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RFD TV’s popular show Best of America by Horseback was planning to feature Missouri’s Brushy Creek Lodge and Resort on Nov. 22 at 6 p.m.
Located near the town of Black, Mo., Brushy Creek is a popular equestrian travel destination and working ranch owned by George and JoAnn Becker, who also raise Fox Trotters, the state horse of Missouri.
Tom Seay, the host of Best of America by Horseback, led dozens of riders from across the U.S., on the resort’s rugged trails during filming in the beautiful Ozark Mountains of southern Missouri.
“This is absolutely the best trail ride I’ve ever been on,” said Wanda Turner, who drove from Memphis, Tenn., for the event. “At Brushy Creek, the minute you drive up, they do everything to make you feel welcome. The trails are suited for all types of riders.”
Brushy Creek held cattle sorting and cowboy mounted shooting competitions in addition to the trail rides. Dawn Dawson of Better Horse Radio gave a Trail Horse Clinic, and many riders took on the Challenge Course Competition, in which they encouraged their horses over, under, and around some very difficult obstacles. Del Shields, Rusty Rierson, and the Route 67 Band entertained the group during a banquet and barn dance.
Seay was impressed by the beauty of the eastern Ozarks, the range of activities, and the people of Brushy Creek. He voiced tentative plans to return. “There is just no place like this,” he said.
“This was just a great experience,” said JoAnn Becker. “Everyone had a good time.”
Becker also mentioned how pleased she was that the Fox Trotters were gaining exposure as desirable trail and ranch horse mounts. “Fox Trotters excel in American Competitive Trail Horse Association (ACTHA) and ranch horse competitions because they were bred for this type of work,” she said.
Three Fox Trotters were selected to compete in the ACTHA’s America’s Favorite Trail Horse competition currently airing on HRTV and online at www.ACTHA.tv. Two of the three have made it to the finals thus far. In addition, Fox Trotters have been selected as Horse of the Year by Friends of Sound Horses in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
“Missouri Fox Trotters appeal to riders around the world who want a smooth-riding gaited horse that’s versatile, athletic and willing,” said Joyce Graening, president of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association. “We’re very proud of our breed and believe you’ll continue to see Missouri Fox Trotters performing well in many disciplines.”
Fox Trotters originated in Missouri as ranch horses bred for smooth riding gaits as well as stamina for mountain riding and heavy ranch and farm work. They are known for versatile athleticism, the naturally smooth flat walk and fox trot gaits, and an endearing, trainable personality. Since 1948, the MFTHBA has worked to promote the Fox Trotter gaited horse and support a registry for horses that meet the breed standards of gait and conformation.
There have been more than 96,000 registered Fox Trotters since the breed was formed in 1948.
Horse lovers wanting to learn more about gaited horses, in particular the Missouri Fox Trotter, can subscribe to new email publications from the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA). Visit www.mfthba. com to sign up.
(Note: The Douglas County Herald was not made aware of this broadcast until the day prior to its showing. It is unknown if the program will be repeated on RFD TV.)