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The 52nd annual Show and Celebration of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association will open on Saturday this year, one day earlier than in the past, with a total of 178 classes to pass through the two exhibition arenas during the coming week, Sept. 4-11.
Youth Showmanship and Western Horsemanship classes will kick off the show beginning at 10 a.m. this Saturday morning in the Versatility Arena.
Classes will continue Saturday night at 6:30 in the main arena.
Cowboy Church will be held Sunday morning at 8 a.m. in the Versatility Arena with gospel music by Promised Land at 10 a.m. at the Roy Williams Pavilion.
In addition to the church service and gospel music, there will also be more youth classes showing, beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday.
Throughout the week the versatile official state horse, the Missouri Fox Trotter, will compete in various events from the famed gaited classes that result in a new World Grand Champion on the final Saturday night, but also include events such as show jumping, timed events and cattle working classes.
Some of the other special events of the week will include a Youth Benefit Auction after the horse show on Thursday, Sept. 9 and the National Sale of weanlings, yearlings, broodmares and riding horses at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11.
In addition, there will be guided trail rides each day, Monday through Friday, and Vendors Row will offer everything a horse lover could want, right on the show grounds.
Trail Ride Schedule:
On Monday, Sept. 6, the ride will begin at 9 a.m. and will be around the grounds of the association, beginning on site.
Tuesday-Friday rides will begin at 10 a.m. and will require trailering your horse. Trailer caravans will leave from the MFTHBA grounds area at 9 a.m., according to Stephen Assenmacher, chairman of the National Trail Ride Committee.
On Tuesday, Sept. 7 the ride will be on the Corbitt Potter place in the Mark Twain National Forest south of Ava.
On Wednesday, Sept. 8, the ride will be on the Crystal Lake farm property east of Ava.
Thursday’s ride will be at the Elk Ranch in the Mark Twain National Forest.
Friday’s ride will be at Batman Ranch in the national forest.
Admission Sept. 4-9 will be $5; Friday and Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11 will be $6.
However, with the new Family Special, with two paid adult admissions you get up to four children in free! This incentive is being offered to encourage families to come out and see Missouri’s horse in action, and get a feel for the breed that calls Ava home.
Every day kids 6 and under get in free!
The officers, directors and members of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association invite you to join them Sept. 4-11 and see the official state horse of Missouri at its best.
The show grounds and headquarters complex is located one mile north of Ava on Highway 5. RV and camping spaces are available.
Ava Lions Club will operate the “cook shack” at the show grounds throughout the week, with an expanded menu this year, providing meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and all hours in between. The cook shack opens at 6 a.m. and remains open until midnight each night. While you’re at the horse show, stop by and have a meal and a visit with the local Lions.
For more information about the Missouri Fox Trotting breed or the Show and Celebration, see www.mfthba.com or call the headquarters office at 417-683-2468.