, so we love this hotel for its pool, its nice rooms, and onsite meal choices.
Oli's Fashion Cuisine www.olisfashioncuisine.com 10610 Forest Hill Blvd, #20 Wellington FL 33414 561-792-2220 For elegant dinners when we really want to treat ourselves, you can’t beat Oli’s. With lunch and dinner options too, Oli’s has plenty of outdoor covered seating. Dining at night offers charming lighted décor for the evening time. From tacos to salads, daily specials, and great seafood options, Oli’s is a lovely meal in charming surroundings, with great service.
BurgerFi 12836 Forest Hill Blvd Wellington FL 33414 561-612-7853 For our rumbling stomachs after a long day at the show, we chow down at burgerfi. Gourmet burgers are their specialty, and they even have a unique “Breakfast All Day Burger” that includes beef, bacon, cheese, a fried egg, hash browns, grilled onions, all smothered in, yes, really—maple syrup! With chicken and veggie burger options too, there are lots of choices to make at this fun place.
This is another show venue with great beach options. Or we’ll take an ambling trail ride through the beautiful walkways behind the showgrounds. It’s a nice way to enjoy the horses, give them some enrichment and a break from work, and enjoy ourselves in this tropical paradise for horse lovers.
Kentucky Horse Park
4089 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington KY 40511
This is another world-renowned show venue, with over 2,000 acres of horse-y attractions, including breed shows daily, the draft horse barn tours, and retired Thoroughbreds like Da Hoss and Funny Cide. There’s a lot to do right on the grounds! During the bigger shows, the Vendor Village is the best shopping for gifts, all things horse and pony and great accessories, artwork and more.
We generally chose an Air Bnb option when traveling to the other “Horse Capital of the World”. (Lexington, along with Ocala, is one of four cities worldwide that claim that title). We love to stay downtown and enjoy walking to dinner near UK for tacos. We also love Corto Lima and Carsons for dinner. We usually stop at Crank & Boom Ice Cream Lounge for delicious home made gourmet ice cream.
This premiere Thoroughbred racetrack has given flat racing fans decades of thrills. We visit and take a behind-the-scenes tour to show our student riders the various options among horse sports. Since many retired Thoroughbreds often become hunter/jumpers later in life, it’s interesting for our students to see these young horses working in a different career.