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Pirate Cluster Farm Dogs 2019

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Draxen Farms brought the farm to St Lucie, Florida.

AKC Pirate Cluster, St Lucie, Florida

(extended photo feature at end of article)

St. Lucie County Fair, FL 2019 Pirate Cluster hosted by the Treasure Coast Kennel Club (TCKC). Only in it's second year, the "Pirate Cluster" has grown to be one of the South Easts most popular events and this year Christine Segedin returned as the cluster host with a dream team of only six to manage over a hundred volunteers, dozens of vendors and multiple organizations required for such a combined show of this sort. Part Two of our extended Pirate Cluster 2019 Feature

AKC Farm Dog Tests at the 2019 Pirate Cluster

Draxen Farms

Farm Dogs come in every shape and size

AKC Farm Dog Certification

Open to all breeds of dogs, this test involves your dog performing a series of 12 exercises that are typical for a farm environment such as being in close proximity to livestock (who are always penned to avoid any altercations); jumping and staying on hay/straw bales; walking on unusual terrain; and jumping over logs. There is no herding involved. Instead, the goal is to assess his aptitude as a working farm dog by exhibiting self-control, confidence and trust with you or his handler. (AKC)

Mike Horgan an U.S. Army veteran who fell in love with the herding and farm dog experience 20 years ago with his own Rottweiler. Ten years ago he started of Draxen Farms in Fort Pierce, Florida and provides training, instinct and farm dog testing for all breeds of dogs at their facility. Lorrie Volpe, Luann Madison, Lisha Phillips and others who help keep the operation friendly, upbeat and busy throughout the year.

Mike is a veteran himself and served in US Army demolitions in the 70's. At Draxen Farms He and his staff have worked with many dogs and owners, but importantly with veterans who have become isolated except for their one trusted companion. Their dog, and seen first hand the impact that learning this focused and sometimes complex training has had on moving ahead, providing meaning and purpose to their lives.

Do you have a dog who is herding all the dogs at the dog park?  We will help you bring out their natural herding instinct which will redirect this behavior. - Draxen farms

FIRST STEP - instinct test. Look for sustained interest and gather instead of chasing and will work with the handler

Draxen Farms provided the AKC Farm Dog Test for this years Pirate Cluster, in St. Lucie, FL. A large number of the dogs taking on the challenge for the very first time and a great opportunity for many to see just how their own pups may act with all the daily distractions of life on the farm. From sudden noises, strange smells, livestock and those ever unpredictable ducks.

You are working with the dogs instinct .. and its very gratifying to work with a dogs - Mike Horgan

Hero Dogz

Veterans with Disabilities:

Friendly territory.

Mike and his team have special ties to the veteran community. From working with the disabled and providing training for service dogs to a willingness and patience needed for many new to the rural games for their own Hero Dogz. With this understanding of the need for adpation and flexibility, Draxen Farms is a truly fantastic opportunity for any who would like to learn an ageless past time with their best friend.

Get Started!

Please feel free to contact me at or the organizations linked in the article or at end of article if you are a 1st responder or military veteran and have specific questions. I wil do my best to direct you to the best sources to answer or answer those I can.

Wrapping Up

Unlike many dog and owner activities, the Farm Dog games do not require any particular athleticism on behalf of the handler, but does require a much higher bond and teamwork.

As with many of the 'rural" activities I cover, the Draxen Farms crew exhibited that easy nature that puts you at ease and patience to guide you step by step to a new understanding of the special relationship you have with your own dogs and a sense of accomplishment and purpose in reaching that next level.

It is that feeling that makes Mike and the Draxen Farms 'family" a very special place and we are fortunate in having it right here in our state of Florida.

** Photo-Feature **

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AKC Pirate Cluster 10-13 October 2019


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More Information:

Draxen Farms

Telephone: 772.342.6125 Contact:

AKC Farm Dog test

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Rob Robinson
Rob Robinson
Jun 08, 2022

I've known Mike and the team for years now and can honestly say they are amongst the kindest people I know. When I was struggling with my own disabled dog, they reached out and were there to guide and support us at the worst of times.

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