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Fox Trotter Show & Celebration Opens Sunday For Week-Long Run

2013 World Grand Champion Will Be Crowned on Saturday Night, Sept. 7

Hundreds of beautiful Missouri Fox Trotters and thousands of their fans will be in Ava from Sunday, Sept. 1 through Saturday, Sept. 7 for the 55th annual Show and Celebration of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA).
Actually, many of the guests have already started arriving in anticipation of this years week-long show that always begins Labor Day Weekend.
Camper hookups are provided at the showgrounds north of town to accomodate the many exhibitors and spectators who make the annual trek to Ava from all across the U.S.
Exhibitors and their registered Missouri Fox Trotters will compete for cash, prizes and the coveted title of 2013 MFTHBA World Grand Champion.
Horses will be exhibited in more than 150 classes from Sunday through Friday. Various events outside the arena will be held to highlight the versatility of the State Horse of Missouri as well as provide socializing and education for their owners.
On Friday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m., a trail obstacle jackpot will be held on the American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) approved practice course located on the MFTHBA grounds.
On Saturday Sept. 7, events will begin at 10 a.m. with a Missouri Fox Trotting Horse sale followed by a clinic sponsored by Manna Pro and conducted by world champion trainer Geno Middleton.
Evening activities will begin with the induction of members and horses into the Hall of Fame and a parade of past World Grand Champions, followed by the final competition and crowning of the 2013 World Grand Champion.
Saturday night attendees will be able to enter to win a Hedgpeth Saddle, the Official Trail Saddle of the MFTHBA.  The saddle will be awarded during the show and will be designed specifically for the winner by Hedgpeth Saddlery.
“There is a reason we call this our annual Celebration,” says Joyce Graening, MFTHBA President. “Our friends and admirers gather for several days of spirited appreciation and competition with our graceful, athletic, and versatile Missouri Fox Trotting Horses. We commemorate our breed’s rich history here in the Missouri Ozarks, and honor its emergence as both a pleasure and working horse of choice around the world.”
Graening notes that there is something for everyone on the MFTHBA show grounds.
There is a full week of competition that includes classes in model (halter), gaited performance, and versatility (cow cutting, trail challenges) competitions.
Throughout the show, vendors will offer everything from food to fashion located throughout the 130 acre grounds.  Guests may also enjoy visiting the Hall of Fame and Museum located in the headquarters building, or selecting official Missouri Fox Trotter items at the Fox Trotter Store in the Roy Williams Pavilion.
“The World MFTHBA Headquarters transforms into a small city,” says Graening. “We have 334 full service RV sites, dry camping areas, three bathroom and shower facilities, 850 covered stalls, five arenas, and numerous riding areas. It is a horse lover’s dream.”
This year, the MFTHBA honors FFA members with free admission all day Wednesday, Sept. 4 and a special FFA class during the nighttime show.  To receive free admission, current and past FFA members should wear their FFA jacket.
Regular admission daily tickets are $5 Monday through Thursday, and $6 on Friday and Saturday.  Weekly passes are $30.
Any horse owner will enjoy trail rides departing from the show grounds on Monday through Friday mornings. Rides are open to all riders, regardless of the breed of horse and you do not have to be an exhibitor to participate.  All horses entering the show grounds will need proof of their horse’s negative Coggins test and a certificate of veterinary inspection. Call 1-417-683-2468 or visit for information.
The MFTHBA show grounds are located at Ava, Mo., on Highway 5, one mile north of the junction of Hwy. 5 and Hwy. 14.

About the Missouri Fox Trotter
Developed from horses in the Missouri Ozarks about 150 years ago, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is characterized by a gentle demeanor and its signature gait, the fluid, diagonal 4-beat fox trot. Bloodlines can be traced from the horses of early settlers coming to the Ozarks from neighboring states of Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas.
These horses were depended upon for surefootedness in this mountainous region. Their ability to do whatever was needed around the homestead ranging from plowing, hauling logs and working cattle, while at the same time being able to double as a stylish buggy horse or riding horse for the family, made them not only a favorite, but a necessity.
The Missouri Fox Trotter’s good dispositions and willing attitudes are among their many desirable characteristics, making them one of the most versatile and loved of horse breeds within the equine registries.
Since 1948, the MFTHBA has worked to promote the Fox Trotter gaited horse and support a registry for horses that meet the breed standards of gait and conformation. There have been more than 96,000 registered Fox Trotters since that time.
Horse lovers wanting to learn more about gaited horses, in particular the Missouri Fox Trotter, can subscribe to new email publications from the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA). Visit www.mfthba. com to sign up.
A complete schedule of the week’s activities, including trail rides, pre-show events and special activities can be found on Page A-Four.