Read what people have to say about some of our Ocala businesses and organizations…

Gilberts Hardware and General Store

This store has about everything. You can eat and buy any lawn item or tool. They are friendly and very helpful. They will always answer any questions that you have. My story is that I have been living in a place where our water comes from cisterns not wells. I knew nothing about how our well functioned, no less knowing how to turn things on or off. One of my horse's water troughs was spurting out water like a geyser. I tried to cap it off which looked like an effort in a cartoon. I finally called Gilbert's and asked for help. They immediately sent a wonderful gentleman who fixed both troughs, "capped" my geyser and had me up and running again in no time flat. How bout that for customer service. You gotta love Ocala.

Ocala Farrier — Scott Hook

He fixed my thoroughbred so that he has incredibly healthy feet and perfect balance probably for the first time in this horse's life. He was very patient with both of my horses. The last time he came to work with the horses was the same day that we were going to place our first dumpster. Scott realized that the dumpster wasn't going to fit the space as it existed nor would the fencing permit it to happen. He took the project in hand and gathered the neighbors and the driver of the Manure Management system and with relative ease had the fence down, rearranged and back up quicker than I could ever imagine. I said to Scott how impressed about how kind he was and helpful. His reply was, "Well, that's the way we are in Ocala!" I am glad I picked Ocala for my new home.

Humane Society of Marion County

My mother's cat of 20+ years went into a wonderful cat hospice care and was well managed. After the cat finally passed away we took my 86 year old mother to the Humane Society dreading the experience thinking it would be a very sad and stressful event seeing what is the usual cat in a cage looking miserable. Well! Were we delightfully surprised and taken aback. The cats at our Humane Society have quite the life. They have the freedom to roam from room to room with beds and climbing towers and furniture. It was clean and immaculate. It was truly the nicest "cat house" I'd ever seen. In fact after we chose a cute cat I wondered if it would even be as happy at Mom's as it was at the Humane Society. The entire staff was as wonderful as the physical surroundings. They knew the cats by name, their personalities and how to match with the prospective owner. The match with my mother was made with her new best friend, Onyx. A wonderful coincidence was the veterinarian who managed the hospice is also on the staff at the Humane Society.  We were pleasantly surprised by the entire experience. Onyx whimpered once on the way to his new home but we got home and he was taken out of the bag he has since completely taken over. Onyx has been a wonderful delight.

Phillips Chysler Jeep Dodge Ram

Being new in town and owning a small horse farm it became immediately apparent that we needed a truck to survive. My husband wanted a truck but I also wanted a truck to be able to go nicely dressed out to dinner. Lucky for me that the first truck I saw on the Phillips lot was a beautiful Dodge Ram Longhorn. My mind was immediately made up and all I had to do was convince my husband. The pictures made it an easy sell. I met Joe Washburn. I explained my needs, talked to him about our farm needs and pointed out the Longhorn. He agreed that this was the perfect truck but I call a car because it drives like a Cadillac. This is the first automobile I truly enjoy and love. Joe made the entire purchase experience easy. Joe's customer service and the rest of the employees at Phillips Chrysler are the best. They are always friendly, reliable, quick and do everything to help fulfill my automotive needs.

Adopting a Thoroughbred

My horse, McKelly, is the beautiful dark bay on the home page standing behind his small Paso Fino buddy, Star. McKelly, who was born in Texas, spent most of his racing career in Florida, then to Puerto Rico, and then finally ended his racing career in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Being quite the athlete, and too arrogant to accept second place, raced three years past his prime. Having been out of the horse world for many years I was talked into seeing McKelly at the track in the Virgin Islands and made the mistake of looking into his eye and scratching his nose. He was so calm, nice and sweet that I thought maybe it wouldn't be such a bad idea adopting him. I was looking for a hobby and my husband, to his chagrin, urged me along. After multiple visits to see McKelly he had his final race and adoption day came around. There were many others interested in McKelly but he seemed to bond with me so the owner, Dalton Phillips our St. Thomas farrier, let me have him. Through all of my visits I had never seen McKelly out of the stall other than a race on the track. He always looked to be a medium to small horse. The day they brought him out of the stall and I was there I realized that the stall was a bit below ground level and out came this huge, beautiful horse prancing his way into the sunlight. I was then told by the owner that McKelly was "a bit on the bossy side." A bit was an understatement. However, he has been a wonderful addition to our family and along with Star have completely changed our lives. After investing in a hurricane shelter for them in the Virgin Islands I switched gears and bought a suitable horse farm for them in Ocala and moved them here. My husband, two dogs and I get to share their farm. Before we left St. Thomas I was invited to be the lead pony at the track with McKelly. The crowd recognized and applauded their old champion back on the track. McKelly, thank goodness, was on his best behavior. People complemented me on how beautiful and healthy "The Beast" looked in retirement. If I'd only known him as "The Beast" perhaps I would have been more intimidated in adopting him. He is now in his second career as a dressage horse and a companion to Star. If horses could actually smile these two would be grinning from ear to ear because of how much they enjoy their new home, Ocala. Carolyn Smith Pomeranz