WDAA Member Bud Blankenship Inducted to the MFTHBA Hall of Fame

WDAA member Bud Blankenship has recently been inducted into the MFTHBA Hall of Fame in recognition of his distinguished service to the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association and a lifetime of dedication, education and promotion of this wonderful breed.

Bud got an early start with the breed, winning his first World Championship at a young age under the supervision of his uncle, Junior Nimmo. As a child, Bud rode foxtrotters to help Junior around the family farm and also in the show ring, when the chores were done. Junior and Bud would “jump” their horses into the back of a pickup truck equipped with rails on the side, and head off to Foxtrotter shows at the fairgrounds.

Bud has been a valuable member of the MFTHBA Florida affiliate, organizing clinics and educational events, and producing the Florida State Championship event attended by folks from all over the U.S. In 2002, Bud and his wife Tori established Foxtrot USA Tack & Supply, dedicated to serving the needs of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse and their owners. They also run Blankenship Stables in Sarasota, FL.

Bud has produced, trained, shown, and promoted many outstanding Fox Trotting horses. One of his favorite memories is purchasing a golden colt for the 16 piglets that happened to be on his trailer. He’d found the colt standing in the middle of a field with a saddle hanging haphazardly under his belly, no rider in sight. What a marvelous purchase it turned out to be – the golden colt later went on to win the 1969 MFTHBA World Grand Championship with Jerry Middleton.

Blankenship Stables has produced hundreds of championship titles in all 3 divisions of the MFTHBA; 5 World Grand Champions, 35 National & World Champions, 19 National & World Reserve Champions, and 93 National & World Top 10 Honors. One of Bud’s most notable horses was the late JB’s Raising the Bar, an incredible young stallion that clinched World Championship title after title. Reserve Open High Point MFTHBA Super Horse in 2013, six World Champion titles & three Reserve World Champion titles in 2014, and the MFTHBA World Grand Champion Triple Crown as a 5-year old.

When the WDAA began to include Gaited classes at the 2014 Western Dressage World Championship, Bar took two WDAA World Champion and two Reserve World Champion titles. The Blankenship team came home with 3 World Champion titles, 4 Reserve World Champion and 7 World Championship Top 10 honors. With a bright future ahead of him, Bar continued to “raise the bar” on every front. “Riding Bar is like slipping on my favorite pair of jeans; he feels what you think and focuses into the movements so gracefully.” Five months after the 2014 WDAA World Championship, tragedy struck and five horse’s lives were lost. Bar was one of them; he was just six years old. This June – against all odds – Bar’s son, JB’s Phoenix Rising was born to continue the legacy of JB’s Raising the Bar.

Bud believes that the Fox Trotting Horse can excel in all areas of equine competition, and his successes prove exactly that; Florida Extreme Cowboy Challenge Finalist, 3 consecutive FOSH Horse of the Year titles, ACTHA’s America’s Favorite Trail Horse Top 10 Finalist, and of course their 2014 Western Dressage World Championship titles. Bud continues to promote, educate and support the versatile qualities of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse everywhere he goes. In honor of a lifetime of dedication and devotion to the “Horse of a Lifetime;” Charles “Bud” Blankenship and the Missouri Fox Trotter.

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