On June 4, 2002, the Missouri fox trotting horse became Missouri's official state horse. Missouri fox trotters, (E. f. caballus ,) were developed in the rugged Ozark hills of Missouri during the early 19th century. Bloodlines can be traced from early settlers to Missouri from the neighboring states of Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas. The distinguishing characteristic of the fox trotter is its rhythmic gait, in which the horse walks with the front feet and trots with the hind feet. This gait gives the rider a smooth gentle ride. (RSMo 10.140)
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is known best for the comfort it affords it's rider. Loved as a trail horse, the majority of registered Missouri Fox Trotters are owned by people who use them for trail riding, competition, endurance, and pleasure riding. Acclaimed as a show horse, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is also recognized for its beauty and style in the show ring. Used by hunters and forest rangers for its endurance and surefootedness in rugged terrain, by ranchers for its versatility and intelligence, and on Hollywood movie sets for its gentle nature, the breed has quickly earned its reputation as a horse for all situations.
The Missouri Fox Trotter was developed in the rugged Ozark Mountains during the nineteenth century by setters who needed smooth-riding, durable mounts that could travel at a comfortable, surefooted gait for long distances.
The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse should stand 14 to 16 hands in height, be of good confirmation and able to carry weight. The animal should stand
well on its feet, be erect and alert. The neck should be graceful, in proportion to length of body and well-joined to the body. The Fox Trotting Horse
should have a neat, clean, intelligently-shaped head; pointed ears that are well-shaped; good, large, bright eyes; and a tapered muzzle. The back should
be reasonably short and strong; the body deep and well-ribbed. The flank should be full and the chest deep and full. The shoulders should be properly
sloped and well-muscled. The legs should be muscular and well-tapered. The foot should be well made, strong and in proper proportion to the size of
the horse. The hair should be soft and silky. The Missouri Fox Trotter may appear in the following colors bay, black, roan, brown, buckskin, chestnut,
gray, palomino, sorrel, tobiano, overo, white, cremello, perlino, and champagne.
The Missouri Fox Trot gait is basically a diagonal gait. The horse will perform this gait by walking in front and trotting behind with reach in each stride. It may disfigure or overstep its track, provided it travels straight on all four legs and does a true Fox Trot. The ideal characteristic of the Fox Trot shall be that the animal travel with animation, Fox Trot rhythm and style. The horse will travel in a collected manner. The Fox Trot should carry with it rhythm. The head should nod, the ears should indicate the step and the tail should be part of the rhythm. The step should be springy, consistent and smooth. The up and down motion should not be noticeable, but rather a smooth gliding gait without swinging. The Missouri Fox Trotter also performs a rapid flat-foot walk and a delightful canter.
The law designating the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse as the official Missouri state horse is found in the Missouri Revised Statutes, Title 2, Chapter 10, Section 10.140.
SOVEREIGNTY, JURISDICTION AND EMBLEMS
August 28, 2008
Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, official state horse.
10.140. The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse is hereby selected for, and shall be known as, the official state horse of the state of Missouri.
(L. 2002 H.B. 1141, et al. merged with H.B. 1988)
Taxonomic Hierarchy: Missouri Fox Trotting Horse
Species: E. ferus
Subspecies: E. f. caballus