We specialize in foundation bred Missouri Foxtrotter

Remembering Lawrence Barnes

By Charlie Cox

Buddy Savage and I went to Ava, Mo. In June of 1987 to buy Buddy some fox trotting horses. After checking into the motel, we went to the Saddle Shop on the town square, and asked if they knew where we could find some horses. The Saddle Shop was owned and operated by Glen and Iva McGee, and they told us to see Roy Brown and Lawrence Barnes. If they didn’t have what we were looking for, they could tell us some other places to go. The McGee’s informed us that Roy Brown was right around the corner selling used cars and Lawrence Barnes lived a couple miles from town on east Hwy 14. We walked to the used car lot and met Roy Brown who told us that he didn’t have anything that would suit us, but also suggested that we check with Lawrence Barnes.

After calling Mr. Barnes, we went out to his farm to look at his horses. He had about forty head, consisting of mostly mares, foals, and yearlings. He also had three studs, Major L, Vickies Red Man, and Old Paint. Buddy noticed a mare and colt that he liked, and Mr. Barnes told him all about their bloodlines. We told Mr. Barnes that we wanted to look around some more, and that we would get back to him. He told us we should go down to see Mr. Audie Evans, but that his place was hard to find for someone not familiar with the country. We found Mr. Evans place without too much trouble, but did get lost trying to find our way out after dark. Buddy decided to buy the mare and colt from Mr. Barnes, so the next day we loaded them up and drove home.

In May, 1988, Bro. L. C. Lord, from Baskin, La. Called a group together to form a Louisiana Chapter of the Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Ass’n. After this meeting, there was a need for registered MFT horses in our area. Since I needed a registered horse to participate in our club activites, I, with my brother, Nick Cox, went to Ava in February, 1989, to buy some horses. We arrived in Ava about 1:00 p. m., and drove on out to Mr. Barnes’ place. After visiting with him a short time, we told him we were going back to town to get a room and we’d be back the next day. He said, “You boys don’t need to get a room, you can stay with me.” That’s what we did each time we went to his place after that. We bought some coming two-year olds, joined the national association, transferred the papers, and came home.

Lawrence Barnes was born near Ava, Mo. On September 10, 1910. His family moved to Claremore, Ok in a covered wagon when he was five years old. The trip took them three weeks. Mr. Barnes rode a fox trotting horse and attended grammar school in Claremont. They spent thirteen years there, and moved back to Ava where his father bought a little country store. Mr. Barnes, who was 18 years old at this time had not attended high school in Oklahoma, but started to high school in Ava. Mr. Barnes was very athletic and excelled in track, baseball, and basketball while in high school.

After high school, he went to Nacogdoches, Tx, and worked in the oil field and went to college. He earned his B. S. degree and started teaching school. After Pearl Harbor was bombed, he joined the Navy and completed a four year tour of duty as a Petty Officer. After his tour with the Navy, he returned to Ava, and was hired as coach for Ava High School in the school year 1947-1948. He coached at Ava, Reeds Spring, and Hartsville before returning to Ava to teach math and commerce. He retired from his teaching career in 1976.

The Missouri Fox Trotting Horse Breed Association was formed initially in 1948. Mr. Barnes was not a charter member; however, he joined shortly after it was formed. He served as a board member from 1969 to 1973, and then as Secretary-Treasurer from 1974 until 1983. He was serving on the board when it was changed from a stock company to a membership corporation in 1973. He was still on the board when the present show ground was planned and built, the first show on the new grounds being in 1977. Mr. Barnes was inducted into the MFTHBA Hall of Fame on September 12, 1998.

Mr. Barnes owned about 540 acres of land east of Ava, and raised a few cattle and fox trotting horses. His barn was designed to accommodate his horse operation. The barn had large stalls for his studs, smaller stalls for horses he kept up occasionally, a tack room, a feed room, a stock to restrain horses, hay storage, and an area in the center large enough to start horses under saddle.

Mr. Barnes kept his studs in the barn, and rotated them one at a time to an exercise pen. He didn’t keep water in his stalls, so he had to water his stalled horses two or three times a day. He didn’t allow a horse to run out the stall; he would walk them one at a time to the end of the barn to water then back to the stall. He seldom used a lead rope, but always carried a short whip or quirt. He grain-fed his horses daily. The mares and colts were fed together in a pen adjacent to his stud exercise pen. He believed the best way to check a mare in heat was to let her go to the stud, and they would while they were eating.

Mr. Barnes had strong beliefs about how to handle horses. He said to never pull on a colts head to teach him to lead; it would only rear up and fall backward. He rigged a rope, a ring, and some snaps to go around the girth, between the front legs, and through the halter ring, and tied it. A colt would usually lead within 30 minutes. He also made a rig from a short piece of leather and a small chain that fit on the horses head, and was used with a tie-down to discourage rearing. This rig was also useful for control in handling a young stud for breeding. Mr. Barnes said to never hit a horse in the head--you would eventually hit him in the eye. He also said to never whip a stud on the legs--you would only teach him to jump rope. Mr. Barnes believed that a true fox trotting horse was born with the gait. I’ve heard him say, more than once, “You don’t teach a horse to fox trot, you let him fox trot.” He also believed that an unruly horse was caused by human mis-handling.

Mr. Barnes liked the Blankenship Diamond, Paul David’s Dan, Golden Governor, and Walt Morgan’s spotted bloodlines. He acquired a mare, Vickie (F-1260) by Blankenship Diamond out of Minnie Pearl by Paul David’s Dan. He bought Ramblin Red (F-1500) from Rollen Clarkson about 1963 and Goldman (F-2015) from B. Mills as a weanling. Some of the studs and mares owned by Mr. Barnes that he thought a lot of were:

Ramblin Red F-1500 Foaled 1962

Mr. Barnes bought him from Rollen Clarkson about 1963. Sold him about 1967 to J. B. Vinson, Jr. in Kentucky.

Goldman F-2015 Foaled 5-10-64

Mr. Barnes bought him from B. Mills as a weanling. Goldman was by Golden Rawhide out of Roxie by Yellow Jacket. Goldman broke his back, and died at 14 years of age.

Major L 9472 Foaled 7-1-74 Raised by Mr. Barnes

Major was by Zane Grey’s Warrior out of Vicki 3. He was sold to Buddy Savage in September, 1991, and went to Louisiana.

Vickie’s Red Man 83-23619 Foaled 1983 Raised by Mr. Barnes

Red Man was by Gold Exchange out of Vicki 3. He was sold to Scott Parker sometime around 1989, and went to Florida and eventually to Alabama. Then he was bought by Buddy Savage, and went to Louisiana. Buddy loaned him to Carroll Hood in Mississippi.

Old Paint 84-25502 Foaled 5-1-84 Raised by Mr. Barnes

By Missouri’s War Paint out of Lazy Jane B by Major L. Sold to Jim Shannon and went to Mississippi.

Paint’s Dude 94-44713 Spotted Raised by Mr. Barnes

By Old Paint out of Vicki 3. Sold to Jack Ritter in Ava, Mo in 1999.

Sissy’s Chief 97-54311 Spotted Raised by Mr. Barnes

Chief was spotted and homozygous by Flash’s Indian Music out of Paint’s Sissy. Sold to Jack Ritter in Ava, Mo in August, 2000.

Vicki F-1260

By Blankenship Diamond out of Minnie Pearl by Paul David’s Dan. Died of milk fever.

Vicki’s Flossy F-2014 Raised by Mr. Barnes

By Mitchell’s Trigger out of Vicki.

Vicki 3 4917 Foaled 5-21-69 Raised by Mr. Barnes

By Goldman out of Vicki’s Flossy.

Dude’s Doll 11956 Bob-Eared Mare Raised by Mr. Barnes

By Zane’s Dude out of Vicki 3. She was called the Bob-Eared Mare because she tore the tip of one ear off in the fence, and Mr. Barnes had a vet to trim the other ear to match.

Mr. Barnes never married, even though he said he had been engaged twice. He was retired from school teaching by the time I met him. Occasionally, after the morning chores we would ride around the country south and west of Ava, where he had lived after returning from Oklahoma. He would reminisce about his high school days and events that happened in the late twenties and early thirties. Mr. Barnes could recall horse’s names and registration numbers from memory. I thoroughly enjoyed these time spent with him.

After we started taking horses to Ava to trail ride in the middle 1990’s, Mr. Barnes insisted that I ride his gelding, Paint’s Little Sam, which was the last horse he broke and trained himself. Since I couldn’t refuse, I rode his horse the last three years of Mr. Barnes’ life.

I admired Mr. Barnes for his accomplishments in life, his willingness to share his knowledge about horses with anyone who asked. Above all else, I cherished his friendship.


Burton Foxtrotters

4597 U S 62 E, Beaver Dam, KY 42320