All Inductees

Donna Fay Hinson Hanks

I was born and raised on a farm and ranch in Coryell and Lampasas Counties to the late Mr. & Mrs. Bill Hinson. I was the third daughter of four girls. My riding career began at the age of 3 when my father and sisters (Eula Hinson Thomas and Rille Hinson McBride) taught me how to ride. When I started Copperas Cove School in 1940, my sisters and I rode our horse “Cricket” to school and back.

While my sisters practiced on their horses for the barrel and flag races, I was busy training my stick horse for these events as well, using gallon buckets for barrels. I took part in my first rodeo in Belton, Texas, when I was 7 years old, winning 1st place with a saddle in which I was unable to reach the stirrups.

The family and I worked in the fields all day and would arrive at the rodeo just in time for the barrel race, flags, and musical chair event. My sisters and I competed on the same horse “Trixie,” changing saddles three times in one night. We would draw straws to determine who would ride 1st, 2nd, and 3rd and often placed in that order also.

My father purchased my first horse in 1948. After two weeks of training, I won a matched barrel race at Hamilton, Texas, winning enough money to pay for my 4-year-old horse, “Shorty”. We were quite a team.

I joined the Girls Rodeo Association at the age of 14. My father took me to San Angelo, Texas, for the All Girl Rodeo held in June 1949. I competed in the barrel race and flag race in which flags were placed in beer cans, and you were to change flags from one can to another in two different locations. “Shorty” and I accomplished perfect timing to win 1st in the flags and placed in the barrels.

After I learned to drive, my mother accompanied my little sister, Delois Hinson Senez, and myself to many locations in Texas which enabled us to compete in rodeo events. In Adamsville, Texas, I won the goat roping and sacking. I carried the sack for lots of goat ropers, often placing in that event also.

I was invited to take part in the Fort Worth Stock Show Invitational Barrel Race held in 1958. I placed in two go-arounds on a horse which I had borrowed. I still have buckles, hats, belts, boots, and a bat in which I won during these years. A large trophy won at the 31st Annual Belton, Texas, Rodeo in 1954, is one of the many treasures displayed in my home today, as well as a set of silverware I won at Ranger, Texas.

I met and married Dorman Hanks of Goldthwaite, Texas on March 31, 1956. I continued to ride and train barrel and race horses for several years. After our children were born (Berva Dawn Hanks Hill, daughter & Brent Hanks, son), I passed along my knowledge of the rodeo career to them.

I served as Secretary of the Comanche Roping Club and was the 4-H Horse Club Leader. I also was a Girl & Boy Scout leader and a basketball, football, and baseball mom. Dorman and I continue to be self-employed in the making of ornamental concrete (bird baths, figurines, table & deer sets). Our business establishment is located on a small ranch 2 ½ miles East on Highway 36 in Comanche, Texas, where we also raise cattle and boer goats.