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Missouri Fox Trotters Open 33rd Futurity & Spring Show

The 33rd annual 3-Year-Old Futurity, Spring Show and Youth Seminar of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association got under way this week and will continue through Saturday night.

Saturday will be championship night with the Futurity champions being named, along with other champions in various categories of judging.

The annual event, held at the showgrounds north of Ava, began on Tuesday with the National Youth Seminar. Showing of classes began Wednesday night and will continue with versatility shows at 10 a.m. on Thursday and Friday, with model and performance classes in the main arena each night through Saturday beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Some 77 classes will be exhibited during the annual Spring Show.

Preliminary showing of the 3-Year-Old Futurity classes will begin tonight (Thursday), with a list of some 127 3-year-old fox trotters eligible for the Futurity. Futurity horses will show in three categories – Open Amateur, Amateur Owned & Trained, and the Open Futurity.

While most of the attention at MFTHBA shows focuses on the evening classes in the main arena, the versatility classes that are held during the day are some of the most exciting to watch from a spectator viewpoint.

Versatility classes include reining, ranch horse cutting, roping, working cow horse and open trail classes.

Friday morning versatility classes will include pony obstacle (triathlon), open and youth trail classes, barrel racing, pole bending, and stake races.

In addition to the activities taking place at the showgrounds all this week, trail rides are being held in the area. Today’s ride will be at Crystal Lake east of Ava and Friday’s ride will be at the Assumption Abby and Brown’s Cave area. Riders will gather across the road from the showgrounds and will depart for the ride location at 8:30 a.m. each morning.

Youngsters participating in the Youth Seminar on Tuesday were given instruction on various aspects of training, riding and showing a horse.

The Spring Show might be considered a mini version of the Show and Celebration that will be held Sept. 2-8. At the annual fall show, more than 150 classes will be exhibited during the Sunday-through-Saturday event, which also features shows in both the versatility and main arenas throughout the week.

Ava has held the distinction of being the world headquarters of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association since the breed was officially established in 1948.

Every year, thousands of horse owners and horse enthusiasts make the pilgrimage to Ava to visit the headquarters office and showgrounds, and to attend the annual shows of the beloved breed.