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Bill Gates

Ponies Up $600K

For Florida Winter Rental

10/16/2011 3:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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Bill Gates is fleeing his Washington mansion for a much warmer winter home -- the Microsoft gazillionaire is renting a massive Wellington, FL equestrian estate ... for $120,000/month.

Gates has the option to plunk down $12.9 million and buy the 4.18 acre property -- which includes an 8 bedroom, 6 bathroom, 7,352 square foot main house, a guest house, an 8-stall barn and a couple pastures ... for some horse play.

The Tuscan-style main house has a home theater, commercial grade appliances and a wine room that spans the length of the entire formal dining area.

Bill snatched up the rental property so his family could cheer on his oldest daughter, Jennifer -- who is scheduled to participate in the horse jumping competitions during the five-month long Winter Equestrian Festival in nearby West Palm Beach.

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