Equestrian Olympians Karen and David O’Connor Speak at Ribbon-Cutting Event Celebrating the World’s First O’Connor Signature Branded Equestrian Facility
Eventing Champion Theodore O'Connor, the 2007 USEF Horse of the Year, Made a Surprise Appearance at the Ceremony; More than 250 Equestrians, Horse Lovers and Potential Residents Attend The Oaks of Lake City, FL, Equestrian Dedication
(LAKE CITY, FL, March 12, 2008) – The Oaks of Lake City (http://www.TheOaksLakeCity.com
), a new ruralism, residential community hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by more than 250 people, including equestrians, horse enthusiasts, nature lovers and potential residents on Monday, March 10, celebrating the world’s first exclusively-branded O’Connor Signature equestrian facility. Associated with renowned equestrian Olympians Karen and David O’Connor, the community, which combines the best of rural living with the best of suburban living, features a 33 stall custom barn; a David O’Connor designed cross-country course, and other equestrian amenities.
Highlights of the March 10 event included a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony, an interior/exterior tour of the barn and its amenities, tours of the land and lots for sale. Karen O’Connor, named Equestrian of the Year by the United States Eventing Association (USEA) for her 2007 equestrian achievements, and David O’Connor, current president of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF), made a special dedication during the ceremony. As a symbol of good luck, the O’Connor’s hung a silver engraved horseshoe over the barn entrance.
Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, Karen and Eventing Champion Theodore O'Connor, the 2007 Farnam®/Platform® USEF Horse of the Year, “christened” the Oaks cross country course for the crowd. Theodore O'Connor was recognized from among all USEF breeds and disciplines as the nation's most exceptional horse for 2007.
“The ribbon cutting ceremony was our opportunity to share with equestrians from near and far, area residents and potential home purchasers of our excitement about The Oaks of Lake City community,” said Brad Dicks, Owner, Dicks Realty. “We are pleased to bring the world’s first O’Connor Signature branded Equestrian Facility to Florida, Lake City and Columbia County.”
The event also featured a formal welcome to Shelley Van den Neste, the new general manager and riding director for The Oaks’ equestrian facilities. With more than 17 years experience managing public, commercial and residential community equestrian facilities, Shelley is also an accomplished rider, instructor and coach with achievements including a graduate with “Distinction” from the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) L program for judges in training; USDF Bronze and Silver medals; and has coached riders to achieve their Bronze and Silver medals in the dressage discipline. Shelley also has riding, teaching and showing experience and accomplishments in other disciplines including Regional and National championships in saddleseat, Western pleasure, hunt-seat and equitation.
Located in Northern Florida, northwest of Gainesville and west from Jacksonville, the O’Connor Signature at The Oaks features special characteristics and amenities:
-More than 348 acres of open space and parks
-More than 40 acres of fenced pasture
-234 home sites, including 136 equestrian estate lots with access to concierge-style services offered at the central facility and 98 traditional lots
-76 Acre Gold O’Connor Signature competition quality equestrian center
-A custom 33 stall barn
-Covered arena and covered round pen
-David O’Connor designed cross-country course
-Strategically located Equestrian Recreation Areas (ERAs)
-15 miles of looped multi-use trails for hiking, jogging and walking that meander throughout the community
The Oaks was designed in partnership with Dicks Realty of Lake City, the O’Connors, and Equestrian Services, LLC, the company setting the standards for planning, designing and managing equestrian amenities for resorts and communities worldwide. The construction of the 1,222 acre community is modeled on successful golf industry branding and management concepts, similar to communities that boast an Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus golf course. And, the community features superior amenities and facilities for the equestrian and nature lover alike. It provides an opportunity for residents to enjoy country living only 35 minutes from Gainesville, which was nominated “The Best Place to Live in the USA” in 2007 by USA Today.
“Equestrians can be assured that the equestrian staff, trained and certified by us, will provide the finest services to assist our horses and riders within the community,” said David O’Connor. “We know that horse people wish to be near their horses, and the Oaks will be an equestrian paradise for the horse lover.”
Nearly two million people own the 9.2 million horses in the United States, with another two million people involved as equestrian volunteers or engaged in the equestrian lifestyle through family affiliation, according to the American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF).
For more information about The Oaks of Lake City, please visit http://www.TheOaksLakeCity.com
About The Oaks of Lake City:
The Oaks of Lake City is a new ruralism community, which encompasses the best of rural living with the best of suburban living. Devoted to equestrians and nature lovers, The Oak’s grand 1,222 acre, O’Connor Signature equestrian community provides an opportunity for residents to enjoy country living without the fuss. Custom designed in partnership with Dicks Realty, equestrian Olympians David and Karen O’Connor, and Equestrian Services, LLC, The Oaks, boasts superior amenities and facilities for the equestrian and nature lovers alike. For more information about The Oaks of Lake City, please visit http://www.theoakslakecity.com
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