Frances Osborne’s yard was not quite big enough for the Hardin-Simmons University Six White Horses Team to perform its routine, so riders instead showed Miss Osborne their rodeo routine by walking through it without the horses.
The 1940 graduate was most certainly one of the most talked about citizens in Lampasas, Texas, last week as the Six White Horses and riders made a house call on Miss Osborne while they were in the area for the Riata Roundup Rodeo being held in Lometa, Texas.
It was such a big stir that the Lampasas Dispatch Record was there to take photos of the event. Cheryl Purcell, assistant vice president for development, says, “When I found out from Debbie that they were going to be in a rodeo in Lampasas County, I told her that I wanted to take Frances to the rodeo to see the horses, if she was able to go.” (Debbie Jones is the director of the White Horses Program at HSU.) “When I told Debbie that Frances is 95, she volunteered to make a ‘house call,’” says Purcell.
Purcell tells the story like this:
“Members of the White Horses Team loaded up the horses and made the drive to Frances’ front door, about 16 miles from the rodeo, spending more than two hours with her. The horses were saddled and the riders were dressed in their matching shirts and hats for the occasion. The horses grazed on Frances’ front lawn for a bit while Debbie and the girls met Frances and her friends who had come to see the horses. Then the girls bridled the horses and posed for photos with their flags.
“Afterward, Frances invited them in for refreshments. We served raspberry lemonade and Frances’ good friend Ruthie Martin brought homemade brownies and some other snacks.
“After everyone cooled off and visited for a while, we went back outside where Debbie and the girls did a walking version of the routine they do on horseback. We watered the horses from the biggest pan we could find. One of the girls made sure Frances’ yard was clean (they always take a shovel), then they loaded the horses and headed back to Lometa where the rodeo was held and the horses were stabled.
“Frances absolutely loved it,” says Cheryl.
Frances Osborne earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in 1940 from HSU. She earned a master’s degree in 1942 from Southwestern Baptist Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; and a Master of Arts in education from Baylor University in 1948.