Fast Horses of Marion County
Timeline 1950 to 1959
- Bonnie M. Heath II and Jack Dudley form D&H Stable.
Hire trainer Hugh Fontaine and begin to buy race horses.
- Needles, of Bonnie Heath Farms, Ocala, first Florida-bred Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner
- Joe O'Farrell moves to Ocala from Maryland, where he raised horses.
- O'Farrell becomes part-owner of Ocala Stud (formerly Dickey Stables), 993 acres with 21 horses.
- Thoroughbred horse farms in Marion County jump from seven to 21 totaling
- Largest farms are Rosemere, Ocala Stud, Shady Lane and Bonnie
- Ocala population tops 15,000.
- Bonnie Heath II and Jack Dudley form separate farms.
- P.A.B. Widener III, grandson of Hialeah Race Track's Joseph Widener, buys
6,700 acres. It becomes Live Oak Plantation and boosts Ocala's credibility as a horse-breeding region.
- Feb. 25 - O'Farrell organizes the first two-year-old-in-training sale in the U.S. 37 race horses sold.
- Nov. - Florida Breeders Sales Association (FBSA) founded by O'Farrell, Rose, Heath and Douglas Stewart.
- June - FBSA starts a magazine, The Florida Horse.
- Ocala-bred horses win first four spots in the Florida Breeders' Stakes and Florida Breeders' Futurity.
- News reports say Ocala-bred racehorses are outrunning their pedigrees.
- My Dear Girl of Ocala Stud is first Ocala filly to win the two-year-old filly championship.
- Needles becomes the first national racehorse champion to enter stud outside of Kentucky.
- Dudley's and Heath's decision to stand Needles as a stud in Ocala accelerates breeding in Ocala.