Winter Garden horse farm owners say new city development forcing them out

A longtime owner of a horse farm in Winter Garden said he feels it is on the verge of collapse as the city plans to build along the boundaries of his property. She said that if the city goes ahead with the plan, it will be forced to sell the farm.

Crown Pointe Equestrian owns a small strip of land along Tilden Rd. for almost 25 years. They lived in rural western Orange County long before paved roads and houses began to appear around them.

Since 1999 they have been training Olympic level horses on land. Those horses need a quiet environment to train. A new development on the west side has forced us to move to the east side of the property, but there is currently another development planned.

Anne Bingler, owner of Crown Pointe Equestrian, said: “I feel like they’re trying to do something behind our backs. They’re trying to make us feel like they don’t really matter.”

Bingler and her husband, Paul, are breeding 25 horses that have gone on to become show jumpers on the world’s biggest stages, including the Olympics.

“Our horses are thought of like Le Mans race cars for horses. They are very sensitive to noise, movement and changes in the environment,” Bingler said.

When constant construction began westward, Bingler had to move his horses to Ocala. Even on noisy days when families gather in the neighborhood, practice has to be suspended.

“They hear something or see something that looks unusual. They’re dangerous to themselves. They’re dangerous to me. They’re dangerous to their handlers,” Bingler said.

The City of Winter Garden seeks control of 30 acres of land to the east. There are plans to build 24 single-family homes after annexing unincorporated Orange County land.

The Binglers said they had tried to work with the city on a plan that would benefit both parties, but had received no response.

“I’ve owned this land since 1999 and it’s been part of the community forever and it’s very sad to have the thought of having to get up and leave.

The city was scheduled to take first readings of the new proposal this Thursday, but told FOX 35 News it has delayed it until February. City officials were not available to comment on the plan.

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