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Hometown Farmer - White Horse Mounted Patrol

HTF - White Horse Mounted Patrol

The Abu Bekr Shriners in Sioux City have a hidden gem you might not know about.

They're those white horses you see in a lot of parades: the horses of the Abu Bekr White Horse Mounted Patrol.

They're trained very well, and a little motivation never hurts.

"They know where their home is and where their food is," said Jim Lane, a rider with the patrol.

Just more than than 20 of the horses live in a stable outside of Sioux City.

As spring rolls into summer, the horses and their riders will get busy, representing Siouxland and Shriners Hospitals, performing in parades, live Sioux City's Rivercade.

"We still go all over the country and pick up horses," said Lane.

The Shriners are pretty strict when it comes to finding new white horses to join the club.

The test involved holding up a white men's handkerchief to compare the horse's color.

"If it matches they're in," said Lane. "If it doesn't, they're out."

Jim rides Rocky.

It's a good relationship now, but it took a while to mature.

It would be safe to say it was "rocky" at first.

"He threw me, he stepped on me, he ran me over, it was most definitely an experience when I first got this horse," said Lane. "But now we're buddies, he'll follow me like a dog."

Like all of these riders, Jim has a close bond with his animal.

"When I whistle," said Lane, whistling. "He'll come running right out of the pack to me, which is pretty cool."

When the patrol was started in 1920, the group was able to do a 36-man routine.

Now it's down to a 12-man drill.

The group is always looking for more riders.

If you're interested, please visit: abubekr.com/clubs-units/white-horse-mounted-patrol.

If you think of a farmer that might be great on "Proud to be a Hometown Farmer," please email Jake at: jheller@siouxlandnews.com.

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