Lorelei Hankins spent the better part of her youth learning from some of the most well known horsemen in Texas. They were her uncles and her father.
Her father, Lowell Hankins, was the second of four children, Jess, Lowell, J.O., and Myrl. Lowell was born October 10, 1911 in Pine Bluff, AR to J.L. and Emma Jacks Hankins. The whole Hankins family moved to Texas in 1916, farming in Brownfield and Gorman, before settling in Abilene, TX. Lowell actually graduated from high school in Abilene just about the time the Great Depression started to kick in. While in Abilene he met his special angel, Sarah Amelia Boutwell, and they married in March 1930 and then moved to Rocksprings, TX where they began a special lifelong partnership. Lowell and Sarah had two daughters, Lorelei and Louise.
Lowell worked hard to pass on his love of the land. This love of hard work and quality livestock was evident in the excellent breeding programs of his sheep, goats, cattle and horses. Lorelei, along with her cousins, accompanied Lowell, Jess, and J.O. in the conduct of 34 Hankins Bros. Quarter Horse Sales, as she was being groomed to take her part in the family business. The majority of horses they sold descended from King P-234. Lowell would probably say the best money he ever spent on a horse, was the money he loaned his brother Jess to purchase King in Uvalde.
While the Hankins name has grown to be synonymous with using horses, Lowell had a special affinity for running horses as well. His first breakthrough was in 1949, when the unbeatable Madon’s Bright Eyes succumbed to Lowell’s Diamond Bob on September 28 at Ruidoso Downs. Lowell went on to own Hankins’ Bars who ran fifth in the All American Futurity on a sloppy day in 1964, Go Miss Hankins who ran third in the second consolation race of the All American Futurity in 1971, and his winningest horse, Special Hank who won 32 stakes races over a six year period.
The tireless effort this father and daughter team have put forth for the sake of superior Quarter Horses has been recognized. The ranch is an official AQHA Heritage Breeder program. Lowell was awarded the AQHA’s Legacy Breeder Award in 1997, and at the time of this award ceremony he and Sarah had been married for 67 years. Lorelei was also recently recognized as an AQHA 50 Year Breeder. The legacy of the Hankins Ranch remains unchanged: community, church, and horses. Lorelei continues to build on this legacy in the hopes of remaining an important part of the industry for years to come.
Today, Lorelei continues to build upon the legacy her parents created back in 1930, and runs mares with the same characteristics that her father and uncles were partial to so many years ago. Lorelei’s current emphais is to cross those solid mares with the new stallions of the day, to make sure that Hankins Quarter Horses remain relevant for a long time to come.