The Six White Horses
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
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 Fall Appearances
- Sept. 3: 50th Annual Dove Festival Parade, Hamilton, TX 10 a.m.
- Sept. 9: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Night 1, Abilene, TX 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 10: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Parade, Abilene, TX 10:30 a.m.
- Sept. 10: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Night 2, Abilene, TX 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 15: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Night 3, Abilene, TX 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 16: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Night 4, Abilene, TX 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 17: Munday Homecoming Parade, Munday, TX 10:00 a.m.
- Sept. 17: West Texas Fair and Rodeo Night 5, Abilene, TX 7:30 p.m.
- Sept. 23: Jim Ned Homecoming Parade, Tuscola, TX 2:30 p.m.
- Sept. 30- Oct. 1: Cowboys of Color Rodeo at the State Fair of Texas, Dallas, TX 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 2 : Spanish Fiesta Rodeo at the State Fair of Texas, Dallas, TX 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 30-Oct. 1: American Cowboy Fest at the Ruidoso Downs, Ruidoso, NM (Parade & 2 Performances)
- Oct. 2: Greenwood Homecoming Parade, Greenwood, TX 4 p.m.
- Oct. 7-8: State Fair of Texas Bull Riding Performance, Dallas, TX 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 14-15: State Fair of Texas Ranch Rodeo Performances, Dallas, TX 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 15: HSU Homecoming, Abilene, TX (Kids Rides 9:45-10:45 a.m. and opening of the HSU Homecoming Football Game 12:30 p.m.)
- Oct. 18-22: State Fair of Texas Rodeo Performances, Dallas, TX 6:30 p.m. each night
- Oct. 25: Star Gala Morning Star Ranch Equine Therapy Fundraiser, Dublin, TX 5 p.m.
- Nov. 5: Cook’s Rodeo Days Parade 10 a.m. & Rodeo 1 p.m., Lubbock, TX
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.