Inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2011
Fresh out of high school, a young Southern horseman named Frank Howell headed to work at the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas. It was a dream come true for him.
Born in Greensville, Alabama, and raised in Selma, Frank had ridden and roped all his young life.
Frank stayed at the ranch for a year, working cattle during the week.
He never forgot horses, even after he returned to the South, established and grew an international roofing business, and raised three children with his wife, Lena.
Once the children were grown with families of their own, Frank and Lena moved to a place outside Union City, Georgia, south of Atlanta, and Frank bought an American Quarter Horse to have something for the grandchildren to ride. It was a mare that had won a halter futurity in Ocala, Florida. He started buying more horses, raising foals, showing, and the rest is AQHA history.
In 1976, Frank joined the Georgia Quarter Horse Association and later served two terms as president. In 1990, he became active in AQHA by serving on the amateur committee and was elected to the board of directors in 1996. He has also served on the stud book and registration committee, the public policy task force and the affiliate and racing councils. Elected to the AQHA Executive Committee in 2001, he was the Association’s president in 2005-06.
Introduced to the idea of regional championship shows by a group of members from the Northeast, as president, Frank made the AQHA Regional Championships (initially called Regional Experiences) a reality. The first were in 2005, and they remain a mainstay of AQHA’s effort to bring in new exhibitors, increase regional showing opportunities and offer horsemanship educational venues nationwide.
Frank and Lena now have eight grandchildren and have lived on their farm outside Union City for 26 years; they still have a few horses.
Frank Howell was inducted into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame in 2011.