Fred Hooper, raised champions at his Ocala farm before his death at age 102.

Fred Hooper, raised champions at his Ocala farm before his death at age 102.

Anne W. Eberhardt

Part of Hooper Farms Sold; Horse Use Retained

Another historic Marion-County, Fla. Farm has been added to the list of training facilities on the marketplace. Hooper Farms in Ocala, which was owned by the late Fred Hooper, was home to multiple Eclipse Award winner Susan's Girl, and (gr. I) stakes winners, Copelan, Tri Jet, Precisionist, Crozier, Olympia, Quaze Quilt and Diplomatic Jet.

Hooper, won two Eclipse Awards for Outstanding Breeder in 1975 and 1982, and the Eclipse Award of Merit in 1991, and had served as president of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, from 1971 to 1979. He died last August 4, and his estate had a major reduction in his breeding stock, dispersing many of the farm's horses at the October Ocala Breeders' Sales Company Fall Mixed Sale. Hooper relocated his breeding and racing operation in 1966 to Ocala from Alabama. He had initially purchased 1,700 acres, but had reduced the size of the farm to 918-acres.

A portion of the farm was bought by a group of Ocala-based real estate agents. Greg and Carla Lord and Gary and Catherine Achtenhagen, who work for Glen Miller Realty, purchased 181-acres of the storied operation in January.

"We had been trying to sell the farm for the Hoopers, when we decided to buy a piece of it. The land will make a nice horse farm sub-division," said Gary Achtenhagen. The block of land has been split into 11 parcels, ranging in size from 10 to 40 acres. "We need parcels of land to meet the demand for smaller horse farms. We're all horsemen and are involved in the horse business. This is great property. Our intent is for the land to remain horse farms. We have contracts on all but three of the parcels," said Achtenhagen."