MISSOURI -- Gov. Bob Holden signed legislation earlier this month making the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse the officials state horse and Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association President Darrell Strain of Alton said he was very appreciative of the governor's signature on the legislation.
Holden, Sen. Morris Westfall, Sen. John T. Russell, House Speaker Jim Kreider and Rep. Van Kelly as well as Strain attended the bill signing at the World Headquarters of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association in Ava, Mo.
During the ceremony the governor said the Fox Trotter was developed for a sure-footed, smooth ride and selected for its intelligence. He said its versatility makes the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse one of the most popular gaited horses in the world. "It is only fitting that the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse should be designated as the officials state horse of Missouri," Holden said.
"I am also appreciative to Sen. Westfall for his sponsorship and Sen. John T. Russell for his co-sponsorship of the senate bill and Rep. Van Kelly and House Speaker Jim Kreider for sponsoring the legislation on the house side," Strain said in a recent interview. He added, "Legislation was important because of the recognition this brings to the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse. This breed association makes a great economic contribution to Douglas County and the state of Missouri. We operate a $650,000 budget which has an economic impact of some $4.5 million on the economy."
Strain said the great breed of horse, developed in the Ozark region and headquartered in Ava, has great growth potential. "It is our appreciation that this state recognition will serve as a great promotion and economic stimulus tool," Strain said.
The Missouri Fox Trotting Breed serves over 7,000 members worldwide with over 70,000 horses entered in the registry books. A Spring Show and Three Year Old Futurity in June and the World Show and Celebration during the Labor Day week in September each year provides a showcase to display the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse.