Hundreds of beautiful Missouri Fox Trotters and thousands of their fans will arrive in Ava from Monday, Sept. 5 through Saturday, Sept. 10 for the 58th annual Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) World Show and Celebration.
Exhibitors and their registered Missouri Fox Trotters will compete for the coveted title of 2016 MFTHBA World Grand Champion.
Horses will be exhibited in more than 120 classes from Monday through Saturday. Various events outside the arena will be held to highlight the versatility of the State Horse of Missouri.
“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.
A truly unique event, the World Show and Celebration is designed to celebrate all aspects of the breed. Throughout the week, the event features Performance, Model, Versatility and Ranch Horse competition in the arena along with daily organized trail rides, a trail obstacle challenge competition, clinics, educational seminars along with many other events.
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.”
Monday, Sept. 5 will kick off with versatility competition at 10 a.m. Various educational seminars will be held throughout the day. At 2 p.m. an exhibitor tack swap will be held where you will find everything you need to outfit your horse. The evening session each evening will begin at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday, attendees can discover the lost art of canning at a Canning 101 presentation scheduled for 1 p.m.
On Wednesday, the MFTHBA, along with several area Ava businesses, will be hosting a Community Day at the Celebration. Admission is free all day. In addition to scheduled Missouri Fox Trotting Horse competition, the day will be filled with special events for the entire family.
Special events include Horseshoe Pitching presented by championship competitor Alfred Munday, Inflatable Slide & Bounce House courtesy of Cahows Inflatables, and a Campfire Cooking Demonstration presented by the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Wednesday will feature the last of the versatility competition starting at 9 a.m. with the evening performance starting at 6 p.m.
The Missouri State University West Plains Viticulture Program will be providing an educational session on wine starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7. Thursday will also feature the ranch horse classes in the versatility arena. Competition starts at 9 a.m. Thursday’s evening session will start at 6 p.m.
Friday offers a unique opportunity to see the breed’s excellence on the trail. The Trail Obstacle Challenge will begin at 10 a.m.
A free cattle sorting clinic for MFTHBA members will start at 9 a.m. This clinic is being presented by Cornerstone Productions. Friday will also feature the second annual Fun Dog Show. The Fun Dog Show will begin at 2 p.m.
Evening activities on Saturday will begin with the induction of members and horses into the Hall of Fame, followed by the final competition and crowning of the 2016 World Grand Champion. This year’s 2016 Open World Grand Champion 5-years-and-older will receive a one-year lease on a new three horse trailer from feature sponsor Trailer Country.
Regular admission daily tickets are $5 Monday through Thursday, and $6 on Friday and Saturday. Weekly passes are $30. Admission Wednesday will be free all day.
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 417-683-2468 or visit www.mfthba.com/celebration for information.
The MFTHBA show grounds are located at Ava on Highway 5, one mile north of the junction of Hwys. 5 and 14.