Missouri Fox Trotting Horse


In 2002, the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse became the state’s official horse. Missouri Fox Trotters originated in the rugged Ozark hills during the early 19th century. Bloodlines can be traced to early settlers of Missouri from the neighboring states of Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and Arkansas. Fox Trotting Horses are identifiable by their gait: not necessarily their appearance. There are three distinct gaits that make a horse a Missouri Fox Trotter: flat foot walk, fox trot and canter.

Missouri Fox Trotting Horses were first registered as a breed in 1948 through the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association. The Association is based in Ava (Douglas County), Missouri and oversees the registration of Fox Trotting Horses from around the world. Ava hosts an annual show and celebration of these horses that is attended by people (and horses) the world over. Per S.B. 72 signed by Gov. Mike Parson and effective August 28, 2021, every first full week in September is designated “Missouri Fox Trotter Week,” which coincides with the annual horse show in Ava.


Revised Statutes of Missouri (RSMo)

§10.140. Missouri Fox Trotting Horse, official state horse. – 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)

approved 04 June 2002
effective 28 August 2002


Photo Gallery:

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Additional Resources:

Visit the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association’s website here.

Clayton, Hilary M., and J.W. Bradbuy. “Temporal Characteristics of the Fox Trot, a Symmetrical Equine Gait.” Applied Animal Behaviour Science 42, no. 3 (February 1995): 153-159.

Nicodemus, M.C., and K. Slater. “Forelimb Kinematics of the Flat Walk and Fox Trot of the Missouri Fox Trotter.” Comparative Exercise Physiology 6, no. 4 (February 2010): 149-156.


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