09/20/2007 11:00PM

Ocala Week activities begin Oct. 4

EmailThe Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association will host its annual Ocala Week, a period of four days devoted to meetings, seminars, and social events. It begins on Thursday, Oct. 4, with an interactive seminar in conjunction with the Jockey Club at the Ocala Hilton.

The seminar has an 11:30 a.m. orientation period, followed by lunch at noon. At 12:45 p.m., Richard Hancock, the former vice president of the breeders and owners group, will welcome the visitors and introduce the panel. At 1 p.m., Mark Adkins of the Jockey Club will discuss the use of Equineline programs in conjunction with portfolio management. At 1:30, Tim Leath lectures on horse management and health programs. The final period of the Jockey Club's presentation comes at 2:15, when Andy Chesser completes the discussion of interactive programs.

There is no charge for attending this seminar. Those planning to attend are asked to call (352) 629-2160 so that seating, lunch, and other necessities can be coordinated.

Friday, Oct. 5, at 8 a.m., golfers will tee off in the annual Florida Thoroughbred Charities Golf Classic at the Golden Hill Golf and Turf Club. The format calls for a four-man scramble with shotgun starts. The cost for a foursome is $450 and for individuals $125.

Saturday morning, Oct. 6, is the annual meeting of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association. The format calls for various speakers to discuss a variety of industry matters, as well as matters specifically related to Florida. In addition, five board members will be inducted.

There is no suspense when it comes to board membership. In recent years a change was made in that the nominating committee contacts candidates for reelection and those replacing board members whose terms are up to make sure they will serve. A membership election is scheduled only if at least 50 members of the group nominate a different candidate.

Joining the board will be:

* Peter Vegso, co-founder of Health Communications Inc., the publishing house that is responsible for the "Chicken Soup" health books. He is also the breeder and owner of such graded stakes winners as Orchard Park, Silver Tree, and Splendid Blended.

* Bonnie M. Heath III, who is the son of the late Bonnie M. Heath II, co-owner of Florida's first champion, Needles, and president of the breeders and owners group. Heath III foaled Horse of the Year Holy Bull at his farm and bred and raced the millionaire Honor Glide.

* Diane Dudley, who has been reelected to the board. She is the widow of the late Scott Dudley, whose father partnered in a racing stable with Bonnie Heath II. Dudley and her late husband foaled and raised champion Silver Charm. Dudley recently married Jerry Parks, owner of JP Insurance in Ocala.

* Gilbert G. Campbell, a current board member, who hails from just north of Boston. He is a real estate developer. The owner of Stonehedge Farm in Williston, Fla., Campbell was honored in 1997 as Florida breeders of the year as well as the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association's outstanding owner and breeder. Among the horses that have their roots at Stonehedge Farm is Eclipse champion turf horse Marlin.

* George G. Isaacs, who is general manager of Art Appleton's Bridlewood Farm and has been reelected to the board. The one-time Kentuckian has had his roots in Florida since 1989 when he accepted a managerial position at Bridlewood Farm, moved on to become general manager of Allen Paulson's Brookside South, and subsequently returned to Bridlewood as its general manager

Sunday evening, Oct. 7, is the invitation-only cocktail party from 6-10 p.m. at the Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club on Highway 27. The dress code is cocktail attire and the dinner is buffet style.

Monday, Oct. 8, is the first of the five days of mixed sales conducted by the Ocala Breeders Sales Company. Monday and Tuesday are the consignors preferred sessions, while Wednesday through Friday are the open sessions. A total of 1,505 lots have been cataloged.