Elizabeth Campbell with Royal Diamant, winners of the Premier Equestrian Sportsmanship Award at the May Day Qualifier One Dressage Show at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center (Photo courtesy of Jacksonville Equestrian Center)
Jacksonville, FL (June 18, 2015) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center wrapped up a sparkling spring season at their state-of-the-art equestrian center, proving once again that the equestrian center is the “crown jewel” of the park. From team roping to dog agility competitions to dressage horse shows, excitement was in the air as the center held an array of events that drew competitors and spectators from around the country.
During their action-packed season, the 80-acre Jacksonville Equestrian Center hosted The National Team Roping League’s “Rope for the Truck Event.” Ropers showed off their team skills as they worked in tandem to rope steer while also hoping to take home the coveted prize – a brand new truck.
Puppy love was in the air in April during the 2015 CPE National Agility Event, hosted by Pasco Paws Dog Training, also held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Fans of agility were treated to over 450 dogs jumping, weaving, running through tunnels and climbing A-frames as they took part in agility classes. Thanks to the equestrian center’s 78 RV spaces, dogs and their owners were able to arrive in style, stay on-site and enjoy the many amenities offered by the center.
Kelli Hayes, of Pasco Paws Dog Training and the Trial Chairman for the CPE National Agility Event, commented on her first impressions of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. “We looked at numerous sites in the Southeast United States to hold our event. Our initial planning was about two years prior to the event, and many sites we spoke with were not willing to make a reservation that far out,” Kelli said. “We needed to secure a site before we could move forward in our planning. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center was extremely helpful during that time with booking our reservation and working on the fine details of our contract. That initial customer service made a huge impression on us! And that wonderful customer service was present prior to, during, and after our event.
In May, two back-to-back USDF Region 3 Dressage qualifiers competitions were held at the equestrian center, the May Day Qualifier 1 and 2 hosted by South East Horse Shows. Elegant dressage horses competed at the event while earning scores to compete in the Region 3 Championships coming up in October. Carlie Evans, show manager for the South East Horse Shows, says the location of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a big draw. “The center has a superior indoor hall, excellent stabling, wonderful staff and great local hotels,” she said. “It’s really easy to get to from 1-10 and 1-95 and the layout of the facility is very convenient for exhibitors.”
“Our 150’ x 300’ indoor Championship Arena boasts excellent footing and seats over 3,700 people,” said Penny Gorton, head of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Business Development and member of the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society, the non-profit organization dedicated to the success and improvement of the facility. “Additional seating on the floor can increase the seating to 5,000,” Gorton added. “While our facility is wonderful for hosting equestrian events, from show jumping and barrel racing to rodeos and equestrian expos, we are also a great community facility. It’s exciting to have a venue that can support our community and hold everything from charity events to monster truck shows to RV shows. We have an 80,000 square foot indoor concourse and vendor space, which really means the center has unlimited potential.”
This summer activities will slow down while the arena surfaces in the competition areas, both indoors and out are redone. “Our goal to is to be the premier facility in the south eastern United States, so we are constantly making improvements and planning the next phase of this truly amazing complex,” Gorton explained.
Fund raising efforts include a Buy-A-Brick fundraising campaign. “It’s great to see people buying bricks in honor of their loved ones, both two and four-legged,” Gorton said. “The bricks not only become a permanent part of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, they are an everlasting tribute as well.”
Activities are planned for the local community over the summer months while the arena footing project is underway. In September, The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will be back hosting major events including the prestigious Southeast Medal Championships. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is located at 13611 Normandy Blvd, in Jacksonville, Florida. The multi-faceted event center hosts equestrian, sporting, recreational and community events. For information about attending or scheduling events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call Penny Gorton at 904-573-3649.
For more information, contact:
Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Penny Gorton 904-573-364
13611 Normandy Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32221