Wishing to preserve the type of horse that had long been selectively bred in the Ozarks, in 1948 a group of interested horse breeders incorporated and secured an organization charter for the purpose of maintaining an accurate stud book. Ten years later, because of increased interest and demand for the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, the organization reincorporated as a stock company.
The Association kept its registry open and still accepted horses that could qualify as characteristic foundation stock until 1982. Beginning the first day of that year, all horses approved under saddle to be registered in the MFTHBA were required to have at least one parent permanently registered in the MFTHBA. Then, beginning on the first day of January 1983, any horse approved under saddle for registration was required to have two registered parents. These regulations brought the Association to what is referred to as “closed books.”
In 2004, the MFTHBA Board of Directors recognized the need for a registry specifically for Fox Trotting horses between 44 and 56 inches in height. In May of that year, the Missouri Fox Trotting Pony registry was officially launched under the auspices of the MFTHBA.
The world headquarters for the MFTHBA is in Ava, Missouri, where the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Show and Celebration is held every September.