Make us your home page
Instagram

Dog show to return to Florida Classic Park in 2014

Kristen O’Brien, 13, holds a third-place ribbon she won showing Calvin, an 8-year-old golden retriever she co-owns, at the Florida Classic Clusters Winter Dog Show. The event is scheduled to come back to  Florida Classic Park after a year in Ocala.

MAURICE RIVENBARK | Times (2011)

Kristen O’Brien, 13, holds a third-place ribbon she won showing Calvin, an 8-year-old golden retriever she co-owns, at the Florida Classic Clusters Winter Dog Show. The event is scheduled to come back to Florida Classic Park after a year in Ocala.

BROOKSVILLE — After a year's absence due to a legal battle between principal property owners, Florida Classic Park in eastern Hernando County is set to become "canine central" again with the return of the Florida Classic Clusters Winter Dog Show in 2014.

Mary Manning-Stolz, coordinator of the event, organized by the Florida Gulf Coast Cluster, confirmed Wednesday that the group has reserved dates with the American Kennel Club that will bring the show — the largest accredited dog show in Florida — back to its traditional two-week slot in mid January.

"It will be good to be back home," said Manning-Stolz. "The park has always been the perfect location for our dog show."

Last fall, organizers of the show, which included four Central Florida kennel clubs, announced they were moving this year's show to Ocala because of the fallout from a lawsuit filed in 2011 by the Inverness Kennel Club. The suit, which names Manning-Stolz and her husband, Daniel, as primary co-defendants, along with Florida Classic Park, alleged that the couple misappropriated money raised from events, withheld profits and failed to maintain detailed financial records.

Manning-Stolz declined Wednesday to comment on the lawsuit, which is pending, but said that club representatives agreed that the Florida Classic Clusters Winter Dog Show needed to return to its traditional home. She said that although the show in Ocala was a financial success, many members expressed a desire to go back to Hernando.

Inverness lawyer Kevin Dixon, who represents the Inverness Kennel Club, said he was unaware of any stipulation that precluded his clients or the Florida Gulf Coast Cluster from using or holding events on the 50 acres on Lockhart Road that is jointly owned by the clubs.

However, the announcement by the Florida Gulf Coast Cluster of its intention to hold this year's event in Ocala prompted the Inverness club to move its planned all-breed dog show on May 18 and 19 to the Hernando County Fairgrounds in Brooksville.

For nearly a dozen years, the Florida Classic Clusters show had a sizable economic impact on local hotels, restaurants and businesses that cater to the largely out-of-town crowd. All told, the event brought an estimated $1.5 million in tourism dollars to the county each year.

Hernando County tourism coordinator Tammy Heon said that she was pleased to hear news of the dog show's return to the county.

"It's a major boost to east-side businesses, especially," Heon said. "I'm certain that they will be greeted with welcome arms."

Meanwhile, Manning-Stolz said her organization is exploring opportunities to rent out the facility for other events, including breed-specific dog and cat shows and arts and crafts fairs.

"It's been under-used, in our opinion," she said. "It would be nice to see the park earn some revenue for the club."

Logan Neill can be reached at lneill@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1435.

Dog show to return to Florida Classic Park in 2014 03/20/13 [Last modified: Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  2. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  3. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  4. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.
  5. Honda denies covering up dangers of Takata air bags

    Autos

    With just a third of the defective Takata air bag inflators replaced nationwide, the corporate blame game of who will take responsibility — and pay — for the issue has shifted into another gear.

    Honda is denying covering up dangers of Takata air bags. | [Scott McIntyre, New York Times]