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Special 60th Anniversary Merchandise

Special merchandise to recognize the 60th World Show and Celebration will be available for pre-order at the Spring Show and Three Year Old Futurity this coming June.  Hats, t-shirts and more will be made available utilizing a special logo designed specifically for this year’s Celebration.

Watch for more information on this special merchandise as the event gets closer.












Special Recognition Events Planned For 60th World Show and Celebration

Special recognition is being planned for the 60th Annual World Show and Celebration scheduled for this September.  The MFTHBA plans to recognize the following individuals and horses during the event:

  • All past Open 5 years and older World Grand Champions
  • Individuals that have attended all 60 world championship shows
  • Past and present members of the MFTHBA Board of Directors
  • Families of the founding members of the MFTHBA

There will be a booth at the 2018 Spring Show and Three Year Old Futurity where individuals can obtain more information on the special events planned for the World Show and Celebration.  Individuals are encouraged to stop by the booth in the Roy Williams Pavilion.

Anyone with questions about these special recognition opportunities should contact Mitzi Nichols, MFTHBA Show Committee Chairman at 417-588-5696 or mitzml@hotmail.com.  Questions may also be directed to Pam Middleton, MFTHBA Historical Committee Chairman, at 417-880-0361 or jpmiddletonllc@outlook.com

Tevis Cup Finisher to be Recognized at World Show and Celebration

Foxfire’s Little Britches and Jakob Gregory conquers Cougar Rock during the 2017 Tevis Cup. Photo credit: Gore/Baylor Photography

A few weeks ago, a young man and his Missouri Fox Trotting Horse captured the interest of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse world when he completed the Western States Trail Ride, commonly known as the Tevis Cup.  This 100 mile endurance ride is one of the world’s most well-known events and finishing it is quite an accomplishment.

In the 62 year history of the event, only 4 registered Missouri Fox Trotting Horses have completed the demanding event.  The first was in 1972 when High Peak Red, ridden by Frank Howe, completed the race.  In 1979, Levi’s Bliss, ridden by Linda Larson, also completed the demanding event.  It took 35 years for the next Missouri Fox Trotting Horse to complete the race.  In 2014, Foxfire’s Little Britches, ridden by JayaMae Gregory, completed the Tevis Cup.  In 2016, Black Squirels Brandy, ridden by Jenny Gomez, became the fourth Missouri Fox Trotting Horse to finish.  That leads us to 2017.

This year, one Missouri Fox Trotting Horse was competing.  Foxfire’s Little Britches, known as Asali, was on the quest to be the first Missouri Fox Trotting Horse to complete the famous Tevis Cup twice.  This time she was partnered with junior rider, Jakob Gregory.  Throughout the 24 hour event, Missouri Fox Trotting Horse owners from around the globe tracked Jakob’s progress.  Social media boards were busy with people talking about his progress, tracking as he made it through checkpoints and then nearly 24 hours after they started, cheering his finish.  History was made.  Foxfire’s Little Britches, at 17 years old, is the only Missouri Fox Trotting Horse to complete the ride twice and is the only one to complete the event with a junior rider.

Finishing was a huge accomplishment for Asali and 15 year old Jackob, but as stories came out about Jakob’s journey, it became even more impressive.  In endurance events, junior riders compete along with a sponsor.  This sponsor rides with them throughout the event.  At the start of the Tevis Cup, tragedy struck when the horse Jakob’s sponsor was riding suddenly passed away.  Without a sponsor, Jakob’s journey was over before it had even started.  Another rider stepped up to ride with Jakob so he could begin the race.

Then the stories about Jakob and Asali leading other (adult) riders through the difficult part of the trails, in the dark, starting to come out and it became clear that Jakob and Asali left an impression on the entire ride.  His new sponsored, who was competing the Tevis Cup for the first time, credited Jakob with getting her to the finish line.  Jakob not only helped her through difficult parts of the trail, but managed their time so they could meet the requirements at each checkpoint.

As Missouri Fox Trotting Horse owners learned of Jakob and Asali’s journey, they immediately reached out to Jakob’s mother and started encouraging them to make the trip from their home Paradise, California to the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse World Show and Celebration in Ava, Missouri.  In recent years, Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA) has recognized owners and riders that have completed the Tevis on Missouri Fox Trotting Horses.  Social media was abuzz with people that felt Jakob’s journey and Asali’s historic accomplishments deserved in person recognition at the MFTHBA’s premier event, an event designed to recognize all aspects of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed.

Missouri Fox Trotting Horse owners from across the United States have stepped forward to help cover some of the cost of Jakob’s travel to attend the 2017 World Show and Celebration scheduled for September 3-9 at the MFTHBA World Headquarters in Ava, Missouri.  This support is making the trip possible.

On Wednesday September 6, prior to the start of the evening session, Jakob and Foxfire’s Little Britches will be recognized for their accomplishments.  On Thursday, September 7, Jakob along with his mother JayaMae, who completed the Tevis Cup in 2014 aboard Foxfire’s Little Britches, will conduct a seminar to share their experience competing in the Tevis Cup and in other endurance competitions.


Understanding the Versatility World Championship Competition

With the added money in this year’s Versatility World Grand Championship competition, there has been a renewed interest in participating in the classes.  With that interest has come some questions regarding how the Versatility World Grand Champion title is awarded.

The Versatility World Grand Champion competition is not a specific class, but rather a grouping of classes that make up a hi-point competition the results in the awarding of a World Grand Champion title.  In addition, there are sub-competitions that award Hi-Point awards in specific grouping of classes.

Hi-Point Competition

There are three categories of versatility competition outlined in the MFTHBA Rule Book:  Versatility Pleasure Horse, Versatility Work Horse and Versatility Speed Horse.  These three areas have their own set of classes that feed into their Hi-point award.

Versatility Pleasure Horse includes Showmanship, Western Pleasure and English Pleasure.  Versatility Working Horse includes Reining, Western Horsemanship, and Trail.  Versatility Speed Horse includes Barrel Race, Stake Race and Pole Bending.

In each area, hi-point awards are presented for Open, Open Amateur and Youth.  These three competition areas feed into the overall Versatility World Grand Championship.

This year a fourth hi-point competition was added.  The Versatility 2 gait hi-point incorporates the two gait classes added to the versatility schedule. Only one overall hi-point will be awarded in this area (i.e. it will not be separated into Open, Open Amateur, etc.).  This one is outside the MFTHBA rule book and therefore classes under this hi-point competition do not go toward the overall Versatility World Grand Championship title.

Based on this year’s schedule, the following classes will apply to the hi-point competitions:

Versatility Pleasure Horse

Showmanship:  Classes 1 and 2

Western Pleasure:  Classes 3 and 4

English Pleasure:  Classes 9 and 10


Versatility Working Horse

Reining:  Class 8

Western Horsemanship:  Class 6 and 7

Trail:  Classes 26 and 27


Versatility Speed Horse

Barrel Race:  Classes 28 and 29

Pole Bending:  Classes 30 and 31

Stake Race: Classes 32 and 33


On the entry form, riders will indicate whether they are an Open or Open Amateur rider.  While the classes are combined, points will be calculated independently. This will allow the awarding of an Open Hi-Point winner and Open Amateur Hi-Point winner in each category.  Youth exhibitors have separate classes except for Reining.  In the Reining class, their points will also be counted independently.

The new 2-Gait Hi-Point competition will include classes 1, 5, 11, and 25.  If an exhibitor competes for the Open, Open Amateur or Youth Hi-Point awards, they are not eligible to compete for the 2-Gait Hi-Point award.

Versatility World Grand Championship

To be eligible for the Versatility World Grand Championship title, a horse must place in the top

10 in at least one three gait class in the Pleasure Horse division (i.e. either Western Pleasure or English Pleasure).  In addition, the horse must compete in at least one class in all three divisions (Pleasure Horse, Working Horse and Speed).

An Open, Open Amateur and Youth World Grand Champion top 5 will be named with each horse receiving payback money.  Like the Hi-Point awards, points in combined classes will be accrued separately.  Open riders will accrue points toward the Open Versatility World Grand Champion title and Open Amateur riders will accrue points toward the Open Amateur Versatility World Grand Champion title.

The point system for the scoring is an escalating scale with the more horses in the class making the available points awarded higher.


New Attendee Welcome Session Planned Prior to Start of World Show and Celebration

To assist those new to MFTHBA shows, the MFTHBA Membership Committee plans to host a welcome session for those unfamiliar to showing at MFTHBA events. The session, scheduled for Saturday, September 2, will provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about classes, show requirements, and the DQP process. In addition, it will help connect those new to showing with experienced exhibitors that can help mentor them throughout the week.

“I remember the feeling of being a new exhibitor but not knowing who could answer my questions,” shared Amy Stangl, MFTHBA Membership Committee Chairman. “Our committee wants to help those new to the show ring connect with people who can answer their questions.”

The session will be held at 10 a.m. in the Hall of Fame room at the MFTHBA World Headquarters.

Attendees Reminded of Equine Check in Process

All horses entering the MFTHBA showgrounds must have a negative Coggins test within the past 12 months and a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (within the last 30 days), regardless of state of origin.

Horses must enter through the equine entry gate to have paperwork checked.  There is a $10 per horse inspection fee. The equine entry gate will be staffed starting Friday, September 1st.


Equine Entry Gate Hours:

Friday, September 1 and Saturday, September 2: 8:30 a.m. to 10 p.m

Sunday, September 3- Saturday September 9: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


For horses arriving earlier than Friday or outside equine entry gate hours, a member of the MFTHBA Board of Directors will be available Friday, September 1 through Saturday, September 2 to check in horses at their stalls.  This will occur between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day.  To have horses checked during this time, owners must sign up in the MFTHBA office.

After Sunday, any horse entering outside the equine entry gate hours, must bring their horses to the gate to be checked promptly after the gate reopens.


Don’t forget about biosecurity!

With the World Show and Celebration just a few weeks away, the MFTHBA encourages all exhibitors to keep their horse’s health and the health of other equine competitors in mind.

The MFTHBA requires all horses entering the MFTHBA World Headquarters have a current Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (within the last 30 days) and negative Coggins test. While not required, the board recommends that exhibitors work with the veterinarian to determine appropriate booster vaccinations needed prior to attending the show.

The MFTHBA also recommends that exhibitors practice good biosecurity prior to, during, and following the event. Below are some suggestions for preventing disease in your horses. These recommendations were adapted from the United States Department of Agriculture brochure “Biosecurity—The Key to Keeping your Horse’s Health.”

At the show or trail ride:

  • Don’t share equipment (e.g. buckets, brushes, etc.) with other horses. Diseases, fungus, and bacteria can be spread through shared equipment.
  • Wash your hands, especially after you help other people with their horses.
  • When you arrive at the show grounds or trail riding facility, clean and disinfect the stalls you will be using. This is especially important in locations where another horse recently occupied the stalls.
  • When you arrive home, shower and put on clean clothes and shoes before going near your other horses. Clothing can carry disease from one location to the next.

Visiting farms, horse shows and auctions:

  • Have a pair of boots or shoes that you save for visiting. These shoes or boots should not be worn around your own horses. Plastic boot covers are another option. Manure and soil collected on your boots can carry disease from one location to the next.
  • Change clothes when you arrive home, prior to working with your own animals.

Bringing a horse home from a show or trail ride:

  • If even one of your horses travels, all of your horses need to be vaccinated. Horses can bring disease home with them to your operation. Work with your local veterinarian to determine an appropriate vaccination program. Be sure to tell the veterinarian where you plan to travel as different areas of the country have different disease concerns.
  • When you return from a trip with your horses, isolate the horse from the rest of your herd for at least 2 weeks. Returning horses should not be allowed to have nose-to-nose contact with other horses.
  • Work, feed, and care for quarantine horses last to prevent spreading diseases among your herd.
  • Don’t share equipment (e.g. buckets, brushes, etc.) with other horses. Diseases, fungus and bacteria can be spread through shared equipment.
  • Wash your hands and change your clothes after you work with quarantined horses.
  • Exhibitors are encouraged to work with their local veterinarian to determine other ways they can prevent the spread of disease.

Western Dressage Clinic to be held at World Show and Celebration

The MFTHBA Membership Committee will be hosting a Western Dressage Clinic on Tuesday, September 5th. Ricka Matthews will be the clinician.  The clinic will begin in the Hall of Fame Room at 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning.  Participants will learn the basics of Western Dressage and watch videos of Missouri Fox Trotters successfully competing.  After lunch, participants will have the opportunity to try it in the Versatility Arena.  Ms. Matthews will help participants work with their horses.  This clinic is free for MFTHBA members.

“When MFTHBA Vice-President, Lisa Cantrell, reached out to the committee with the idea for the clinic, we were excited.  Western Dressage is a growing sport, and Missouri Fox Trotters are doing well in the sport.  We really appreciate Ricka Matthews for donating her time to help members learn more about Western Dressage,“ adds MFTHBA Membership Committee Chair, Amy Stangl.

Members do not need to sign up for the clinic in advance in order to attend.  Participants do not need to have a horse in order to attend either.  They are welcome to attend the morning session and watch the afternoon session.

Plans for 4th Annual Membership Dinner Announced

The MFTHBA Membership Committee will host the fourth annual Membership Dinner at this year’s Show and Celebration on Saturday, September 2nd at 6 p.m. at the Versatility Arena. This year’s dinner will feature pizza from Papa John’s Pizza of Ava, Missouri.  Drinks and a cake will be served at the dinner, and the Show Committee will host a bake sale.  The dinner is free for MFTHBA members.  Non-members may enjoy the dinner for $5.

“The Membership Committee is thrilled to partner with Papa John’s to host this year’s dinner.  Papa John’s of Ava has gone above and beyond to accommodate our dinner, and we are thrilled to support a local company who has supported the MFTHBA,” says Amy Stangl, MFTHBA Membership Chairman.

Barb and Geno Middleton are organizing a Horseshoe Pitching Tournament that will take place during the dinner in the Versatility Arena.  They will hold sign-ups at the dinner at 6:00, and the tournament will begin at 6:30.

The Membership Committee is asking that everyone please RSVP by using the online link or by calling the MFTHBA office at (417) 683-2468 by August 26th.

Payback Added for Versatility World Grand Champions

Exhibitors competing for 2017 Versatility World Grand Champion titles will also be able to earn payback.  Thanks to an anonymous sponsor, $8000 will be paid out to the Open, Open Amateur, and Youth Versatility World Grand Champion Top 5.

In addition, Versatility World Grand Champions and Reserve World Grand Champions along with the Ranch Horse World Grand Champions and Reserve World Grand Champions will be recognized in the Dale Esther Arena.   A special Youth Versatility World Grand Champion trophy will also be awarded.  This trophy will be displayed in the MFTHBA Hall of Fame.

The Top 5 for the Open and Open Amateur divisions will each split $3000 in payback.  Youth competitors will split $2000.  Exhibitors will need to have a W-9 on file with the MFTHBA prior to receiving payback checks.  Checks for the first and second place winners will be presented during the Dale Esther Arena presentation.  Winners of third through fifth placings will be able to pick up their checks in the MFTHBA office the day following the presentations.

The Top 5 in each division will receive payback at the following percentages:

  • 1st: 30%
  • 2nd: 25%
  • 3rd: 20%
  • 4th: 15%
  • 5th: 10%

Payback for the Open and Open Amateur World Grand Champion Top 5 will be:

  • 1st: $900
  • 2nd: $750
  • 3rd: $600
  • 4th: $450
  • 5th: $300

Youth payback will be:

  • 1st: $600
  • 2nd: $500
  • 3rd: $400
  • 4th: $300
  • 5th: $200

In the event that a division does not have 5 entries, payback money not paid out by placing will be divided evenly among the other placing entries in that division.

Performance, Model Entry Fees to Include Photos

At the July meeting of the MFTHBA Board of Directors, Dale Esther Arena photographer, Marty Maynard, presented a proposal to provide exhibitors pictures at a reduced cost.  The proposal requested adding a $2 photography fee per entry for model and performance classes.  This fee would compensate the photographer.  In return, exhibitors would receive free electronic downloads of all their pictures from competition in the Dale Esther Arena for no additional charge.  Print copies would be available for an additional cost.

In reviewing the proposal, the Board felt this proposal would provide a significant cost reduction to exhibitors.  At the Spring Show and Three Year Old Futurity, an electronic download cost $15.

The proposal was specific to photographs taken by Marty Maynard.  She is the official photographer for the Dale Esther Arena and the only photographer authorized by the MFTHBA Board to take pictures of the model and performance competition.

The $2 photographer fee will be added to the entry fee depicted on the entry form.  The additional fee will make performance and model pre-entry preliminary class fees $22.  Versatility pre-entry fees will remain $20.  The early entry deadline is August 30.

After this deadline, performance and model preliminary class fees will be $27.  Versatility regular price entry fees will be $25.  Championship model and performance classes will be $32.  Thanks to a generous sponsor, youth designated class entry fees are covered for all competition areas at the 2017 World Show and Celebration.

Please note that the photographer fee only applies to model and performance competition.  There will be no changes in versatility entry fees.  Photographs in the versatility arena may be purchased directly from Melanie Wynn Photography, the official photographer for the versatility arena.