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2007 Hall of Fame Inductee
Frank White

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2007 Hall of Fame Inductee

Frank White

For more than fifty years, Frank White squeaked by on the Christian principles and self-worth taught by his mother, his knack for training Tennessee Walking Horses and gaining the attention and affection of wealthy people who owned them, and a healthy measure of humility and southern charm. Those qualities have served Frank well, enabling him to rise from grade school dropout in a poor Jackson, Mississippi, neighborhood to one of the most highly acclaimed Walking Horse Trainers in the country and owner/operator of Frank White stables and Training Center south of Junction City, Oregon.

Frank’s place in Walking Horse history was clinched in August of 1993 when he and a flashy bronze-colored 4 year old mare named “In The Limelight” finished at the top in both harness and plantation riding classes at the Tennessee Walking Horse Celebration in Shelbyville, Tennessee…in essence, the “World championship” of the sport. This show attracts over 3000 horses annually and tens of thousands of spectators attend. He is the first black trainer so honored in a field dominated for decades by wealthy whites. The wall of his office are lined with trophies, ribbons and awards – evidence of the hard work and dedication he’s put into achieving goals and dreams formed during his early childhood years in Mississippi.

One of nine children supported by his mother’s $3 per week salary, Frank abandoned school and taunting schoolmates at a young age, choosing instead to help his family by working at a nearby stable for $5 per week. An old man there counseled the youngster to learn all he could about horses and never to settle for being second-best. Although Frank didn’t pursue the education route, he lived in constant fear that someone would discover he could neither read nor write. He concentrated on the horses, a place where he knew his capacity for training.

Frank has been working with and training horses for over fifty years. He host clinics around the country to shoe, train, and ride the Tennessee Walking Horses, and does exhibitions for the public schools in Lebanon, Oregon, to teach the children about the horse, motivates them to stay in school, get a good education, and seek to achieve their goals. He is in demand as a motivational speaker and shares the lessons he’s learned with students at all levels.

As a Spokesman for Adult Literacy, Frank is learning to read and write and doing quite well…with no intentions of giving up!

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