I was a student at North Texas from 1972 to 1974. While there, I took horseback riding for a P.E. class — much to my delight — taught by Sweet Estes (’48).
I was able to do some volunteer work around the stables on Bonnie Brae and got to know Sweet well. She had a ranch near Sanger where some of us would go on weekends to work as volunteer wranglers and take groups out for trail rides — Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, church groups. We would get up before dawn to round the horses up, feed them and get them saddled and ready. Many of us also worked at the stables running the rental operation on the weekends, again volunteering for something we loved. We knew all the horses by name and knew their personalities, too.
All of my close friends from UNT were “stable buddies” and are still my friends to this day. I believe Sweet has since passed on, but I’m sure she’s not forgotten.
Karen Wooldridge Mulliniks Derouen (’74)
Last year, on the 20th anniversary of Sweet Estes’ death, a handful of her former students teamed together and successfully applied for her nomination into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. Now, a second campaign is being launched to ensure that she will be one of the four or five women chosen to be honored from the pool of several hundred nominees considered each year.
The NCHF accepts additions to the application packets year-round, bundles the information each January to be reviewed by committee members and chooses the honorees each July to be acknowledged at a gala in October.
If your life was touched by Sweet Estes, or you have a fond memory you would like to share, please send it in an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. These letters of support will be bundled and hand delivered to the NCHF.