Tracks K9 club wants everyone to feel welcome.
Tracks K9 Club opened their gates officially this last weekend in Chiefland, Florida. Over 100 dogs from around the region participated in the two-day event, and the vast majority had their first experience with both Barn Hunt and Dock Diving. The club spans several acres a short distance from I-19 in North Central Florida, and only a couple hours from Orlando, Tampa, or Jacksonville.
Owners Chris and Kim Hutchko, and close friend Diane D'Angelo were avid dog sports fans and very active in Dock Diving in Bradenton, FL before moving to Chiefland.
With no local facility providing Dock Diving and room to spare they decided to build their own.
While making plans for the club they encountered Barn Hunt and immediately were hooked, so they added that to the facility with a custom-built barn, specifically for that very popular game.
"We want to make it a relaxed, fun place for everybody to come. There's no rush, no pressure" - Chris Hutchko
According to Chris, the goal is to provide a relaxed, fun place for dog owners to come, play and expand their experiences with their dogs. He was especially passionate to emphasize the need for the public to be welcome and hopes to see newcomers to these games that are so popular amongst those who already know about them, but most dog owners are unsure where to go or how to start.
Hero Dogz get special attention Dogs of disabled 1st Responder and Military Veterans play for free! Chris Hutchko is a 20-year police officer left the force on disability himself and knows the special bonds that many have with their dogs. Tracks K9 Club intends to free the barrier that many disabled 1st responder and military veterans struggle with financially.
Typically, the cost to participate in many activities is beyond the means with limited incomes and the real health threats of extended isolation can be tackled by removing that barrier for these often-overlooked members of our society. Tracks K9 Club plan to waive fees for disabled 1st responders and military veterans.
"The support from the surrounding community has been overwhelming" - Chris Hutchko
Opening the gates to all
It’s rare to see so many dog families new to the games provided this weekend. The more common audiences we see at events like this are mostly families already involved in a variety of dog sports and very few spectators.
We met many neighbors to the facility, and they were universally very happy to be part of the opening days and excited about having Tracks K9 Club in the community. There were many families from across the region who made the drive to see firsthand Barn Hunt and Dock Diving.
Everyone was greeted with a warm welcome and newcomers were given special 1 on 1 treatment and patient training on the first steps into the games provided.
Nuts and Bolts
The Tracks K9 Club has ample parking space and local vendors are accommodated for events. A portable bathroom is on site but not ADA compliant at this time (Note: accommodations can be made with advance notice). The Dock is larger than most. A 45-foot pool and a 40-foot run up dock with dog friendly AstroTurf.
Additional wheelchair access is planned, and a secondary “training” dock will be added. A large sunshade tent runs parallel to the dock for spectators and crating of dogs for the day. The Barn
A large 30x60 foot all steel barn was constructed to provide indoor Barn Hunt activities. With roll up doors and fans now added, this facility will be available year-round.
Just the beginning The team at Tracks K9 Club appeared sincere and committed to bringing these dog sports to a much wider audience and plan to host frequent events, including targeted special weekends for our disabled and all 1st responders and military veterans.
The owners plan to expand on the range of events with sports like Fast CAT and Agility being considered and companies interested in sponsoring the club, events and prizes are welcome to contact them at https://tracksk9club.com/
Florida has been a fantastic state for dog sports, but those sports have been less and less attended by the general public or younger participants. The shear excitement of the attendees from all parts who visited this opening weekend and deliberate outreach to newcomers by the team at Tracks K9 Club. They may have the secret sauce to spark a huge growth in activity for our Florida dogs.
It is undeniable that active dog families provide the healthiest environments for the dogs and owners alike. Active dog households rarely surrender dogs and have strong bonds that grow amongst both the dogs and family through participation in the games and the community.
Tracks K9 Club is setting the path to what the future of dog sports can be in the state, and we are very excited to watch this journey and hope you all get to be part of it.
** Photo-Feature **
Tracks K9 Sports Club - Grande Opening 8-10th Jan 2022
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Tracks K9 Club 14841 NW 66TH AVE
CHIEFLAND, FL, 32626, US
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Tracks K9 Club
http://www.tracksk9club.com/ On Facebook: @Tracks K9 club
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