Area residents gathered Monday, July 21 for a barbecue in honor of Rep. Mike McGhee at the Rocky Ridge Clydesdale Barn north of Odessa. More than 150 area residents enjoyed a barbecue and all the trimmings as well as a variety of cakes for dessert. Buxton Barbecue of Odessa served the dinner.
The Lafayette County Republican Central Committee hosted the event as a thank you to McGhee for his service to the surrounding area and for his help to local charitable organizations.
McGhee expressed his appreciation to those present and introduced his wife Valeta and county and state officials in attendance.
Kyle Forsythe, barn manager and trainer, gave a short program about the equipment and tack used at Rocky Ridge and also about the training and performance schedule of the Clydesdales. The team will perform Aug. 12 and 13 in the evenings at the Missouri State Fair, and Forsythe encouraged guests to attend and support them at the fair.
Guests were treated to a tour of the barn and a closeup look at the international award winning Rocky Ridge Clydesdale team, owned by John and Jan King of Odessa.
Mootz Moody Band of Higginsville entertained with vocals and guitar during dinner.
Mike and Valeta McGhee thanked the Kings for establishing “this amazing facility” and reminded the guests that the Rocky Ridge team is probably the best in the nation. McGhee remarked, “Rocky Ridge is right here in Odessa, an award-winning operation that this town, county, and state can be proud to call our own.” He encouraged the audience to tour the facilities and thanked the Kings for all they do for the area.
The Rocky Ridge website describes the Clydesdale operation this way: “Established in 2001, Rocky Ridge Clydesdales began with approximately 11 black Clydesdales. After parading these fine horses for several years, the Kings wanted to take the operation to the next level. Since the fall of 2006, Rocky Ridge Clydesdale Farm has been the home for about 25 to 30 of arguably the best bay Clydesdales in the world. Traveling across North America for competition and parades, the team has achieved much success along the way. With a family orientated atmosphere, John and Jan King have the goal of maintaining a competitive hitch, while having fun along the way.”