Noted Marion County horse farms hit the market
15 Apr, 2019 - Tranzon Driggers
Ocala Jockey Club owners seek partner or buyer, while the foreclosed BG Ocala Ranch goes to auction.
By Carlos E. Medina
A couple of high-profile farms hit the real estate market recently.
One is the Ocala Jockey Club
, home of the Ocala Jockey Club International Three-day Event, a high-level eventing competition held annually in November.
The other is BG Ocala Ranch
, once owned by Bobby Genovese
, a Canadian-born venture capitalist currently facing Securities and Exchange Commission charges of fraud for allegedly manipulating trading of a purported mining company to the tune of $17 million. Genovese denies any wrongdoing. The case is ongoing in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Ocala Jockey Club
The Ocala Jockey Club, 8720 W. County Road 318, is a nearly 1,000-acre property with a rich history. A well-regarded restaurant once operated out of the clubhouse, which sits on a high point of the property. There were plans for a residential equestrian community but they fell through, leaving a few townhomes completed.
In 2016, owners Erik and Paula Nygaard established a premiere eventing course and competition that draws some of the best eventers to the area for the three-day competition, which features dressage, show jumping and cross-country jumping. The Nygaards also continue to operate a thoroughbred training facility on property.
Now, they are looking for a partner or a buyer.
“The eventing community and the Ocala community have grown to depend on this event to continue, and we believe this is important to facilitate,” Paula Nygaard wrote recently. “In order to do so, the event and the property deserves to look to upgrades and a larger team than we are able to commit on our own for the long term. This is why we believe that the property and the event will have an opportunity to be stronger with either strategic partners or with a new buyer who will be able to take the property further and faster than we are able to do on our own.”
They established a Facebook page named Florida Estate to help market the property.
The farm’s equestrian facilities use about 400 acres of the property. Another 600 acres remain undeveloped “parkland.”
The Nygaards want to keep the property equestrian-centered.
“We welcome proposals from well-capitalized operating partners with experience in resort development or boutique hotel development, as well as restaurateurs or equestrian competition organizers/developers. Developers wishing to build McMansions on dense-packed lots are not welcome here,” the Facebook offer states.
The property includes at least seven barns, a training track, a 5,600-square-foot clubhouse and 15 townhouses.
The Nygaards spent more than $11.3 million assembling the property since 2005, according to property records. There is no sale price listed.
BG Ocala Ranch
Before Genovese paid $2.8 million for the 86.6-acre property at 11800 S. County Road 475 in 2011, it was the home of Ocala Foxtrotter Ranch, which featured water slides and a private railroad. The property was part of the 270-acre Sez Who thoroughbred breeding and training farm established by Richard Simon.
After the 2008 financial collapse, the property fell into foreclosure before Genovese took it over. But foreclosure struck the property again when Genovese defaulted on a $3 million loan made by Iberiabank in 2015, according to records on file with the Marion County clerk of court.
The property is up for auction with bidding starting on May 6 at 9 a.m. and ending on May 15 at 1 p.m. The farm is adjacent to the Florida Agriculture Center and Horse Park. Tranzon Driggers is running the auction, and details are available at tranzon.com/DG1112
The property features an equestrian center with three barns, a large covered arena, an outdoor lighted arena, a polo field and access to riding trails. There are a number of buildings on property, including an eight-bedroom, nearly 10,000-square-foot main house, a three-bedroom house and six mobile homes. There was no starting bid announced, but prospective bidders must put down a $50,000 deposit to participate in the auction.