Northeast Florida Equestrian Society

Northeast Florida Equestrian Society/H.O.R.S.E. Therapies, Inc. (NFES) is an IRS-registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation, also duly qualified and registered as a non-profit operation and solicitor by the State of Florida. 

NFES holds the management contract for the Jacksonville Equestrian Center from the City of Jacksonville. 

NFES has been in operation for 10 years and has been the JEC manager since October 1, 2014. NFES consists of a Board of Directors, an advisory board consisting of community leaders or advocates and a confirmed consultant list of experts in various fields of finance, law, event creation or planning, construction, security, operations, grants and donor solicitations.

Meet our Board of Directors
Peggy Fuller portrait

Peggy Fuller

Chair

Dr. Fuller has served the Northeast Florida Equestrian Society for 15 years. She became involved with the JEC when she felt like it was not being utilized to its fullest potential and the city was contemplating closing it. As Chair, Dr. Fuller is responsible for leading the all-volunteer NFES Board. She works closely with our executive director as well as city officials. Since NFES took over the management contract in 2014, attendance is up 92%, revenue up 66%, and the economic impact the JEC has on the COJ has increased exponentially! Under the NFES management we have completed our new covered arena and added two additional competition rings. She is the owner of Mandarin Equine Veterinary Services, and equine Veterinary practice serving clients in Jacksonville since 1991. She is an accomplished equestrian who owns and shows horses in the Hunter & Jumper arena.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

A graduate of the University of Florida with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Fuller has over 34 years in her specialty of equine medicine and has owned her Jacksonville based business for 30 years. Her clients range from large, established show barns to local pleasure horse owners. Dr. Fuller is well known for her sport horse knowledge, being a competitive rider herself, as well her advanced reproductive skills. As the daughter of the late Rear Admiral Robert Byron Fuller, USN a Vietnam Veteran who was shot down, tortured and held as a POW for 6 years, Dr. Fuller has a keen interest in developing and educating the public for support of the equine therapeutic facility that will be located at the JEC. This program will “give back” to our military and civilian community treating both mental and physical disabilities. As the current board chair and working in collaboration with the COJ and UNF she is optimistic this plan will come to fruition.

Dr. Fuller lives in Jacksonville’s Mandarin neighborhood on a small farm. She also serves on the board of directors for H.O.R.S.E. Therapies of Northeast Florida, Inc and the North American Division for the Belgian Warmblood Association. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine teaching senior Veterinary students through her practice.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time with horses (showing, breeding and raising young prospects), gardening and spending time with her “two legged” Men in her life, her husband Charle (Chuck) Kalb Jr. and her son Charles (Chuck) Kalb III, DVM.

Carolyn LaRose portrait

Carolyn LaRose

VICE CHAIR

Carolyn La Rose is an entrepreneur, conservationist, barn owner and AQHA trainer. She owns and operates La Rose Performance Horse in Jacksonville FL, a boarding, breeding and training facility, specializing in AQHA/APHA/PHBA western pleasure and hunter under saddle horses, along with rehabilitation of exotic and endangered animals. After pursuing her degree in equine science and business management at Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania, Carolyn worked for numerous professionals in the equine industry. Working for AQHA, APHA and even ApHC trainers, specializing in the pleasure and the all-around events, she also worked for specialized veterinarians, theriogenology and large breeding facilities, standing stallions, foaling mares and learning neo-natal care. After working for other professionals successfully training, showing and expanding her breeding knowledge, Carolyn opened her facility in Jacksonville Florida in 2012. She has since had AQGA, PHBA, APHA, PtHA, ApHC, NSBA and Congress champion and reserve champions in all different events. Carolyn continues to train and show, but her passion and focus has been developing her breeding program and raising top quality foals for the future of the pleasure horse industry.

Donna Kelley Gysin portrait

Donna Kelley Gysin

Treasurer

My name is Donna Kelley Gysin and my dad, Charles Kelley served on the JEC Board of Directors. I truly believe the Jacksonville Equestrian Center was the love of his life.

I grew up with lots of cows, chickens, a donkey and many horses. My Dad taught me about God and his amazing creations. He taught me to love animals, especially how to take care of them. He told me at night while we were sleeping, the animals in the barn talked to each other. I still believe this to be true.

My Dad was known as Charlie to his friends and was instrumental in working with the Department of Interior for pursuing the 2,000 plus acres conveyed to the City of Jacksonville for the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. He was convinced that a world class equestrian center would attract people and events from all over the country, and it does!

Dad served on the NFES board of Directors from the beginning, and astutely kept all the historical records of JEC and the all-important DOI conveyances, deeds and correspondence. Joanne Connell was with me at Dads bedside in Hospice. We talked about what Dad had done for the city, the trails and the JEC. Through tears, we joked that dad was waiting on Joanne’s visit so he could elicit a promise that his work continues. I assured Joanne that even through Dad was conscious, he was still listening, advocating for JEC and was spiritually present forever. An hour later Dad left us to be with his Lord.
I truly believe the JEC was the love of Dad’s life.

Here are some of the projects my father volunteered or was recognized for:

  • The design of the main building, the specifications for the horse barn and parking for the horse trailers at the JEC.
  • Charlie served on the Better Jacksonville Oversight Committee, the City’s funding mechanism to build the JEC, pool and ballfields.
  • A cowboy himself, Charlie was determined to have trails opened to the public for use by not only equestrians, but hikers, cyclists and nature observers alike.
  • To fully reach this dream, at the ripe “young” age of 80, Charlie took on a new project – to improve the trails and make them ADA compliant so everyone could enjoy them. He recruited volunteers and donors to refurbish an existing pavilion out on the trails.
  • In 2009, Charlie received recognition for a lifetime of community service in which The Jacksonville City Council officially, by resolution 2009-639, named the Charles Kelley Pavilion in his honor.
  • He also volunteered countless hours for the Baldwin Rails to Trails project.
  • In 2004, Charlie was awarded the First Coast Envirothon Anchor for Outstanding Leadership and Support.

The JEC is a hidden gem and a precious commodity to the City of Jacksonville and I am proud and honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Jen Miller portrait

Jen Miller

secretary

Jen Miller has been involved in the Hunter/Jumper world since a very early age. Born and raised in Jacksonville, she has lived and trained all over the country. After graduating from the University of South Florida with a Business degree in Economics, she started her professional riding and training career. Working under elite trainers and managers taught her the ins and outs of the hunter/jumper world and how to properly take care of horses and turn them out form them to perform at their best. Now based just south of the Equestrian Center, she has a farm in Oakleaf Plantation where she runs her hunter/jumper training business. Her goal is to focus on each individual and keep it simple and safe.

Jen has been on the Board since 2019 and currently serves as Secretary. She would like to see the Equestrian Center recognized as a top facility in the region for all horse related events as well as a concert venue, outdoor events facility, and place people are proud to visit.

Joanne Connell

Joanne Connell has served on the all-volunteer NFES board since 2004, serving as chair in January 2016 to 2018 as well as in several positions on the NFES board. She also serves as records historian and Registered Agent for the non-profit corporation. Currently, she volunteers as the capital construction committee board directives for the center. In August of 2017, the City of Jacksonville extended the NFES contract for an additional five years. Ms. Connell lives on Jacksonville’s Southside and has also served on other civic and community-based boards. She was ACE (Architecture Construction and Engineering) mentor with the Duval County School Board for 5 years. Ms. Connell has been involved in local horse clubs in several official positions and has managed club horse shows. She has traveled to multiple states competing or spectating at Local, State, Regional and National level equine events. Ms. Connell participated in the equine discipline of Dressage.

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

Mx. Connell is a Florida Licensed Interior Designer and has been employed in local and national architectural and design firms. She has designed, permitted and administered construction of interior projects ranging from small and professional office buildings to hospitality developments such as country clubs and community centers to large LEED projects including a hospital in Oklahoma. She was part of the original design team for the JEC.

Paul Stanley portrait

Paul Stanley

Paul Stanley has a twofold role in regards to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Paul brings the Shamrock Showdown, one of our leading barrel racing events to JEC each March and works throughout the year for the National Barrel Horse Association. Paul has been with the NBHA for 26 years and travels the country to manage 16 NBHA shows per year. He was instrumental in securing a five-year contract for the Shamrock to be held at JEC. In addition to putting on Barrel shows across the country, Paul also serves on the NFES Board of Directors, who oversees the operations of The Jacksonville Equestrian Center. Through his extensive experience with major show facilities across the country, Paul brings a wealth of knowledge to the board to constantly reassess operations and suggest improvements. We are so happy to have Paul’s shows committed to The Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

Eric smith portrait

Eric Smith

Jodi Coxwell portrait

Jodi Coxwell

Lane Samples portrait

Lane Samples

Lane Samples was born and raised in the Maxville community within Duval County. From an early age rodeo, equestrian events, and ranching were the main attractions in his life due to the influence of his father, who was a professional bull rider and horse trainer. These interests helped lead Lane to Tarleton State university in Stephenville, Texas where he attained a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture Business Management, as well as competing for the rodeo team at the university. While at TSU, Lane was actively involved in TREAT, which is a therapeutic riding program for people with mental and physical disabilities. This program developed a strong passion in Lane to serve the people around him, while utilizing horses. After graduating from TSU and moving back to the Jacksonville area.

Lane is now an Agriculture teacher at Oakleaf High School and is an advisor for FFA. Serving the Jacksonville Equestrian Center is a great privilege for Lane to serve his community and to share his passion for equestrian events, as well as the equestrian community.

Bree Alban

Bree Alban is the owner of Windemere Equestrian Center in Jacksonville Florida, a full service boarding and lesson barn offering adult and youth riding programs for both English and Western riding with a primary focus on the Appaloosa horse breed. Born and raised in the Jacksonville and St. Augustine area, Bree is a graduate of The Bolles School. Bree attended The University Of Florida and graduated from the College Of Business. Bree has been involved in her family’s business, Ring Power Corporation, in various management positions and serves on the company’s board. She is also a recent elected member of The Flagler College Board of Trustees. Bree enjoys riding in her spare time and is an avid supporter of her barn and involvement in show circuits. Bree and her husband, David, live in Jacksonville with their children Lee (16) and Carson (9).

Randy Temkin

I am Randy Temkin. I have been a Florida resident since 1970 residing currently in Anthony, (between Ocala and Gainesville). I am married to Julie for over 35 years and we have two grown children.

I have been involved in the pet industry in just about every aspect since 1975.

I have professionally raised animals, trained many different species, worked in wholesale and retail (pet and veterinary), worked as veterinary technician, consulted to animal hospitals and owned and operated a pet cemetery/crematory until 2019.

After retiring from the pet aftercare business, I have been an announcer for horse shows around the U.S., announcing various disciplines and breed shows.

I have been involved in the equine “world” since 1993 owning, breeding, raising and competing.

Since 2000 I have worked extensively in the reining discipline, and serve on the board of the Florida Reining Horse Association.

I have in the past served on community boards (civic and youth sports), and served in lay leadership, as chair and member of various boards and councils in my church in Pompano Beach.

portrait photo coming soon

Taylor McLendon