with Horse and Hound

Foxhunting in Ocala, Florida

In September of 1896, Ocala, Florida wasn’t preparing for the influx of horse show enthusiasts from the north as it does now. At the time, however, a recent resident to the town was planning to establish a fox hunt there, according to columnist David Cook in Ocala.com.

John Vogt told the Ocala Banner he was “inaugurating a genuine fox hunt at least twice a week on old fields surrounding Ocala. Vogt was making his home on South Second Street, complete with 10 of his purebred hounds, which were noted, he said, ‘as the finest hunters in the country.’”

Vogt said there were plenty of foxes in the fields around Ocala, and he felt Ocalans would enjoy joining the hunt for them, following his hounds.

As we all know, owners of field hunters eventually seek other diversions to prove the worth of their horses—racing and showing. Perhaps Mr. Vogt’s initiatives were at least partly responsible for the beginnings of horse show interest in Ocala.

Posted March 19, 2012