Watch the Difference
The Miller-Ranch is a breeding facility geared to the Standard of the Breed as documented by the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA). The standard of the Missouri Fox Trotter is published in the Judging Video of the National Breeders Cup Organization.
The mare, shown there, representing the standard, is “Missouri’s Anne Rue”. She was born June 3, 1990, bred by Helen and Wayne Jones in Missouri. The Missouri Fox Trotter has an average height of 14 to 16 hands and weighs, depending on the size, between 880 – 1300 lbs. The ideal Fox Trotter gives an overall impression of balance and symmetry and should essentially fit in a square box; this means that the horse should have matching and equal parts both front to back and side to side. This combined with a long angular shoulder of 45 to 50 degrees, a short back with a strong loin, a long angular croup and centered withers reaching into the back, will ensure athletic ability, long term soundness and trainability. A well-developed deep chest, legs that are not too long and strong muscles will enable him to carry a rider of substantial weight over long distances. The feet should be hard, well-formed and be an appropriate size to the overall appearance. The head should be well formed, refined and taper to a muzzle that has large open nostrils. The ears should be well formed, of appropriate size for the head and matching in size. The eyes should be large, bright, kind and soft, indicating intelligence and a well-tempered disposition.
The natural elevation of the head and tail give the Fox Trotter a graceful appearance. The hair is soft and silky. The ideal Fox Trotter carries the rhythm of his gait through his entire body. The head is supposed to nod softly with the rhythm of the gait and the ears should also reflect the rhythm of the horse’s gait. The gait is supposed to be flat, smooth and consistent over a long distance. Up and down movements should not be detected; instead the soft sliding action of the horse’s feet should deliver a smooth effortless gait. An ideal Fox Trotter should not only impress one with his performance and versatility, but also with charm, character and correct conformation – he should also be beautiful. All colors and markings can appear.
Miller-Ranch is eager to meet this specified breeding goal with all the requirements met and to breed a performance horse. The Fox Trotter should bring the rider to his destination quickly, smoothly and with endurance over long distances and rugged terrain. The Fox Trotter should be confident and courageous. Thus, Miller-Ranch Fox Trotters crossed the Grand Canyon in 2003 from the North to the South Rim with riders from Europe and 10 Missouri Fox Trotters. This was the first time that riders traversed the North Rim with horses.
Following published Standards, the Show ring also sets a criterion for the breeding of Missouri Fox Trotters at Miller-Ranch. With a balanced proportion of Performance and Versatility, it serves to achieve the desired breeding goal to preserve the versatility as well as the capability of the horse in open country.
The breeding and training goal of Miller-Ranch is defined as required in the Rule book and Standard of the MFTHBA. “Anne Rue” has demonstrated how a Fox Trotter should be shown in the show ring. The mutations shown at the World Championship and Celebration, especially in 2009 and 2010, are not the goal of Miller-Ranch and we have publically denounced and disassociated ourselves from the acceptance of these performances by the MFTHBA and their Judges.