The Hitching Post of Florida A Total Loss
By Delores Kuhlwein
Lisa Davis was on her way to Florida Paint Horse Club Holiday Classic at the World Equestrian Center of Ocala on December 1, 2022, with her popular mobile store, The Hitching Post of Florida, when tragedy struck. The business she’d purchased exactly one year ago to the day caught fire on the interstate and it was a complete loss.
“It’s heartbreaking to see your dreams literally go up in smoke in front of you,” Lisa says. “I think the shock is still setting in. I had good insurance; however, there are so many loopholes I am discovering. I had a commercial policy, but I don’t have towing, so they’re holding my truck hostage in Orlando.”
Lisa had purchased the business from the former owner before working for him on and off for a long time, and when he was ready to retire from being on the road, they made a gradual transition.
Once the business was hers, she experienced a dream come true, with a fabulous year in sales, a store she explains was perfect, and something else unexpected – the realization she was helping benefit the industry because of her customers’ comments. She feels such a connection with them that she’s vowed she will rebuild and make it to Tampa for the Gold and Gulf Coast Shows, even if she has to use a pop-up tent. “I’ll do my darndest,” she says. “I reached out to Coast To Coast to see if I can borrow a trailer.
What has struck her perhaps the most is the willingness and open arms of the horse community, a realization that has come about since the day of the fire. “The horse community is so generous – people who don’t even know me have been reaching out. Tampa is my biggest show of the year, and Ariat reached out to me this morning to arrange giving me inventory and providing me 60 days on other items.”
“I’m not a crier at all, but this was my perfect store and it’s gone with sentimental items that are just gone,” Lisa says, who was at her parents’ workplace at the time of the interview. “I also work for my parents, who are in the school fruit business – a lot of the schools up north sell fruit for fundraisers, so this is our busiest time of year when we’re open seven days a week. So as you can imagine, I’m helping them while jumping through some hoops. But I’m going to do my absolute best to rebuild.”
Lisa’s daughter, Kelsey Smith, thanked everyone publicly on her Facebook page. “If you know my mom, this was her dream. I will be making a Go Fund Me, but until then, I’ve attached her Venmo below. Any donations to help my mom rebuild will be so appreciated. This was my mom’s dream and I will do everything I can to help her rebuild. She helped me with my dream now let’s help her with hers.”
Lisa’s Venmo information is provided below, and she can be reached at her store number or by email: