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A dedication ceremony for the Missouri Fox Trotting Highway was held Saturday, Sept. 8, at 5 p.m. to celebrate the naming of the Missouri Fox Trotting Highway on Route 5.
The ceremony was held at the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association headquarters and showgrounds just north of Ava on Highway 5.
Speakers at the program included Dr. Joyce Graening, president of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, Missouri Representative Tony Dugger, Missouri Senator Jay Wasson, and MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Chris Rutledge.
Representative Dugger sponsored the legislation, naming Highway 5 in Douglas and Wright counties from Ava to Mansfield the Missouri Fox Trotting Highway. Senator Wasson joined Dugger in seeing the bill through the Senate.
Also present for the ceremony Saturday afternoon was Zach Williams, presiding commissioner of Wright County.
Developed from horses in the Missouri Ozarks, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is characterized by a gentle demeanor and its signature gait, the fluid, diagonal 4-beat fox trot. Bloodlines can be traced from the horses of early settlers coming to the Ozarks from neighboring states of Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas.
In 2002, the Missouri Legislature recognized the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse as the Official State Horse.
Rutledge said signs will be displayed southbound at Mansfield and northbound at Ava.