Winter Haven Farm: The Wrigley Connection

Way back in 1892, a Chicago entrepreneur included a pack of chewing gum in every can of baking powder his company sold. It was just a simple promotional idea. But in time the gum became more popular than the baking powder. And the Wrigley Company became (and remains) a global enterprise that provides most of the world its chewing gum.

The fortune from that enterprise is just part of the storied history of Winter Haven Farm, a 1,100-acre equine estate in Marion County’s “Millionaire Row.” The Wrigley family’s history with horses includes an Arabian Horse Ranch on Catalina Island in Southern California and another in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

The Ocala connection began when William Wrigley Jr. sent a representative to purchase 100 acres of the Centurion Farm, near the community of Reddick in northwest Marion County. But Mr. Wrigley’s representative was deeply impressed by the farm’s beauty. So deeply impressed, in fact, that he called Mr. Wrigley (who was in the Arctic Circle at the time) and urged him to purchase the entire property. The deal was done.
At the time, the property was owned by local investors Kirk Boone, Albert Peek and Sandy McBride. Prior to that, it was used as a breeding facility for Andalusian horses.
Wrigley purchased the property for $24 million and changed the name to Winter Haven Farm, with a plan to breed world-class thoroughbreds. When his plans changed in 2017, he listed the property with Joan Pletcher. The offering made headlines worldwide.

What is unique and special about this property?

Who is the ideal buyer? What opportunity does this represent?

Winter Haven Farm is an extraordinary property. Its lush coastal Bermuda and Pensacola Bahia grasses are ideal for horse grazing. It includes acres of virgin forest, majestic live oaks and tranquil ponds.

The facilities include a 5/8 mile turf track, multiple residences for staff and guests, five gated entrances and four fully-equipped barns. A rarity in central Florida, the rolling landscape includes elevations up to 200 feet, with gorgeous views of the surrounding countryside. The property is listed at $19.75 million.

“It will appeal to someone who is looking for a large tract of land, and large tracts of land in our area are scarce,” Joan Pletcher told the Ocala Star-Banner. “It’s really for someone who is looking for an investment, or a place they can spend a lot of time to enjoy nature. A person who has money to invest, loves the horse industry, or wants a cattle operation.”

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