North America

Missouri Fox Trotter
Photo supplied by Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association, USA

The Missouri Fox Trotter originated in the early 19th century. Settlers travelling westwards from Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia across the Mississippi river brought with them a variety of horses including eastern, Thoroughbreds and Morgans. In the Ozark Hill region of Missouri they interbred their horses to produce a horse for stock raisers, sheriffs and doctors that could be ridden comfortably for long periods over rough terrain.
A breed developed that walks with its forelegs and trots behind ensuing a smooth, comfortable gait at which the horse can travel for extended periods without tiring. Saddlebred and Tennessee Walker blood was introduced to produce a more muscular, compact horse.
The gait of the Missouri Fox Trotter is a diagonal gait with a smooth gliding action performed with rhythm and style. The head nods, the ears indicate the step and the tail moves with the rhythm.
A stud book for the Missouri Fox Trotter opened in 1948. The national headquarters and a Hall of Fame for the Missouri Fox Trotter are located in the hills outside of Ava, Missouri. Today there are approximately 52,000 registered horses in the United States, Canada, Germany and Austria.

compact, muscular built
Head: neat, clean, intelligent head; large, bright eyes; pointed, well shaped ears; tapered muzzle
Neck: graceful, in good proportion to body
Shoulders: well sloped, muscular
Body: deep, strong, well ribbed body; short, strong back; deep, full chest;
Legs: strong, muscular limbs
Feet: strong, sound, in proportion to size of horse
Color: any color, predominantly sorrel and chestnut sorrel with white markings
Mane and Tail: soft, silky
Height: 14 to 16hh
Temperament: good, alert
Qualities: sure footed, stamina, smooth ground-covering gait

The Missouri Fox Trotter is an excellent modern leisure horse and very popular and ideally suited for trail competitors and long distance trail riding.