Horse Farms Forever held a Behind the Gates reception with University of Florida Health for founding members at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association headquarters on April 22 in Ocala. The evening included a welcome by Horse Farms Foreveer president and board member Bernie Little and executive director Sara Fennessy, and a welcome by the JP Morgan Chase and Company and JP Morgan Private Wealth Management team. 

Dr. David Nelson, senior vice president for health affairs at UF and president of UF Health, shared his commitment to the county and spotlighted the neurology unit with Dr. Brian L. Hoh, MBA, FACS, FAHA, FAHA, FAANS, who has been instrumental with strengthening programming related to strokes. He spoke in-depth about the impact the mobile stroke treatment unit is making in Central Florida. The unit was on-site for guests to visit.

S. Kaplan, J. Garcia-Bengochea, B. Hooper and K. Kuchinskas with Circus – ©Gentle Carousel photo

Models from Lugano Diamonds were on hand dripping with jewels. Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses also made the rounds with Jorge Garcia-Bengochea handling the world-famous miniature horse Magic and her counterpart, a leopard appaloosa mini named Circus.

Debbie Garcia-Bengochea shared information about the successful reading program in schools about horses that culminates with youth—who have never petted a horse before—getting an up close and personal visit from a miniature horse. 

Tammy Gantt, FTBOA’s AVP of membership and events, gave a tour showcasing the FTBOA’s Florida Thoroughbred museum including the Kentucky Derby trophy of the first Florida-bred to win the Derby, Needles. She displayed original speeding ticket issued to the world’s fastest Thoroughbred at a mile on a dirt track, Florida-bred Dr. Fager. The horse was issued a ticket after his world record-setting race and charged with ‘reckless speed’, with the make listed as ‘Thoroughbred’ and the model listed as ‘fast’.

Return to the April 29 issue of Wire to Wire