Ocala, Florida

Acres of lush rolling hills, a pleasant year-round climate and a vibrant equestrian community create the perfect setting for horse and nature enthusiasts alike in the Central Florida city of Ocala. Located halfway between Gainesville and Orlando, Ocala boasts Southern hospitality and small-town charm amid a landscape punctuated by stately Grandfather oaks draped in Spanish moss and green pastures filled with grazing horses. According to real estate broker Joan Pletcher, “it’s very magical here.”

As an equestrian property specialist, Joan’s expertise in this niche market is without question. She has more than 23 years of experience in the Ocala area and is a consistent top producer. Joan is an accomplished equestrian as well, with a passion for horses that runs in her family. One look at the stunning properties the area has to offer and it’s easy to see why Joan loves her work here.

Padua Stables is a 768-acre property equipped with everything needed to maintain a superior equestrian facility. The complex features a 116-stall barn, two tracks, four covered hot walkers, round pens, and a 7,000-square-foot dormitory. The commanding main residence boasts 8,000 square feet of living space enhanced with views of the surrounding countryside. An entertainer’s dream, the home has seven bedrooms, a swimming pool and an extensive lanai overlooking the private 40-acre lake.

Presenting the best of both worlds is a 34-acre estate that offers the serenity of country living, yet is just minutes to city conveniences. Complementing the 10-stall barn is an expansive garage that can accommodate horse trailers, cars and an RV. Luxury abounds in the 7,375-square-foot home that features a lavish master wing, game room and a kitchen suitable for the most demanding chef. Augmenting the open plan are a covered lanai, outdoor kitchen, infinity pool and hot tub.

Situated between Ocala and Gainesville is Stonestreet Farm, a rare offering that comprises 1,025 acres of endless natural beauty. Currently utilized as a thoroughbred horse farm, this is a unique opportunity to create an exceptional family compound. Included on the property are a barn with lab, viewing room, four foaling stalls plus 16 additional stalls. Additionally, there are five center-aisle barns, a 2,280-square-foot hay barn and a series of private trails.

Joan Pletcher