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.

2022 Appearances

January

  • 22 – Mustang Magic in Fort Worth / Rode for 4,000 people and it was televised on the Cowboy Channel

March

  • 4 – Allie Ward Elementary School in Abilene / Kid rides for 175 kids
  • 5 – Texas Independence Day Clear Fork Baptist Church / Rode and gave kid rides
  • 19 – Graham Rodeo
  • 23 – HSU Counselling Visitation
  • 26 – HSU Prom Party
  • 31 – Beltway Baptist Church / Kid rides for 200 kids

April

  • 2 – San Angelo Parade / televised
  • 11 – HSU Golden Reunion Tour at the Barn
  • 12 – Stain John’s / Kid rides for 150
  • 21 – HSU Western Heritage Day / 2,000 kids
  • 27 – Taylor Elementary School / Career Day

May (All in Abilene)

  • 5 – Cinco De Mayo Parade / 6:00pm
  • 12 – Western Heritage Ranch Rodeo Parade / 6:30 pm
  • 13 – Rhinestone Dinner
  • 13 – Western Heritage Ranch Rodeo / 8:00 pm
  • 14 – Kids Stick Horse Rodeo / 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
  • 14 – Opening for the WHC Match Horse Races / 4:00 pm
  • 14 – Western Heritage Ranch Rodeo / 8:00 pm

June

  • 9 – Abilene Story Book Parade / 5:30 pm
  • 10 – Nocona Rodeo
  • 11 – Coleman Parade
  • 12 – Minda Church of Christ / Vacation Bible School / Kid Rides / 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
  • 13 – Fairfield Parade / 7:00 pm
  • 16 – Saint John’s Camp Eagle / Kid Rides / 9:00 am
  • 17 – Fairfield Rodeo Night One
  • 18 – Fairfield Rodeo Night Two
  • 25 – Bowie Parade / 10:30 am
  • 25 – Bowie Rodeo / 8:00 pm
  • 29 – Stamford Parade / 4:00 pm
  • 29 – Stamford Rodeo / 7:30 pm

July

  • 9 – O’Donnell Parade / 6:00 pm
  • 9 – O’Donnell Rodeo / 7:30 pm
  • 14 – Saint John’s Camp Eagle / Kid Rides / 9:00 am
  • 15 – Childress Rodeo Night One / 7:30 pm
  • 16 – Childress Parade / 10:00 am
  • 16 – Childress Rodeo Night Two / 7:30 pm
  • 23, 26, 28, 30 – Cheyenne Parade

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.