Welcome to FoxTROT's blogspot!

If you trail ride in Tennessee on a Missouri Fox Trotting (MFT) horse, then this site is for you! Whether you live in Tennessee or travel here to ride, we invite you to participate. Our desire is to provide an association that will enhance the enjoyment of trail riding the MFT. FoxTROT is an affiliate of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association.


The rides listed below are scheduled organizational rides. Additional day and week-end rides are scheduled by Regional Reps and among members as time and opportunity allows.

National Trail Ride Schedule

(Pending approval by the MFTHBA Trail Committee)

FoxTROT Spring NTR
Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area
3-7 May 2017
Zenith Stables & Campground
Allardt, TN

FoxTROT Octoberfest @ East Fork
11-15 October 2017
East Fork Stables
Jamestown, TN
In addition to camping and stall fees, this ride requires purchase of the meal package which covers ALL MEALS starting with supper on Wednesday and ending with breakfast on Sunday - $165.00 per person. It's best to MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS VERY EARLY! Reservations require 25% deposit with balance pay out through the year. There's a 10% discount for pre-registration.

Someone of FoxTROT is riding nearly every week end and some week days. For info on regional day rides contact the following anytime for specific plans --

Big South Fork FoxTROT
Lea Valentine, 865-556-3485/931-879-0808, leavalfox@bellsouth.net
Rose Walter, 931-269-0580, rosewalter52@yahoo.com

Smoky Mountain/Eastern TN & Western NC FoxTROT
Lloyd Styles, 865-805-0620, lstyles1968@gmail.com
Debby Gerhardt, 423-237-8726, debbygerhardt@yahoo.com
Sam Gerhardt, 423-237-8724, smfoxtrotters@hotmail.com

2017 Clinics/Events of Interest

Southern Equine Expo
24-27 February 2017
Tennessee Miller Coliseum
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
FoxTROT will be representing the MFTHBA with a booth at this event! John Brandreth and The Kansas Kowboy D will provide the MFT breed demo!

MFTHBA Spring Show

3 Year Old Futurity
National Trail Ride
6-9 June 2017
Ava, Missouri

MFTHBA Show and Celebration
National Trail Ride
5-11 September 2017

Ava, Missouri

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Greetings FoxTROT and Friends,

What a wonderful year 2016 has been!  Our membership has grown and our national trail rides have been successful!  It's now time to get ready for 2017!

Of course, the first item is to assure that you renew or establish your FoxTROT membership.  Your support and participation in our Tennessee Affiliate of the MFTHBA is greatly appreciated and much needed.  An email has been sent out to many with the 2017 FoxTROT Membership Application attached.  If you did not receive that but would like to be a part, contact me for your FoxTROT Membership Application for 2017.  Please print, complete and return with dues as soon as possible, but not later than 31 January 2017.

The second item is to encourage that you renew or establish your MFTHBA membership.  Contact the office in Ava (417-683-2468) or go to the website (www.mfthba.com) to accomplish this. MFTHBA membership supports the breed registry, without which we have no horse.  MFTHBA member benefits specific for Trail Riders include the opportunity to earn awards in the MFTHBA National Trail Ride and Fox Trot America programs, discounted membership in the new Open Trail/Top Trail program (www.opentrail.us and www.toptrailhorse.net) and discounts at horse camps in Tennessee and around the country.  It also includes discounts with TrailGuard (www.trailguard.org), which provides superior roadside assistance for those of us who travel with and trailer our horses.  FoxTROT strongly encourages our members to also support our national organization with membership.

The third item to share is our schedule for 2017.  FoxTROT will be representing the MFTHBA at the Southern Equine Expo (www.southernequineexpo.com) in the Miller Coliseum, 24-26 February 2017.  This will be our first time to participate in this event!  Additional volunteers will be welcome to help man the booth.  The FoxTROT Spring National Trail Ride is set for 4-7 May 2017 in the Big South Fork out of Zenith Stables and Campground (www.zenithstables.com), Allardt, TN.  Contact Bruce or Sharon at 931-879-5252 for reservations.  The FoxTROT Octoberfest @ East Fork National Trail Ride is set for 11-15 October 2017 with East Fork Stables (www.eastforkstables.com), Jamestown, Tn.  Contact their office at 931-879-1176 or 931-879-4099 for reservations.

The fourth item to share is that several of us of FoxTROT are planning to return to Ava, MO, for the World Show, Celebration, and National Trail Ride, 3-10 September 2017.  We had such a wonderful experience this year that many of us want to return!  If you're interested in joining us, just let me know and I'll be happy to give the needed info.

Well, that'll do for now.  We're looking forward to another great year in 2017 and trust that you will be a part of that!  As always, if you have any questions or concerns just let us know.  If you're on FaceBook, be sure to find "FoxTROT" and "Like" us.  You'll have almost daily contact with us there!

Happy Trails,

Sam Gerhardt
2454 Doe Rd
Newport, TN 37821

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Greetings FoxTROT and Friends,

We're now into 2016. The Holidays have come and gone. We're all looking forward to longer warmer days. Even as I look out at this year's first good snow in East Tennessee, I know that Spring riding season will be here soon.

I trust that you've taken care of those necessary Fox Trotter things that need to be done this time of year; renewal of your MFTHBA and FoxTROT memberships, getting your 2015 Fox Trot America logs in to Ava, making your reservations for both the June "Longhorns and Wild Ponies NTR" at Mount Rogers, VA, and the September World Show and Celebration NTR at Ava, MO.

The election results are in for the 2016 FoxTROT Board of Directors. This year's officers are Pesident - Sam Gerhardt, Vice President - Lea Valentine, Secretary - Rose Walter, Treasurer - Tania Herke, Eastern Rep - Lloyd Styles, Central Rep - Vacant, Western Rep - Vacant. We appreciate those who are willing to serve in these positions, a couple having served for many years. If you're in Central or Western Tennessee, willing to actively participate in our organized NTRs, willing to promote Fox Trotters and plan day rides in your region of the state, we'd appreciate your consideration of these vacant board positions.

Enjoy these pics taken during our last NTR back in October out of Bandy Creek in the Big South Fork...

Thursday, October 8, 2015

2015 Early Fall Update

Greetings FoxTROT and Friends,

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!!  With my use of FaceBook for so much of my communications, It's been awhile since I've updated the blogspot!  There is much info I need to get to you so here goes!

The Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail Ride held in the Mount Rogers (Virginia) National Recreation Area, 17-21 June, was a great success!  Attendees said that it was the most beautiful and appreciated trail ride in the history of FoxTROT!  Considering all the wonderful places we've ridden, that says a lot!  We rode high open spaces among the wild ponies and the long horn cattle!  There were 19 riders (14 of which were MFTHBA members riding registered MFTs) representing Tennessee, Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Missouri!  The photos tell the story!

The 2015 FoxTROT MFTHBA National Trail Ride is now less than two weeks away.  We'll camp and ride out of Bandy Creek Campground and Stables in the Big South Fork, 21-25 October.  Most of us will be camping in "Section C", which is now full, but there may still be campsites available in other sections of the campground.  For campsite reservations, contact 877-444-6777 or http://www.recreation.gov.  For stall reservations, contact Bobby York by texting or calling 931-397-1680.  Be sure to tell Bobby that you're with the Fox Trotter group.  Besides the wonderful trail riding for which FoxTROT is so well known, we'll have a special music concert performed for us by our friend, Adrian Ray (http://www.adrianray.com), on Friday or Saturday evening.  Sometime during the event, Lloyd Styles, FoxTROT/MFTHBA member and professional farrier, will do a clinic on proper trimming/shoeing of our MFTs.  Of course, as is our custom, we'll do Cowboy Church on Sunday morning before everyone breaks camp to head home.  Be sure to bring your MFTHBA Membership Card (or at least have your number) and your MFT's Registration Papers (or at least have the registered name and registration number of your MFT).  This helps us in completing the NTR forms.  Oh! Each FoxTROT member who comes to ride this NTR with us will receive a special gift in appreciation for your support and participation! We're looking forward to seeing each of you!

As the end of the year approaches, it's time to be thinking about a couple of things related to your continued participation in FoxTROT and the MFTHBA.  You'll want to renew your FoxTROT and MFTHBA memberships for 2016.  An email with your 2016 FoxTROT Membership Application was sent out on 30 September 2015.  Be sure to look for that in your inbox!  If you didn't receive that email and are interested in joining/rejoining FoxTROT, send a note to me at smfoxtrotters@hotmail.com.  Those attending the NTR will be given an opportunity to renew with FoxTROT at a special rate while at Bandy Creek.  The MFTHBA will be sending your 2016 membership renewals separate from us.  As always, we encourage all of our affiliate members to also support our breed association through membership in the MFTHBA.  It's also time to consider nominations for FoxTROT Board of Directors positions.  Rose Walter, our current Central Tennessee Representative, is no longer in Central Tennessee.  So, the Central Tennessee Rep position will be open for 2016.  If you're interested in serving in that position, let me know.  (Rose is interested in serving as our Secretary in the 2016 year and has already been of help to me in that capacity.)  While we have a vacant spot for a Western Tennessee Rep on our board, no one has ever shown an interest in filling that position.  If you are located in the western side of the state and are interested, let me know that as well.  Those who are serving in the other board positions (President, Vice President, Treasurer and Eastern Rep) are content with remaining in place, unless, of course, someone else would really like to take their place!  If you'd like to nominate someone to fill ANY of these positions, please consider this as your notice to do so.  All nominations must be received by me not later than November 1st, 2015.  After discussing these board positions at the Bandy Creek NTR, and after you've had an opportunity to consider this notice and respond, we'll be sending out the 2016 Election Ballot.  Be watching for that, as well.  Please consider and be attentive to these FoxTROT/MFTHBA things as you head into all of your end of the year activities.

The National Trail Ride Schedule for 2016 has been discussed a great deal among the BoD.  The Mount Rogers, Virginia, ride was so well liked that we're planning to return to that area again for the Summer 2016 NTR!  If you missed our ride there in June, you'll want to make plans to join us next year!  More info will be provided later, but as for now the plan is to camp and ride out of either Rocky Hollow Horse Camp or the Grayson Highlands State Park, 22-26 June 2016.  The Fall 2016 NTR is the ride about which we're most excited!  We're going to the MFTHBA World Show and Celebration in Ava, Missouri, 4-11 September 2016!  We'll camp and stall horses on the Ava Show Grounds; we'll participate in the National Trail Ride (we're working to be "cohosts" of that NTR); and we'll enjoy all of the other activities associated with the World Show and Celebration!  If you've always wanted to go to Ava, but didn't want to go alone for the first time, now's your chance!  Again, more info will be provided as the details are settled.  As you can see, we have much for which to prepare in 2016.  Mark your calendars and start making your plans!  You won't want to miss out on any of these events!

Well, that's more than enough for now.  If you are on FaceBook, be sure to find and "Like" the FoxTROT page and the MFTHBA Trail Programs group.  Contact me with any questions or concerns.  Enjoy your Fox Trotters on the trail this Fall.  We hope to see many of you soon at the NTR!

Happy Trails,

Sam Gerhardt
President, FoxTROT

Thursday, April 23, 2015


Greetings FoxTROT & Friends!

We're coming towards the end of April!  It's time to update the BlogSpot and get everyone actively involved for 2015!

Trail Riding Season 2015 has FINALLY arrived!  Have you checked out our two National Trail Rides?  Have you made your reservations?  You won't want to miss out on these rides.  Make your reservations sooner rather than later.  The information is posted above under Scheduled Trail Rides 2015.

Have you renewed your membership in the MFTHBA and FoxTROT?  Thank you to each of you who have!  You haven't?  Surely you meant to do so!  Take care of these memberships TODAY!  Your membership entitles you enjoy the MFTHBA Member Benefits and receive awards for participating in the National Trail Rides and Fox Trot America.  You may renew your MFTHBA Membership and check out the MFTHBA Member Benefits and Trail Programs at http://www.mfthba.com.  Oh, by the way, have you checked out the new MFTHBA website?  It's much improved!  Contact me at smfoxtrotters@Hotmail.com to renew your FoxTROT Membership.  As you all well know, I strongly encourage membership in our national organization and your local affiliate!

FaceBook seems to have taken over as the preferred way for most to stay connected to all things Missouri Fox Trotter.  If you haven't done so, you may want to consider opening your own FaceBook page just so you can connect to the Fox Trotter groups and pages.  FoxTROT has our own group.  We post pics and information there DAILY!  The MFTHBA Trail Programs page is very informative as well.  Get connected with FaceBook!

Well, that's enough for now.  Let us hear from you!  Make your plans right away to join FoxTROT for all of the excitement that's sure to be ours during this 2015 trail riding season!

Happy Trails,

Sam Gerhardt
President, FoxTROT

P.S.  Congratulations to FoxTROT Members who are accumulating points in the National Trail Ride Program!  Their names were published on page 5 of the last Show and Celebration Catalog!  Tania Herke - 5, Sam Pitz (Riggin) - 5, Rosemarie Walter - 7, Lea Valentine - 10, Debby Gerhardt - 12, Sam Gerhardt - 12.

P.S.S.  Congratulations to FoxTROT Members who have horses who are Leaders in the Fox Trot America Program!  Cindy Fonken - Smokey Joe's Diamond Jim - 1,710 hours! Sam Gerhardt - Katie's Midas Touch - 1,359.5 hours!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail - Mammoth Cave Horse Camp

The 2014 Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail was a success.
This year’s ride was held at Mammoth Cave Horse Camp in Mammoth Cave, KY where we rode the trails of the Mammoth Cave National Park. The trail ride took place June 18-22, 2014. While the group was not as large as in years past due to family and work situations, those in attendance had a wonderful time. We had riders from Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio and Virginia.  It was great to finally meet people face to face that have become friends over the internet. While the weather may have been slightly warm, we were able to rise and ride early and had some great trips. The staff at Mammoth Cave Horse Camp allowed us to use several trailers to reach the farther out trail heads.
Our first ride on Thursday left from camp to venture out on the First Creek Trail. First Creek has a small waterfall about 2/3 of the way out to the lake. After a short rest and picture op we headed on to the lake where the large group split into two smaller groups. The shorter ride group completed the loop around the lake and headed back to camp, while the longer riders continued out on the First Creek Loop. On Friday we loaded the horses on the trailer and headed to the Maple Springs trail head. We rode the trails back to camp, and sent a few guys back to get the trucks and trailers. These trails had just reopened this year after being closed for several years due to storm damage. On Saturday we trailered out to Maple Springs again. This time we rode the  Maple Spring Loop and returned to the trailers to load back up and return to camp.

One of the perks of riding early was the opportunity to visit Mammoth Cave itself. Several took the opportunity to take a trip down into the cave and reveal in a different type of awesome.

2015 FoxTROT Officers

Announcing FoxTROT's 2015 Officers!

At the October meeting during the FoxTROT MFTHBA National Trail Ride at Bandy Creek Horse Camp we elected our slate of Officers for 2015!

   President      Sam Gerhardt, Newport, TN
   Vice Pres.     Lea Valentine, Knoxville/Jamestown, TN
   Secretary      Samm Pitz, Greenback, TN
   Treasurer      Tania Herke, Wadesville, IN

   Area Representatives:
      Central TN Rep                 Rose Walter, Ethridge, TN
      Eastern TN Rep                Debby Gerhardt, Newport, TN
      Western TN Rep               This position is still open.
      Big South Fork TN Rep    Lea Valentine, Jamestown, TN

Monday, November 25, 2013

Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail Ride October 9-13, 2013

Once again, the Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail Ride was an overwhelming success. Members of FoxTROT and several affiliates gathered on October 9-13 at the Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area near Jamestown, TN. This year we selected Timber Ridge Horse Campground as our base camp. Lee and Josh did a great job of welcoming everyone and getting them settled into their camping spot and the horses in their stalls or corrals. We were fortunate to have the best weather ever for this year’s ride. We had sunny days and cool crisp nights with nary a sight of rain! We had riders from Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Connecticut and Tennessee. The MFTHBA administration was even represented with the presence of the Region 10 Representative, Mr. John Brandreth. We had members show up as early as Monday the 7th, while others stayed until Monday the 14th.

Throughout the week, we had several small groups venturing out on rides of varying lengths and destinations. On Thursday, we assembled almost 30 riders for a group picture to start the day. After starting out together, we broke into two groups with the large group riding to Christian Cemetery and the other group riding Proctor Ridge to the Teepee loop through the Spruce Creek Area. On Friday, we gathered 44 riders for the picture to start the morning and together we rode the yellow loop of the Ridge Top trail Area. On Saturday, a hearty group of 24 long distance riders gathered, including some friends from Spruce Creek, and rode a 26 mile loop via Darrow Rd, Christian Cemetery, a portion of the O & W railroad bed trail, Laurel Fork Overlook, Teepee Loop and Proctor Ridge. Needless to say a lot of tired riders missed supper on Saturday.

Along with the trail riding, the fellowship that occurs at our gatherings is outstanding. On Wednesday we had cake and ice cream for Chris Moore’s 11th birthday. On Friday, Josh and Lee smoked Ribs, Brisket, Chicken and Pulled Pork while everybody else brought dessert and side dishes. I don’t think anybody went away hungry. On Saturday we had reservations for 30 at 6:00 pm for Bacarra’s, but due to the length of the trail ride it changed to 18 at 7:30. It was still a good time with great food and conversation.

On Friday, the yearly organizational meeting for FoxTROT took place. The majority of the officers were re-elected with Tania Herke being the lone newbie in assuming the Treasurer’s position. The selection of base camps for next year’s Eastern States National Trail Ride in June and the FoxTROT National Trail Ride in October were discussed and voted on. We selected Mammoth Cave Horse Camp in Kentucky for June and Bandy Creek in Big South Fork for October. Negotiations and reconnaissance are currently underway with these locations. Confirmed dates and locations will be announced as soon as possible.
The big hit of the Trail Ride other than the riding may have been the Raffle which raised $425.00 for FoxTROT!  Terry Messex had obtained a head stall donated by Bedford Tack, while Sam & Debby Gerhardt obtained an oil skin horn bag and a MFTHBA Trailer Decal (Large Scale). The lucky winner of these prizes was John Brandreth.

We also had several 2 night and 2 stall gift certificates donated from several of our campground sponsors and those lucky winners were:
True West - Kelly Collins
Timber Ridge - Earl Hughes
Big South Fork Lodge - Art Moore
Saddle Valley - Sam Gerhardt
Many Cedars - Rose Walter
Scarlet Oak - Ronald Munn

Fom even more pictures like the FoxTROT page on Facebook!
2013 Eastern States MFTHBA National Trail Ride
Ready to Ride Thursday

Ready to Ride Friday

Mrs. Weaver, Earl Weaver, Rose Walter,Shirely Vicchito & Lea Valentine at Fiddler's Arch

Sam and the Ohio Posse

Lea, Tania and Rose at Laurel Creek

Sandy, Gene, John B. and Johnnie

Johnnie, Gene, Lea

Sam and Surprize

Ron Munn on Duke

Lea Valentine


Sam Gerhardt

Rose Walter

Ashlyn Herke

Chris Moore

Gayle Vautaw

Leslie Bever

Art Moore

Mickey Walker

Kevin Roberts

Allen Herke

Amanda Walker

Gina Roberts

Issac Russel

John Brandreth

Sandy Nix

Johnnie Chester

Debby Gerhardt


Lea & Rose

Karyn Case & Ashlyn at Hippie Cave

Tania, Bill Case, Ashlyn & Karen at Hippie Cave

Sam at Cowboy Church