Mitt Romney's Choice in Horses Shows Good Sense, Not Elitism Say Fox Trotter Owners

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Mitt Romney’s April 10 comments about riding a Fox Trotter had reporters like ABC News’ Matt Negrin and The Christian Science Monitor’s Liz Marlantes calling Romney out as an elitist. But most people in the horse industry know the Fox Trotter as “a working man’s horse”, according to Joyce Graening, President of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breeder’s Association.

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Fox Trotter owners are partial to the breed's versatility, calm personality and smooth gaits.

Romney's choice of the Fox Trotter shows good judgment and an affinity for a ‘using horse’, not elitism. Americans across the country, many of them farmers, have been laughing about the confusion.

Mitt Romney’s April 10 comments about riding a Fox Trotter had reporters like ABC News’ Matt Negrin and The Christian Science Monitor’s Liz Marlantes calling Romney out as an elitist. But most people in the horse industry know the Fox Trotter as “a working man’s horse”, according to Joyce Graening, President of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breeder’s Association.

“The Fox Trotter is known for its reliability, versatility and smooth ride. If you want an all-around horse that you can count on for comfort and safety, you buy a Fox Trotter,” Graening said. “The choice shows good judgment and an affinity for a ‘using horse’, not elitism. Americans across the country, many of them farmers, have been laughing about the confusion.”

Romney said April 10 in a clip with Sean Hannity, who’d just asked him about his wife’s horses and the needed break from the campaign riding gives her: “She has Austrian Warmbloods, which are – yeah, it’s a dressage horse, it’s a kind of horse for the sport that she’s in. Me, I have a Missouri Fox Trotter. So mine is like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait. It moves very fast, and doesn’t tire, and it’s easy to ride, meaning it’s not boom-boom-boom, it’s just smooth, very smooth.”

Comments made on Fox Trotter chat groups indicate that the Romneys originally purchased Fox Trotters as a good fit for Ann, who suffers from MS. “You often see people with health issues select the breed because the horse is known for a calm personality and doesn’t jostle the rider. We just had to set the record straight,” Graening explains.

About the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association (MFTHBA)
Fox Trotters originated in Missouri as ranch horses bred for smooth riding gaits as well as stamina for mountain riding and heavy ranch and farm work. They are known for versatile athleticism, the naturally smooth flat walk and fox trot gaits, and an endearing, trainable personality. Since 1948, the MFTHBA has worked to promote the Fox Trotter gaited horse and support a registry for horses that meet the breed standards of gait and conformation. Today there are more than 96,000 registered Fox Trotters worldwide. Visit http://www.mfthba.com .

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Media Contacts:                

Donna Watson, MFTHBA
417-683-2468
donnawatson(at)mfthba(dot)com

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