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The 52nd annual Show and Celebration of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association began last Saturday morning and will wrap up this coming Saturday, with a total of 178 classes to exhibit this year.
Rain is in the forecast this week, but that’s nothing new for the Fox Trotters. In fact, it’s commonly said around Ava that when the Fox Trotters come to town you know it’s going to rain.
Actually, many years the show runs the entire week with no rain, but when it does rain, the show officials find a way to deal with it. One of the characteristics of the Missouri Fox Trotter is the ability to deal with the elements, and unless it is a torrential downpour, or dangerous lightning is in the area, the shows usually go on – and the folks stay to watch.
Shows are being held each morning at either 9 or 10 a.m. in the versatility arena, and every evening at 6:30 in the main arena.
As the show continues this week, everything is building toward the naming of World Grand Champion Missouri Fox Trotters in various categories and age divisions.
Some championship classes are held a various times during the week, but Friday and Saturday nights’ winners will all be world grand champions.
Saturday night will see the best of the breed in model and performance. Open and amateur champions will be named in various age groups, leading up to the 2010 World Grand Champion class that will bring down the curtain on the annual event.
Showing this (Thursday) morning in the versatility arena will be ranch horse classes including roping, cutting and working cattle. Open versatility and youth versatility classes will also be held this morning beginning at 9 a.m.
Tonight’s show is especially important because from the qualifying 5-Years & Older classes tonight will come the next World Grand Champion Missouri Fox Trotter to be named Saturday night.
Qualifying classes for both the amateur owned and the open 5 & older horses will be held tonight.
Several World Grand Champions will be named at Thursday night’s show. These will include the Ladies 3-Year-Old, Amateur Novice, English Pleasure, Amateur Owned & Trained 3-Year-Old, Amateur Owned & Trained 4-Years and Older, Out of State for riders 18 and over, and the Amateur Limited 4-Years & Older class.
Following Thursday night’s show, the youth benefit auction will be held in the Roy Williams Pavilion, with a number of nice items to be sold to the highest bidder.
On Friday morning, beginning at 9 a.m., more versatility classes will be exhibited. These will include Open Ranch Pleasure, Open Amateur Ranch Horse Pleasure for riders 18 & older, Open Ranch Versatility, Open Amateur Ranch for riders 18 & older, open and amateur conformation classes in the Ranch Horse division, and open and amateur reining classes.
Friday evening’s show in the main arena will include the introduction of Ranch Horse World Grand Champions in open, open amateur and youth divisions.
More world grand champions will be named as the model horses take the arena in both open and amateur divisions.
Youth riders 11 & under will compete for a world grand champion title, as will youth riders 12-14 years.
There will be world grand champion classes on Friday for 2-year-old fox trotters, open amateur 4-year-old horses, and Amateur Limited 3-year-olds. World grand champions will also be named in classes for ladies riding fox trotters 4 years and older, Open Amateur 3 Year Old for riders 18 and over, Amateur Owned Specialty 5 years and older, and Open Amateur 5 Years and Older for riders 18 and over.
Saturday morning’s classes which begin showing at 10 a.m. will be especially exciting for spectators as well as the riders. Showing will start off with trail classes, then will move to timed events including barrel racing, pole bending, and state races in both open and amateur divisions.
Beginning at 5:30 Saturday evening, versatility awards will be presented in the main arena before the start of the World Grand Champion show.
Classes will begin showing at 6 o’clock with the World Grand Champion model classes in open and amateur divisions for mares and for studs and geldings.
Performance classes will feature World Grand Champion classes for 2-, 3-, and 4-year-old horses in open and amateur divisions. The final two classes of the night – and of the 2010 Show & Celebration, will feature the Amateur Owned 5-Years & Older World Grand Champion, then the event that sums up the entire show, the World Grand Champion in the open 5-Years & Older.
Class 177 will feature the top 10 horses from Classes 125 and 127 on Thursday night, and Class 178 will include the top 10 from Classes 126 and 128 on Thursday night.
Gate admission today and for tonight’s show will be $5. On Friday and Saturday, daily gate admission jumps to $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 show grounds and headquarters complex is located one mile north of Ava on Highway 5.
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.