Canine Events Abound at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center

Jacksonville, FL (December 10, 2015)The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is well-known for hosting horse shows and other equestrian events for all types of horse breeds and riders— but what not everyone knows is that the facility also hosts many events for all breeds of another favorite four-legged animal. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is proud to have hosted the K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville, which held its impressive Odor Recognition Test (ORT) at the facility. This coming weekend, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center will welcome the USDAA Pals & Paws Agility Trial for a competition among canine athletes and their human teammates.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is located near major highways in Florida’s largest city. The 80-acre Jacksonville Equestrian Center made the perfect place for the K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville dogs to show their skills in an Odor Recognition Test (ORT). In this test, dogs used their natural ability to find three specific scents: birch, anise, and clove.

The ORT is a prerequisite for canines and their handlers who wish to compete in the K-9 Nose Work® trials. Marcia Ladendorff, Recording Secretary for the K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville, explained, “Nose Work was started by a group of K-9 police officers who had been training their dogs on things like explosives, drug detection, human remains detections, and search and rescue. They put together this really fabulous organization called the National Association of Canine Scent Work (NACSW). They have done an excellent job of providing opportunities for us to not only train our dogs, but to also trial our dogs and get titles on them.”

During the ORT at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, handlers and their dogs had to find the specified scent in one of a number of boxes. Handlers were not told which box contained which scent, and had to interpret their dogs’ signals to alert the judges when the correct box was identified. “Unlike a lot of other sports, we are not asking the dog to do our bidding. We’re asking them to use their nose, as they naturally do from the minute they come out of the womb, in a sport that the dogs really get excited about,” said Ladendorff.

The non-profit K-9 Obedience Club was founded in 1951. The organizations motto, ‘Training you to train your dog,’ is shown through its services. The club offers training, lessons, seminars, and information programs at its monthly club meetings. Ladendorff said, “It is a very active group. Whenever you go to our facility, almost every single night of the week and on weekends, you’ll find it buzzing with activity – people bringing their dog to practice or bringing them to classes.”

The ORT trial was the club’s first experience at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, and they plan to return. Ladendorff said, “We absolutely loved the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. The people were so helpful and so welcoming. It is a great facility.”

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a state-of-the-art facility that is well versed in accommodating sporting events, recreational events, festivals, concerts, and weddings. The world-class equine amenities include two large outdoor arenas and an indoor championship arena. The entire recreational park that the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a part of features an Olympic-size indoor pool, regulation softball fields, a gymnasium, and an 18-hole golf course. Miles of trails and picnic areas complete the park.

More exciting events are always taking place at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. This weekend, the dogs will be back at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center— this time for the USDAA Pals & Paws Agility Trial. Spectator admission and parking are free for those wishing to watch canine athletes in action on December 11-13.

For a complete calendar of events scheduled at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, visit



Photo: Merlin enjoyed competing in the K-9 Obedience Club of Jacksonville’s Odor Recognition Test at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center (Photo courtesy of Dave White) us to manage the media content you receive from JRPR. Please submit your request to


Posted in Jacksonville Equestrian Center in The News.