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New riders chosen for HSU's Six White Horses team

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Sep 17 2013 10:29:24 PM CDT
Updated On: Sep 18 2013 07:43:56 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Tuesday, eight lucky ladies got a spot on this years Hardin-Simmons University’s Six White Horses team. Luckily for everyone, there were only eight girls who showed up so they all made the team, but they still had to audition for their spot.

The competition to become one of the riders on the Six White Horses team starts as soon as competitors sign their name. The girls have to groom and saddle their horses by themselves before even getting in the saddle.

Why do they want the gig?

"I don't own horses So this is pretty much the only opportunity and these are my best friends I mean these are the girls that I call when I'm having trouble I mean they're always there for me it's like a family," said Jessie Forrest who has been a rider for the team for the last three years.

The horses are world famous. They have been in shows and parades since the 1930s. That includes inaugural parades for six U.S. Presidents.

"it's still weird whenever we go somewhere and there's a little girl that runs up to us That has wanted to be a white horse rider for her whole life and she wants autographs and pictures and stuff," Forrest said.

Riders say the biggest challenge is finding the right horse.

"This is Goose he's a lot older than he acts, but he acts like a brat sometimes he's really tough, he's a challenge I guess that's why like him so much," said Forrest.

Riders must re-audition every year. They pick eight because the program is so demanding they need six riders available at any given time.