11 of the Top Equestrian Centers in the US

11 of the Top Equestrian Centers in the US

An equestrian center is a mecca for horse enthusiasts who come to compete in shows, train, or just enjoy watching the events. Equestrian centers are known for hosting beginner to Grand Prix-level horse shows in many disciplines, including dressage, show jumping, and hunting. Many facilities also offer training, breeding, social event venues, and family-friendly attractions in addition to the competitions. If you’re looking for a venue to host a horse show or social event, a place to receive professional training, or the best equestrian city to move to, our list of the best equestrian centers and towns to live in covers all of the above. 

11 of the Best Equestrian Centers

Some of the best equestrian centers are recognized for hosting spectacular international competitions, while others are renowned training centers known for producing world-class equestrian athletes. Several equestrian facilities in the list have earned the status of Elite Training Centers by US Equestrian (USEF) to train international-level U.S. teams and athletes. 

1. World Equestrian Center (Ocala, FL | Wilmington, OH)

World Equestrian Center Florida main entrance
World Equestrian Center, Ocala, FL (main entrance)

The World Equestrian Center (WEC) in Ocala, Florida is the largest equestrian complex in the U.S. Another smaller but equally as grand World Equestrian Center is located in Wilmington, Ohio. Both centers are characterized by three core principles: Quality, Class, and Distinction. Show jumping Olympian Santiago Lambre described the WEC as “the best facility in the world.” Ocala and Wilmington centers have multiple indoor and outdoor arenas where they host Grand Prix events and hundreds of acres of horse trails, stables, shopping, dining, spas, and numerous amenities for riders and their families. 

On your visit to the World Equestrian Center, stop by The Farm House Tack to see us! Our store is located at Arena 4 of the North West Courtyard Tuesday–Sunday. 

Farm House Tack store at Florida World Equestrian Center
Farm House Tack at World Equestrian Center, FL

2. Tryon International Equestrian Center (Tyron, NC)

Show ring at Tryon International Equestrian Center
Tryon International Equestrian Center

The Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC) has a rich history of shows that began in the 1930s and continue today. In 1956, the center hosted the US Olympic show jumping team and equestrian stars like Gordon Wright and George Morris. In more recent history, TIEC hosted the 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games and also holds the nationally sanctioned Tryon Block House Steeplechase on the first Saturday of every May. TIEC offers free admission to “Saturday Night Lights” Grand Prix show jumping events with fun for the whole family, including dining, shopping, and a Venetian carousel. The 14,000-acre TIEC campus also includes over 1,000 stalls, multiple arenas, a resort, and log cabin accommodations. 

Come and visit The Farm House at the Tryon International Equestrian Center, Wednesday–Sunday at Cabin 9 & 10A Facing Tryon Stadium. Or, you can stop by our headquarters in Landrum, just a short drive from the TIEC. We’d love to meet you!

Farm House Tack store at Tryon International Equestrian Center
Farm House Tack shop at the Tryon International Equestrian Center

3. Hamilton Farm (Gladstone, NJ)

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

Hamilton Farm Equestrian Center
Hamilton Farm // Photo credit: Verdini Studios

Hamilton Farm, often referred to as Gladstone, is the historic home of the USET Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the US Equestrian Federation, which supports the training, competition, coaching, and educational needs of America’s elite and develops riders in the seven High Performance disciplines. The high performance athletes often compete at the Olympics and Paralympics and various other international competitions. The beautiful brick facilities are gilded with plaques and trophies honoring team riders and horses. The USET Foundation Facility hosts various events including high-level competitions, camps, clinics, and various community events. 

4. Kentucky Horse Park (Lexington, KY)

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

The Kentuck Horse Park is the perfect place for anyone (rider or not) to celebrate a love for horses. The park hosts international competitions, including the Kentucky Invitational Grand Prix, whose show jumping course designer for this year, Guilherme George, designed the 2016 Rio Olympic courses. Each show season begins with the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event where Olympic-level athletes compete. In addition to exciting events, the Equine Theme Park includes daily attractions and the International Museum of Horses. The fun continues with music festivals, market days, camping, trail rides, educational clinics, and birthday parties. 

5. Shannondale Farm (Alpharetta, GA) 

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

Shannondale Farm Equestrian Center
Shannondale Farm Elite Training Facility // Photo credit: JLM Equine Photography

Shannondale Farm is a 65-acre farm with an elite dressage training program with a world-class indoor arena and two outdoor arenas. The farm also hosts corporate and community events and other special celebrations and specializes in boarding and breeding. Shannondale’s scenic riding trails are surrounded by lush trees and 22 acres of pasture that make a picturesque wedding venue. 

6. Green Mountain Horse Association (Woodstock, VT)

The Green Mountain Horse Association is dedicated to preserving its land and trails and educating young and adult riders. The Association hosts hunter jumper, dressage, eventing, and driving competitions and schooling shows and offers competitive and pleasure trail riding. Rolling hills and beautiful forests at Green Mountain are loved by Vermont’s equestrian community and are a striking backdrop for the nearly 400 miles of riding trails. 

7. Hassler Dressage (Loxahatchee Groves, FL)

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

Scott and Sara Hassler on horseback at Hassler Dressage
Hassler Dressage // Photo credit: Bethany Pastorial Photography

Hassler Dressage is an Elite Training Center coached by a father-daughter, Scott and Sara Hassler, who are both top dressage coaches and have trained award-winning horses at the Gran Prix level. The Hasslers train horse and rider combos and host clinics for riders of all levels. They specialize in matching riders with their perfect horses and devoting attentive care and high-quality training to develop riders and horses into successful dressage competitors.

8. Diamante Farms (Wellington, FL)

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

Diamante Farms is an Elite Dressage Training Center on a 10-acre farm where riders are coached by USDF Gold Medalist Devon Kane and Master Bereiter Kevin Kohmann, who helped Germany win its first Nations Cup. Devone Kane manages the farm and is devoted to youth and disabled training programs alongside her own successful riding career. Diamante Farms also offers horse sales in addition to training and coaching. 

9. North Texas Equestrian Center (Wylie, TX) 

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

The North Texas Equestrian Center (NTEC) trains in hunter, jumper, and dressage disciplines from beginner-level to Olympians. The center is an official US Paralympic and national-certified training facility with over 30 years of experience. It’s a comfortable riding environment for competitive and non-competitive riders. It features two outdoor dressage arenas and an outdoor grass and jumping area. NTEC also offers full-service boarding and has a German Warmblood breeding program. 

10. Avalon Family Charities (Lutz, FL)

🌟USEF Elite Training Center 

Avalon Family Charities recently changed its name from Avalon Stables to reflect its new corporate mission to provide horse rescue, lessons for special needs riders, and scholarships for young riders who otherwise would not be able to afford to participate in the sport. Avalon is owned and coached by Pam Roush who has trained successful elite riders for over 25 years. 

11. Morven Park International Equestrian Center (Leesburg, VA)

Morven Park was developed after the last class of the Morven Park International Equestrian Institute, a prestigious equestrian academy, graduated in 1991. The Institute trained riders to be instructors and produced many current coaches, trainers, judges, and breeders. Today the center holds competitions in hunter-jumper and dressage disciplines and hosts events of all kinds. Morven Park features a small and a large indoor arena and three outdoor arenas at a location where many Olympian equestrians have trained.  

If you’re a young equestrian hoping to turn your love of horses into a career, these top equestrian colleges in the US can help set you up for success. 

5 of the Best Equestrian Towns to Live In

For us dedicated equestrians, living in a community that supports our passion for horses is important and exciting! Here are five of the best cities to live in if you love riding as much as we do. 

1. Ocala, Florida

Ocala, FL is our home away from home. We opened a Farm House store in Ocala because we wanted to take part in this thriving equestrian community known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” But we aren’t the only ones who love Ocala–the city has over 2,000 horse farms and is home to the World Equestrian Center and the Florida Horse Park. One of the city’s best perks is that it’s warm year-round, so even if you don’t move to Ocala, it’s a great winter equestrian getaway. 

2. Tryon, North Carolina

Tyron, NC is our home sweet home. The Farm House Tack was born in the small town of Tryon on the Flying Dutchman Farm in 1979. We have since moved our headquarters to Landrum, a stone’s throw from downtown Tryon, and opened another store at the Tryon International Equestrian Center (TIEC). We’re proud to be part of our hometown with over 100 years of equestrian history. Tyron is an equestrian paradise at the base of the Blue Ridge mountains with four distinct and stunning seasons of mild weather. Tryon is known for its rural beauty, vineyards, nature, and horses. The 1956 and 1960 Olympic trials were held here, and the town has since been named the “birthplace of modern showjumping.” Tryon has over 150 miles of private trails for equestrians who are part of the Foothills Equestrian Trails Association (FETA). It’s also home to the TIEC and the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE). 

If you’re ever in town, stop by The Farm House for quality equestrian apparel and tack at our Landrum or Tryon stores

3. Lexington, Kentucky

Like Ocala, Lexington also claims the title of “Horse Capital of the World.” Which city owns this title is disputed, but they certainly both deserve it. Lexington is known for its Thoroughbred breeding, its 1200-acre Kentucky Horse Park, and the distinguished, annual Thoroughbred auction at Keeneland Sales. Lexington was also the first non-European city to host the World Equestrian Games in 2010. You and your horses will enjoy the beautiful Kentucky bluegrass prairies and rivers. 

4. Wellington, Florida

Wellington is a famous equestrian hot spot that hosts events like the U.S. Open, Gold Cup, and the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), to name a few. Celebrity equestrians from all over the world frequent Wellington for WEF, which lasts 12 weeks starting each November. Elite riders compete Saturday Grand Prix nights at Wellington International, sponsored by various companies for large cash prizes. Equestrian events at Wellington aren’t just for elite riders–local families enjoy the restaurants and shopping at the showgrounds. Wellington has both green pastures and sandy beaches for riding and relaxation. 

5. Middleburg, Virginia 

Middleburg is a small town of just 700 residents, surrounded by large estates, but it’s also the “Nations Hunt and Horse Capital” and hosts elite riders at international equestrian events in fox hunting, show jumping, polo, and steeplechase. A love for horses is the heartbeat of Middleburg, whose residents are dedicated to preserving the beauty of the land for steeplechase and foxhunting. The town of Middleburg is also devoted to preserving equestrian history in the National Sporting Library & Museum, full of thousands of rare equine books and artifacts that attract equestrian researchers and readers. 

If you’re getting ready to compete in a local, national, or international equestrian event, we’d love to help you look and perform your best! Shop show coats, show shirts, breeches, riding boots, or riding helmets from The Farm House, or use the resources below to help you prepare for your next event. 

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