While I am not a golfer, I am happy that others enjoy the sport and may have been drawn, at least in part, by the opportunity to play golf in The Villages on a regular basis.  And I also just like to look over the golf courses as I am travelling around The Villages.  Golf courses add a green space and a feeling of openness that makes me feel good.  

I also do not play poker, though over the years I have been asked to play, I think mostly to just fatten the pot as I don’t know what beats what.  And, in fact, I have played, but mostly for the enjoyment of the social interaction rather than any thought of winning.

Despite my lack of interest or experience in golf or poker, I was pleased that the VHA was offering events in both.

The VHA held a poker run on March 16 in the newly golf-cart-connected Far South Area of The Villages.  I was pleased to help out with this event in a capacity that didn’t rely on any real poker knowledge.  It was fun and provided folks with an opportunity to compete, have a good time, and get to know more of their fellow Villagers.

The VHA is also extending the Golf Scramble originally planned just for March, into April.  This will provide another opportunity to compete in a sport enjoyed by so many and, like the poker run, provides a fund-raising opportunity to support the various VHA programs.

Once you get your COVID-19 vaccinations and begin to feel more comfortable venturing out, you will notice that The VHA is beginning to offer more of programs such as these, and I hope to be able to see many of you again after so many months of confinement.

If you want to take a little drive and see a world class operation, take a ride to Ocala, and visit the World Equestrian Center.  According to their web site  This world-class facility will be the largest equestrian complex in the United States situated on nearly 378 acres of state-of-the-art arenas and luxury accommodations and an additional 300 acres set aside for future expansion”.

My wife and I recently stopped by to look and found this to be a facility beyond anything I expected. It is an exceptionally large event center, with four indoor arenas seating 1500 each, a Grand Outdoor Arena seating 2500, and a Center Stadium seating 7500.  It has seven restaurants and many equestrian-related shops and services.  

The grounds are impeccable (reminds me of The Villages), and the Grand Outdoor Arena has great shade for spectators and two large screens that follow the action in the arena.  Parking and admission are free, and they even have a nice chapel on site. There are events scheduled almost constantly and a list can be found on their web site. This is truly a world-class operation that will be attracting riders from all over the world.  It is fun to just sit and watch the riders and horses, even if you are not a “horse person”.    

Stay safe and healthy!
John Dean