Agility in Florida

Florida has become a year round agility destination. Until a few of years ago the only Summer trials were some UKC and TDAA trials that could be held in air conditioned training buildings because the ring size requirements are not as great and the team competition - DACOF. There would also be an occasional evening trial. Thanks to an air conditioned arena in Arcadia, there are now Summer trials in an air conditioned arena on dirt. For a breakdown of trials by organization, check out the Agility Trial Stats.

I have seen as many as seven agility trials on a single weekend. This would include at least a couple of AKC trials and a selection from the remaining organizations. One year on Thanksgiving weekend we had four AKC trial sets on the same weekend scattered from Miami to Pensacola. Except for May through September and Christmas, you can find at least one AKC trial just about every weekend. To make up for Christmas there are some big 4&5 day AKC events between Christmas and New Years. 

Facilities

Trials are basically held at four types of facilities. 

  • Equestrian Facility - An outdoor covered or indoor arena on dirt. These are usually part of a fairgrounds or an equestrian facility. These sites normally have RV hook ups (notable exceptions are the Jim Brandon facility in West Palm Beach and the Bergeron Rodeo facility in Davie which are dry camping only).
  • Outdoor training facility - Trials are generally organized by the owner of the property. RV parking is usually dry camping if there is enough room.
  • Indoor training facility - Trials are generally organized by the owner of the property. Generally no RV parking due to the space limitations of the parking lot (Imperial Polk does have a small number of power hookups).
  • Other - outdoors on grass at a commercial or public facility. These are becoming increasingly rare. 

The following is a summary of agility by organization:

AKC - The most popular - nearly half of the trial sets and over half of the trial days. Most AKC events are held in outdoor covered equestrian arenas. A few are indoor equestrian arenas. A handful of AKC trials are held outdoors on grass. Most of the AKC sites have RV facilities or will allow dry camping. AKC trials are held in all parts of the state from Pensacola to Miami. Most weekends in the prime season, you will have a choice of trials. 

ASCA - A handful of trial sets annually. These are split between Baker (covered equestrian arena - 3+ sets per year and usually include obedience and conformation) in the western Florida panhandle and a few others in the Ocala and Tampa areas (irregularly scheduled).

CPE - The second most popular. A number of trials in the prime season and some evening trials during the Summer. These are generally held outdoors on grass at training facilities from the Ocala Area down to the Fort Myers area. 

DACOF - Dog Agility Competition of Florida. This is an annual team event held at the end of June or beginning of July. It is not sanctioned by any organization but it generally follows AKC formats. It is currently being held at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida (indoors & climate controlled). If you would like to put together a team, you need to start your planning by February.

DOCNA - No DOCNA

NADAC - There are a few trials held by clubs in the Tampa area. These are outdoors on grass at training facilities. 

TDAA - A handful of trial sets annually. Due to the small ring size requirement, these are generally held in the summer at indoor training facilities in the Tampa-Lakeland. A club in the Tampa area has had non Summer trials outdoors.

UKC - A handful of trial sets annually. Like TDAA these are held in the Summer in indoor training facilities in the Tampa-Lakeland area. 

UKI - The youngest organization. We had the first Florida UKI trial set in January 2014.  One of the nice features is the ability to declare a run “Not for Competition” up to the last minute and do training in the ring (toys are acceptable / food is not). UKI is already competing for third place in popularity with USDAA. Trial locations and weekends are somewhat variable at this point. They have been held at training facilities, outdoor covered arenas, indoor arenas and third party facilities. 

USDAA - Third most popular. A number of trials are held in the prime season. Some of the bigger events are held at equestrian facilities. Others are held outdoors on grass.

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