Parker County Today June 2017 - Page 37

Continued from page 22 city councilmen, county commissioners, bankers, doctors, veterinarians, lawyers and even a former Speaker of The US House of Representatives, Jim Wright, as members. Tom B. Saunders, IV, is a second-generation Posse member who joined in 1974. “Guys join the Posse for different motives, but most of it is people who like the western way and like to ride horses. The Posse promotes the western way of life. For some of the boys that live in town that don’t get to ride that much, it’s the camaraderie and it’s a lot of fun.” The Posse has long been recognized as Goodwill Ambassadors of Parker County. The group performed in Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1949. Acting as ambassadors again, the Posse was on hand to welcome General Douglas McArthur to Texas in 1951 upon his return from Korea. In 1965, the Posse sponsored a Weatherford night in Dallas at the Texas State Fair Music Hall opening of “Hello Dolly” starring Weatherford native Mary Martin and had a special recog- nition ceremony for her at the rodeo that year. The Posse was privileged to serve as honor guard for governors Ann Richards and Dolph Briscoe and rode in a parade honor- ing Governor Mark White. Through the years, the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse has been recognized in magazines, books and on television. Saunders recalled a time when some “pilgrims” from New Jersey were reported as lost and some of the Posse guys rounded them up, but they weren’t really lost, they were simply sightseeing. He also mentioned a time that they assisted the Sheriff in recapturing an escaped convict. “We’re supposed to be the backup to the Sheriff’s Department, if someone got lost we’d join in and help, especially if it was on horseback. We try to do things to help the community,” he said. The posse has always been made up of “people from all walks of life,” Borden said. “We had a bunch of the fellows already in the cutting horse business even before we started the Sheriff’s Posse in 1947,” he continued. The Posse was one of the first affiliates of the National Cutting Horse Association in 1949, and supplied the organization with its first three presidents: Ray Smyth, Tom B. Saunders and H. Calhoun. Ray Smyth was one of the first inductees into the NCHA Members Hall of Fame in 1977. All three men also served as Captain of the Parker County Sheriff’s Posse. Not surprisingly, the Posse rodeo has had a cutting competition almost since its inception. Tom Riddle served as Posse Captain in 1979 and he also granted PCT an interview in 2006. He counted more than a dozen family members and in-laws who were also Posse members. Both he and Borden were proud of the support the Posse has given to Parker County’s youth. “The Posse has been there over the years especially for the 4-H, FFA and also the FFA rodeo,” said Riddle. The Continued on page 77 Fall in love with your dream home. Realtor, BPOR 817-598-9663 Call us to see this property or others like it. Terri Lynn Stokes Broker, GRI, MCNE 817-613-1010 Justin Collins 35