The Jacksonville Equestrian Center Kicks Off Busy Month With The Ride Lite Dressage Show

With the summer months coming to an end the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is gearing up for the fall schedule which started out with the Southeast Horse Shows Ride Lite Dressage Show on September 1st and 2nd. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center offers everything the aspiring dressage rider & their equine partner need to have an enjoyable competition experience, including well-groomed outdoor rings, a 123,000 square foot indoor arena, and over 400 permanent stalls.

Over the two days of competition, rider Jodie Kelly-Baxley had stand out performances, earning scores of 70.152% and 72.692% at Third Level. Kelly-Baxley rode her own mount, Grayton Beach to victory. Grayton Beach was one Kelly-Baxley’s ten horses string at the show with her over the weekend. “We love coming to the Jacksonville show! We make our show schedule around it…it is a convenient location for most of my clients and me, and the stabling is good.” Said Kelly-Baxley of her experience at the Southeast Horse Show Ride Lite Show and the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Kelly-Baxley was quick to note just how wonderful show manager Carlie Evans is, “The main reason we are attracted to this show is because it is run so well. Carlie is a scheduling genius, and I had ten horses here, pretty amazing.” Show Manager Evans was busy over the weekend but was very complementary of Jacksonville Equestrian Center Executive Director, Tim Jones. “The footing was great and Tim Jones is very professional and he really knows footing and how to work it. We are very excited for the future expansion coming to the equestrian center”.

Riders of all disciplines have come to love showing at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Show management enjoys working out of the venue largely due to the efficient and effective staff that keeps it in good order and running smoothly. Up next for the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is the Jacksonville All Breed Horse Show on September 8th, an Open Schooling day on September 18th, First Coast Classical Dressage Show on September 22nd, and the Country Boy Olympics on September 29th.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is known for its extensive amenities and ideal location. The construction of a 300’ X 300’ covered arena and 130’ x 80’ livestock pavilion, will essentially double the covered area available for events. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility offers 422 stalls housed in four permanent barns, 78 full RV hook ups, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces and an adjacent Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.

Photo: Jodie Kelly-Baxley and Grayton Beach dancing to victory at the Southeast Horse Show Ride Lite Show at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. (Photo courtesy of Katelyn Omas)

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center Gets Praise from the May Day Qualifier Dressage Show Management and Competitors

With well-groomed outdoor rings, a 123,000 square foot indoor arena, and over 400 permanent stalls, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center offers everything the aspiring dressage rider needs to enjoy campaigning with their equine partner. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has become a ‘go-to’ destination for dressage events. Southeast Horse Shows recently held their May Day Qualifier that featured over forty classes during the two-day event ranging from Training Level through Grand Prix.
Florida trainer Shelley Van den Neste rode down the centerline five times over the weekend on three different FEI horses. Van den Neste rode Max SRF in the Grand Prix on Saturday scoring a 65.652 and on Sunday in the Intermediate II scoring a 66.912 taking home the win.  Fayvel competed under Van den Neste in the Intermediate I Freestyle scoring a 73.375 and a 72.625 and Lorenzo Van De SRF competed in the Intermediate II scoring in the 60’s as well.  Van Den Neste said, “The outdoor ring footing is much improved and we always enjoy a weekend at Jacksonville”. Van den Neste also had her assistant Adrienne Owen showing in third level scoring 70% on Dina Lina SRF and in the open Prix St. George taking the win both days on Allegro SRF. Taking home an 80% no matter the class is never an easy feat, especially when it’s in an FEI class.  But Alexandra Dominguez did just that with Marcela Dominquez’s KWPN mare, Etanga by ‘Wynton X Crosby’.  The pair competed in the Intermediate I Freestyle and on Saturday they were rewarded with an 80.750% from renowned judge, Chopra.
Show Manager Carlie Evans was busy over the weekend but was very complementary of Jacksonville Equestrian Center Executive Director, Tim Jones. “The footing was great and Tim Jones is very professional and he really knows footing and how to work it.  We are very excited for the future expansion coming to the equestrian center”.  Southeast Horse Shows has two more events planned for this year. The expansion entails construction of a 300’ X 300’ covered arena that will attach to the existing 150’ x 300’ coliseum via a covered 130’ x 80’ livestock pavilion; essentially doubling the covered area available for events.
Known for its extensive amenities and ideal location. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches, The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility also houses four permanent barns with 422 stalls, 78 full hook up RV spaces, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces and an adjacent Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.
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Photo: Adrienne Owen and Dina Lina SRF celebrate their victories from the May Day Qualifier held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. (Photo courtesy of Shelley Van den Neste)
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Dressage Is Tracking Up at The Jacksonville Equestrian Center

With top tier arenas, an indoor coliseum like no other in the area and over 400 permanent stalls, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center provides everything a dressage rider needs to enjoy competing with their equine partner.  The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is becoming the go-to destination for dressage-focused equestrians, so it should come as no surprise that in the past month there were two dressage shows and in the upcoming month two more are on the calendar.
Host to the First Coast Classical Dressage Society’s annual shows and clinics, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, a premier Northeast Florida venue, offers a world-class showing experience to the society’s members. Lisa Beardsley, Vice President of the First Coast Classical Dressage Society, said, “We have been having shows at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center since 2014. Our first year, we held 3 shows.  Since then, we have put on 5 shows a year; all but one have been held at the equestrian center.”
The First Coast Classical Dressage Society plans to stay with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center long-term. “We have dates booked with the Jacksonville Equestrian Center through the end of 2018, and ‘requested to reserve’ show dates through 2020,” said Beardsley. During the Spring Dressage Challenge held April 21, they had thirty entries featuring a unique event called a showposium. “The show was enjoyed by all.  Our judge for the weekend, Cheryl Holekamp, “S”, from Ocala, came up on Friday to host private lessons with our members. Education spilled over into the weekend during our Showposium, with each entry riding their test and receiving immediate feedback and hands on training right afterwards.”
In addition to the Spring Dressage Challenge the NFDA Schooling Show was held on April 21. The event ran two arenas all day with classes ranging from Western Dressage to Fourth Level test one.  Judges on hand were Charlotte Trentelman and Lisa El-Ramey.
Coming up in the month of May, South East Horse Shows will host the May Day Qualifier on May 12th, and on May 19th NFDA is hosting another Schooling Show.
Known for its extensive amenities and ideal location. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center is only a short drive to the city and beautiful beaches, The Jacksonville Equestrian Center’s 80-acre facility also houses four permanent barns with 422 stalls, 78 full hook up RV spaces, indoor and outdoor vendor spaces and an adjacent Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.
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Photo 1: Sandi Lucas and Helius showing off their winnings after a successful show. (Photo courtesy of First Coast Classical Dressage Society)
Photo 2: Jacksonville Equestrian Center set to host numerous upcoming shows this summer and fall. (Photo courtesy of SDP Photography)
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Jacksonville Equestrian Center Hosts Groundbreaking Event

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center (JEC) held an official groundbreaking ceremony on May 3rd, 2018 for its new covered arena, part of its long term plan for progress and expansion.
“The new arena will be the largest clear-span covered arena in the southeast providing the necessary space to support a wider variety of activities and multiple events at the same time”, explained Peggy Fuller, DVM the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board of Directors Chair, addressing the attendees at the groundbreaking ceremony. The new covered arena will be 300’ x 300’ and will attach to the existing 150’ x 300’ coliseum via a covered 130’ x 80’ livestock pavilion “Essentially we are doubling the number of covered rings we currently have available. We’re thrilled that this new building will increase our capacity to offer diverse events to all members of the community.” Fuller thanked the City of Jacksonville council members and officials, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board members and staff, World Development Group International and the many members of the community who have supported the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, making the improvements possible.
Jacksonville City Council members, Doyle Carter, Joyce Morgan, Al Ferraro, Greg Anderson and Parks and Recreation Director, Daryl Joseph joined the Jacksonville Equestrian Center executive board members in commemorating the groundbreaking event.
The celebratory evening included an introduction to therapeutic riding by H.O.P.E. Therapy Director, Becky Davenport. She highlighted the benefits hippotheraphy programs provide to individuals with a wide range of special needs. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center will allow all Premiere Accredited Therapeutic Programs use of the facility. This will enable the facility to be utilized, even when not booked for events. H.O.P.E Therapeutic is currently the sole local Premiere Accredited Therapeutic Riding Program, and plans to make use of the facility. The Jacksonville Equestrian Center has a specially equipped carriage with a wheelchair lift and special needs mounting ramp that accommodates wheelchairs and walkers. The new covered arena will enable The Jacksonville Equestrian to host more events like the Special Olympics Area Qualifiers and Championships, which were held at the facility in 2017 and 2018 and provide an all-weather training and teaching location.
The commemorative evening also honored winners of the “Take it to the Jax” Agricultural Art Contest. Two Duval County Schools, Fort Caroline Middle School and Enterprise Learning Academy, participated in the contest. Councilman Doyle Carter and Councilwoman Joyce Morgan presented the students with their awards.  Fort Caroline Middle School 7th grader Bria McClary was a first place winner for her piece titled, The Rooster. Elian Salami was awarded second place for Horses and Isabelle Hampton was presented with third place for Orange Horses. Fourth graders from Enterprise Learning Academy were also recognized for their artistic talents. Kayle Lewis received first place for Teal Owl, Ava Linn was awarded second place for Horse and Barn, and Keira Collins received third place for Zebra & Tigers.
Attendees were treated to a celebrity barrel race that featured Jacksonville City Council Members and Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board members. Carolyn LaRose Jacksonville Equestrian Center Board of Directors Vice Chair raced to the fastest time. City Councilman Doyle Carter was second and the Center’s Board of Director’s Chair, Peggy Fuller, was third.  Local supporter and experienced barrel racer, Jodi Coxwell announced the event and provided expert coaching to the celebrities who braved the race. The barrel horses were graciously provided by Diamond D Ranch and Michael Griffin, all of which earned “equestrian saint” status for taking care of their riders during the fun event.
The celebration was capped off with a delicious Taco Bar Dinner by Anthony’s Catering, followed by a team roping demonstrations from this week’s NTRL Rope For The Truck competitors.  To catch a recap of the some of the evenings highlights follow this link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWezFjmE0Hw
The evening’s events highlighted the venue’s versatility and capacity to host a wide variety of equestrian and community events. The facility hosts an extensive range of popular, family-friendly gatherings throughout the year, such as car shows, family fun days, dog agility trials, bicycling events, and equestrian competitions for every breed and riding discipline. For nature lovers, the property also features miles of hiking and riding trails as well as a picnic pavilion. Visit Jacksonville Convention Services Manager Becky Parker and Senior Manager, Courtney Hartert were on hand at the event to remind guests that this easily accessible center is only a short drive to the city and Jacksonville’s beautiful beaches.
Known for its varied amenities and ideal location, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is now expanding to offer more to both the equestrian community as well as the Jacksonville community, alike. For more information and to learn more about upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call (904)-255-4215.
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Photo: Jacksonville Equestrian Center Ground Breaking officiants (from left to right) Councilmen Greg Anderson, Councilwoman Joyce Morgan, Councilman Doyle Carter, Chair of the Board Peggy Fuller, Vice Chair of the Board Carolyn LaRose, Construction Chair for the Board Joanne Connell, Secretary of the Board Betty Griner, and Director of Parks and Recreation Daryl Joseph.  (Photo courtesy of JRPR, no photo credit necessary)
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Jacksonville Equestrian Center Wraps Up Another Successful Spring Classic Series

For the third year in a row, the Jacksonville Equestrian Center wowed riders and spectators alike during the Jacksonville Spring Classic, held April 4 through April 15, 2018.
The facility, which boasts an impressive set-up including a larger-than-life indoor stadium, several outdoor rings and a derby field, attracted 500 hunter and jumper pairs from as far as Dallas, Texas.

The highly anticipated two-week series featured a myriad of hunter and jumper classes, with favorites including the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby sponsored by Glen Kernan Gold and Country Club, and the $35,000 Regional Grand Prix sponsored by Sidelines. Prize money totaled more than $260,000, adding to the allure of the springtime show.

The show also offered Opportunity Classes for those riders who are not USEF members and wanted to compete at a USEF-rated competition – cementing the series’ ideal environment for all types of riders, including junior, amateur and professional competitors ranging from unknown, local amateurs to household names, like Kelley Farmer.
Farmer, known by the hunter community as a derby queen, captured the coveted the $25,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby aboard her new partner, David Glefke’s Verdict. The impressive pair blew the competition out of the water with 20 points above the runner-up in a field of 23.
This year, many competitors were return customers, after enjoying the simultaneous comfort and excitement of previous years’ events. Derek Petersen, of Archer, Florida, for example, commented about how thrilled he was to return to the show. After taking second in last year’s grand prix, much to his pleasure, this year he took the blue in the $35,000 grand prix.
Equally happy to participate in the show, first-time Jacksonville Equestrian Center rider and winner of the $7,500 Welcome Jumper Amanda ‘Happy’ Comly, also expressed her enjoyment.
“It’s so nice to be here with the Classic Company,” she said. “It’s a lot more personal than other shows I’ve been to — it feels like the organizers care about what I think and how I’m doing. I’m grateful to be a part of this community.”
Of course, the show is just as thrilling for spectators as it is for riders. Conveniently located near lodging and attractions, like the Jacksonville Zoo and the Riverside historic district, spectators, who enjoy free admission and parking to the series can, find lots of entertainment.
To learn more about this year’s Jacksonville Spring Classic series, go to http://www.classiccompany.com/. For more information about the Jacksonville Equestrian Center and the myriad of equestrian events that call it home, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or call 904-255-4215.
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Photo 1: Derek Peterson and Diamant’s Legacy winners of the $35,000 Grand Prix during the first week of the Jacksonville Spring Classic. (Photo courtesy of Allison Hartwell Photography) http://www.alisonhartwell.com/
Photo 2: Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 owned by Westwind Equestrian winners of the $35,000 Sidelines Grand Prix during the final week of the Jacksonville Spring Classic. (Photo courtesy of Allison Hartwell Photography)http://www.alisonhartwell.com/
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Jacksonville Equestrian Center Brings in the Outstanding- Tim Jones Takes The Helm as the New Executive Director

Jacksonville, FL (January 3, 2018) — The Jacksonville Equestrian Center grounds first got its start as a former U.S. Naval base. When the Navy closed down the base, they donated 2,000 acres of forestland to the city of Jacksonville, earmarked for a regional recreational park. The city then created an 80-acre, world-class equestrian center on the property, capable of hosting many kinds of events and often has multiple events simultaneously.

The task of running the versatile, multi-faceted facility in Jacksonville, Florida, is now in the capable hands of Tim Jones. Although Jones spent the last several years in Kentucky horse country, he is happy to now call the warmth and balmy beauty of the sunshine state of Florida home.

Jones graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture (agronomy/animal science). “I grew up on a farm in far western Kentucky,” he drawled softly. “But I really did not become involved with horses until I attended The University of Kentucky where I began working part-time on a local Thoroughbred farm to help pay for college.” After starting off hot-walking racehorses, an enthusiastic Jones began to learn the horse business from the ground up. He went on to become a groom, and then an exercise rider.

After a short stint as an assistant farm manager in Ohio, Jones moved back to the Lexington area as the event-coordinator of the legendary Kentucky Horse Park. “Although my position at the park wasn’t hands-on with horses any longer, I was heavily involved with the Mounted Police unit there and was fortunate to ride with them on several occasions, including a musical ride and many public relations functions.” It was at the Kentucky Horse Park that Jones learned about the horse show industry. “I loved the job, and I grew with the department during the next 17 years. We added rings and barns, and it was a really good time to be there.”

Next up for Jones was a seven-year stint as the director of Western Kentucky University’s Agricultural Expo Center in Bowling Green, where he was in charge of the operation of a climate-controlled 2,000-seat indoor arena, an outdoor arena and event stabling. “The Expo Center hosts a number of equestrian and livestock events annually,” Jones explained, “as well as providing classroom and support to the Agriculture Department of the University.” Bowling Green was a much smaller facility, and he says he “missed the larger events at a place like the Kentucky Horse Park.”

“So that’s what brought me to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center,“ explained Jones. “More than anything, I like diversity and the variety of lots of different events. Horse shows have similar aspects but there are differences. A barrel racing competition is different from a dressage show, which is different from a hunter/jumper show, which is decidedly different from dog agility. Every day is different.” Then he happily added, “ I’m definitely excited about not having to put my snow-and-ice-removal skills to the test!”

Jones’ vast experience will serve him well as he heads up the exciting new phase of construction at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Ground breaking will commence next month for an additional covered arena and cattle cover to complement the 5000-seat indoor coliseum, stadium jumping field, four permanent barns, and seven outdoor arenas The Jacksonville Equestrian Center staff has already developed a reputation for hosting family-friendly exciting events all year round, with most events open to the public. The facility is a favorite destination not only for horse lovers and competitors, but also for recreational events that take advantage of miles of hiking and riding trails, a picnic pavilion and even an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool center abutting the equestrian facility.

For more information about the facility and to find out about upcoming events, visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com or Tim Jones at (904) 255-4225.

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Photo 1: Tim Jones the new Executive Director at Jacksonville Equestrian Center.
Tim Jones new Executive Director

Photo 2: Areal view of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center grounds.

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