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. There was also the team competition - DACOF which is currently held in Kissimmee. There would also be an occasional evening trial. An air conditioned arena in Arcadia enabled Summer trials in an air conditioned arena on dirt. Also, Bratty Paws Sports Plex in Punta Gorda, Dog Training Club of St. Petersburg and Featuring Agility (coming soon) in Sorrento have trials indoors on turf. The World Equestrian Center in Ocala has several indoor facilities that could be used for agility trials (cost would probably limit to national events). There are four large indoor arenas with a sand/felt surface and one with a clay/sand surface. There are also two exhibition halls that conceivably have a synthetic turf surface installed. The exhibition halls and indoor arenas all have about 170' x 530’ surfaces so they can hold multiple rings.   Between those locations and DACOF there can be almost an AKC trial every weekend during the Summer. 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 Christmas, you will likely find at least one AKC trial every weekend. However, you may be able to trial every day between Christmas and New Years!


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 and are currently out of favor).
  • Outdoor training facility - Trials are generally organized by the owner of the property. RV parking is usually dry camping if there is enough room. I call them back yard trials.
  • Indoor training facility - Trials are generally organized by the owner of the property. Generally no or limited RV parking due to the space limitations of the parking lot. Bratty Paws has up to 30 electric hookups and Featuring Agility has a number of 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 arena or indoor sites on artificial turf.  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 will have at least one set of trials and I have seen as many as four AKC trial sets. 

ASCA - A handful of trial sets annually. These are mostly at Baker, FL (covered equestrian arena ). 

CPE - The second most popular. These are generally held outdoors on grass at training facilities from the Ocala Area down to the Fort Myers area. Calusa has started offering indoor CPE trials at Bratty Paws. From late September through early May there will generally be a CPE trial set every weekend. There are occasional trials during the Summer but are designed to start and end early or held in the evening under lights.

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.

NADAC - There are a few trials held by a club in the Tampa area. 

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 area. Indian River Dog Training Club has also had trials on the East Coast. 

UKC - A handful of trial sets annually. Like TDAA these are mostly held in Tampa-Lakeland and Ocala areas. 

UKI - The youngest organization. We had the first Florida UKI trial set in January 2014. The trials are currently held at either Bratty Paws or Florida Classic Park.

USDAA - A number of trials are held in the prime season. The trials are held in a variety of facilities.

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