News & Events
Meet team equistaff
With grass roots beginnings in what is now known as The Horse Capital of the World, the the first equestrian staffing agency, Equistaff, Inc. started in 1982. Founder and President, Mary K. Thomas, saw a need for quality equestrian employees in all aspects of equine businesses. Arriving in Ocala, FL, Mary began working in the Ocala Thoroughbred industry. Now a vastly successful business, Equistaff is able to go back to where it all started – the barn. Team Equistaff horses, owned wholly or in party by Equistaff, Inc. and running under the name Team Equistaff, provides Equistaff with its very own sports team. Thoroughbreds have always been Mary’s favorite breed. Interested in giving back, Equistaff is a proud sponsor of the Thoroughbred Aftercare.Alliance. Info located at https://www.thoroughbredaftercare.org As as new member of the Ocala Horse Alliance, Equistaff works to improve the industry locally. Find more information at https://ocalahorsealliance.com/. Team Equistaff will sponsor this years Tampa Bay Derby Day, March 7th, 2020. http://www.tampabbaydowns.com. GO TEAM EQUISTAFF!
Mary K. Thomas, Owner
Mary's has been a horse lover since childhood. Exciting about having runners on the track, her company Equistaff has its own sports team racing under the name Team Equistaff. Since moving to Ocala, Mary has been involved in the business and equestrian community. Giving back locally to MTRA and nationally to the Aftercare Alliance, she is happiest when she is able to contribute to improving racing and the lives of horses. See http://www.maryk.com/ for more details.
Gerald Bennett, Trainer
A native of Nova Scocia and owner of The Winning Stables, Gerald has been training Thoroughbred's since 1974. Currently, he has 3843 wins and started over 18,000 horses. Always the leading trainer in Tampa, Gerald winters in Florida and summers in Delaware.
Barn name: Dona
Purchased at the OBS June 2019 sale, this filly is out of a Bandini mare, sired by Chitu, with lineage back to A.P Indy. Chitu is a 16.1 hand Chestnut Stallion standing at Bridlewood Farm. One of Floridas most popular new stallions his prodgeny, Silver Tunes and Seeking the Truth are recent winners at Gulfstream. Dona is currently on break at Swanzy Stable, Ocala, FL. Last worked 4 furlongs in 50.4 placing 22 out of 53, she is a strong agressive flly and we can't wait for her to get back to training.
The Goddess Lyssa
Barn Name: Brownie
Purchased at the OBS June 2019 sale, this bay filly is sired by Fury Kapcori now standing at Journeyman Stud. Brilliant at two and stakes-placed at three, Fury Kapcori hit the board 10 of 14 stakes races and was a model of consistency. Son of Horse of the Year Tiznow and from the Female Family of Horse of the Year Favorite Trick, we expect good things from our Goddess. She recently returned Tampa with Gerald Bennett just worked three furlongs in 37.6 and was 3 of 6. Brownie is waiting for the racing season to open so she can run her very first race.
Little ms broadway
Barn Name: Fancy
Purchased privately in June 2019 from Craig Wheeler Thoroughbreds, this filly is out of a Medaglia d'Oro mare, sired by champion of the Grade 1 stakes Breeders' Cup Sprint, Big Drama. Big Drama was bred in Ocala by Harold Queen and stands at Oakton Farms. When in top racing form, her sire Big Drama had a speed index at Gulfstream of 120 - pretty darn quick! Fancy is currently training with Gerald Bennett in Tampa. With a recent work at 4 furlongs in 50 flat, she placed 5 out of 10 that day. Waiting for her very first race, Good Luck!
West Side Warrior
Barn Name: Warrior
Purchased at the OBS April 2019 sale, this bay gelding is out of West Side Dancer, a Mr. Prospector mare and sired by the Grade Stakes winning Millionaire and son of Unbridled's Song, Liam's Map. Standing at Lanes End Farm, Liam's Map he was unraced as a juvenile. As a four-year old, he emerged as one of the best horses in N America winning the Woodward Stakes and the Breeders Cup Dirt Mile. Warrior in a bit of a nut and loves eating peppermints. Back in Tampa with Gerald Bennett, he last worked 4 furlongs in 47 and change and was 12 of 37 horses breezing that day. Go Warrior!
Barn Name: Danny
Purchased at the OBS March 2019 sale, this chestnut gelding is out of Sainted Dancer and sired by Canadian Horse of the Year and Grade Stakes winning Millionaire, Uncaptured. Standing at Ocala Stud, Uncaptured is Florida's #1 Freshman Sire and his top earners are Catherinethegreat winner of the Schuylerville S. at Saratoga and Capture Your Dream winner of the FTBOA Florida Sire Desert Vixen Stakes. Placing third in his first start, we are looking for more in his next race. Now in Tampa with Gerald Bennett, Danny is getting ready for opening day.
If you have any questions or would like information on where are horses will be racing next, follow our Facebook page for updates!