The Six White Horses

Six White Horses at a rodeo.In the United States, Europe, Canada and beyond, the image brought to mind by the mention of Hardin-Simmons University is that of Western-style riders on White Horses. The Six White Horses have performed for millions in parades, rodeos and at many other public functions.

While thousands see the horses at many public functions throughout the year, an important part of their work is visiting the area elementary schools. Each year, more than 15,000 children have the opportunity to sit on a White Horse. This opportunity has further developed an awareness of the program and a love for the Horses by children in the Big Country. “Doc” Beazley’s books, depicting the life of each horse, are an important part of many children’s treasures.

History of The Six White Horses

The Six White Horses lined up to ride.In the late 1920s, Will “Sheriff” Watson, a loyal supporter of the University, decided to ride his white horse, Silver, at the head of the Cowboy Band in a parade. Attired in full Western dress to mirror the image of the Western-clad band members, Watson set an important pattern.

The idea proved so popular that the famous Six White Horse parade unit was born.

In 1962, Dr. W.O. “Doc” Beazley began directing the Six White Horses program. He came to HSU for the first time in 1948 and then returned in 1960 to serve in various teaching and administrative capacities.

Beazley became a widely known author of 11 books teaching children to appreciate horses. After 36 years of dedication and commitment, Doc retired from his role as director of the Six White Horses program in 1998.

Debbie Jones, the current director, took over the program in 1998.

2023 Summer Appearances

  • Dyess Elementary Parade – May 19
  • Haskell Parade – June 2
  • Dr. Jackson Memorial – June 3
  • All God’s Children Kid’s Rides – June 7
  • Camp Eagle, Saint John’s School Kids Rides – June 21
  • Bowie Parade & Rodeo – June 24
  • Stamford Parade & Rodeo – June 28
  • Coahoma Parade – July 1
  • Culpepper Farms BBQ social – July 3
  • Buffalo Gap Parade – July 4
  • All God’s Children Kid’s Rides – July 5
  • O’Donnell Parade & Rodeo – July 8
  • Camp Eagle Saint John’s School Kids Rides – July 12

The ladies of the Six White Horses with their mounts.

In order to be eligible for the Six White Horses team, a student must be currently attending Hardin-Simmons University and enrolled in at least twelve hours. Each September, prospective riders are required to participate in try-outs, in which a panel of judges rate each rider’s horsemanship, attitude, and appearance. The top eight riders are selected for the team. All returning riders are required to try out each year to ensure that the most qualified riders make up the team. Practices are normally held two to three times per week.