Photos: Kristen Johnson, Jessica Goodlett, 2013-14 White Horses Team
As a child, Hardin-Simmons University senior Kristen Johnson imagined being a western-clad show-women riding one the majestic HSU Six White Horses. Riding since the age of four, Johnson dreamed of galloping across arenas and leading parades, carrying one of the six flags that have flown over Texas.
The 2010 Wylie High School graduate and HSU nursing major cemented her second victory as a White Horse rider last night during the annual tryout and judging event at the Taylor Country Expo Center Horse Barn.
Last week, Johnson fulfilled what she calls another item on her bucket list. As White Horses riders led the West Texas Fair Rodeo each night, Johnson was crowned as Miss West Texas Fair and Rodeo.
Kristen is the daughter of Kris and Peggy Johnson of Abilene. She is a member of Tri Phi Social Club, and the Student Nurse Association at the Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing. Previous titles and accomplishments include a special achievement award at the West Texas Fair & Rodeo in 2003, 4th place in Western Pleasure at the 2009 Texas State Horse Show, and the Gold Star award in 4-H in 2010.
While Johnson celebrates her win as queen of the West Texas Fair and Rodeo, she is looking forward to the Miss Rodeo Texas pageant in San Antonio next June.
Jess, as she likes to be called, is the newest member of the White Horses Team. Jess came to Abilene via Dyess Air Force Base where her dad has been stationed for the last several years. A 2013 graduate of Abilene ISD Academy of Technology, Engineering, Math, and Science, Goodlett has been riding horses since she was a small child.
The marketing major says she knew she wanted to try out for the Six White Horses Team the minute she signed up for classes at HSU.
Judges for the White Horses team tryout event included Dr. George Newman, rancher, former HSU professor; Natalie Matthews, veterinarian, former WH rider; Linda Boeshart, speech therapist, former WH rider; Sandra Thompson, teacher, former WH rider; Starla Cason, counselor, former WH rider; and attorney, rancher, Kelly Gill.
White Horses Team:
Kristy Beam, Abilene
Lindy Chittum, Abilene
Jessie Forrest, Frisco, Texas
Jessica Goodlett, Abilene
Kristen Johnson, Abilene
Kate Lanting, Dublin, Texas
Kate West, Denton, Texas
Kayla Willis, Granbury, Texas