Six White Horses program announces 2019 tryouts
(ABILENE, Texas)–This time next week, confident young equestrians will fill the Bill “Doc” Beazley White Horse Center with hopes of joining Hardin-Simmons University’s famous Six White Horses. The Six White Horses perform at several parades, rodeos, and other public functions each year and work to spread the cowboy spirit found so readily here in west Texas. Tryouts begin Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. at the Bill “Doc” Beazley White Horse Center, located at 2802 Grape St.
Eligibility requirements for the team include enrollment in a minimum of 12 credit hours at Hardin-Simmons and being in good standing with the university. During the tryout process, a panel of judges will rate the horsemanship, attitude, and appearance of each rider. The team consists of the top eight riders each year. Returning team members also tryout annually to ensure that the team always includes eight of HSU’s finest riders.
“Riding for the Six White Horses program was a blast. I met a lot of really good friends and I learned a lot. If you’re thinking about trying out, I definitely would!” suggests former rider Macie Katona.
Along with traveling around the country to perform for rodeo and parade crowds, the Six White Horses also visit local elementary schools. More than 15,000 children in the Big Country get to sit on one of the iconic white horses each year. The team’s interactions with local children not only promotes awareness for the Six White Horses program but also instills a love and appreciation for horses in local kids.
“We often are ambassadors of the university. We do a lot of community service. We bring awareness to Hardin-Simmons,” says program director Debbie Jones. “We go to a lot of schools and nursing homes and try to keep our western heritage alive.”
Founded in the late 1920s by Will “Sheriff” Watson, a loyal supporter of the university, the Six White Horses team has performed for millions of rodeo and parade attendees. Their western style and slick white horses personify the spirit of the Hardin-Simmons Cowboys. In 1962, Dr. W.O. “Doc” Beazley began directing the program, a role he would keep until his retirement 36 years later. Along with leading the Six White Horses team, Beazley authored 11 children’s books depicting the lives of the team’s beloved white horses. Debbie Jones began directing the program in 1998 and remains the director to date.