CLUB HISTORY AND CHRONOLOGY
In 1970 Ocala area dog fanciers decided to form an AKC all breed dog club. Many of these folks were members of the Greater Gainesville Dog Fanciers Association. An advertisement was placed in the Star Banner newspaper inviting like minded people to join the endeavor. Meetings were held at the National Guard Armory in Ocala.
Greater Ocala Dog Club was incorporated as a not for profit corporation in 1972. The signatories were President Ann Dill, Vice President Ben Saxon, Secretary Dagmar Anderson and Treasurer John S. Pringle. The board of directors were Myra Crabtree, Ann Berlett, Carole J. McAteer, Cathy Saxon and Betty Schendler.
The first AKC All-Breed dog show and obedience trial was held April 6, 1974, at College Park Elementary School. There were 1040 dogs entered with a total of 1071 entries in 95 different breeds and varieties.
Several shows in the late 70’s were held at Golden Hills Academy on Highway 27, the last of these shows was held November 15, 1980.
In 1981 the club began using land leased from Marion County at Route 464 and 38th Street for shows held in April and November. Records show members began looking for a minimum of 20 acres to purchase in 1984. By 1986 there was much discussion of land to purchase.
The acquisition of 20 acres on Old Gainesville Road by the Greater Ocala Dog Club, Inc. occurred on November 20, 1986. The first show site committee, appointed October 21, 1986, consisted of Pete Copeland- Chairman, Doc Clark, Jack Tottle and Russell Hicks. November 4, 1986, President Chuck Keefe announced proper zoning for the land had been approved.
Work on the new property began in January 1987, cleaning and fencing were the biggest endeavors. Pole barns were also added for protection while showing dogs.
The first AKC show at the club show grounds was held April 1987. The entry for the next show, November 3, 1987, was 2191 dogs!
May 2, 1989, GODC purchased an additional 7.2 acres and on November 24, 1999, 12.98 acres was purchased. Giving the club a lovely, oak studded 40 acres on which to hold dog shows.
The Greater Ocala Dog Club is member club of the American Kennel Club.
As with any club, members come and go, but the land gives us solidarity and true purpose preserving a place for those of us who love dogs and love showing them.