Rest in Peace, Besty Hutchins


As a proud representative of the American Donkey and Mule Society, Lucky Three Ranch is deeply saddened to say goodbye to our close friend, and co-founder of ADMS, Betsy Hutchins. She was one of a kind and shared our love for longears. We will miss her very much.

Betsy with Frosty

Statement from the ADMS:

It is with great sadness that the ADMS announces the loss of one of our co-founders, Elizabeth “Betsy” Hutchins. For over forty years, Betsy devoted her life and her home to the promotion of longears around the world. She and her family spent time not only in the daily operations of the ADMS (originally housed in their hundred-year-old farmhouse in Denton) but raised, trained and showed donkeys and mules as well. All four of her children were brought up with the animals and can be found in pages of the older Mr Longears and Brayer magazines.

Betsy and husband Paul converted part of their home into the operations center for ADMS. The BRAYER magazine used to be hand-typed and copy pasted up on the dining room table. Large built-in shelves all around the house were filled with donkey and mule figurines of every type. As the ADMS grew over the years, it began to encompass the sun porch of the house, gaining more equipment and taking up more time. Betsy and Paul ran it solely for many years, with the occasional volunteer for help. Betsy wrote many articles on donkey and mule care, much of it taken from her own experiences dealing with the longears living in their large acreage property.

Betsy with husband Paul

While Betsy always maintained she loved air conditioning, if animals needed care, she was outside taking care of them. If a friend came by needing a place to unload a donkey for the night, she’d make sure the gates were closed, the water tubs full and the hay brought out. She would stack hay if needed, hold heads or hooves for hoof trims, give medicines or baths to the animals, whatever was needed. She truly loved all animals, whether longears, dogs, cats, or guinea pigs, which she raised for years as a hobby.

When Paul and Betsy retired some 12 years ago, her involvement in ADMS slowed, but never stopped. She still joined the staff (by then hired on to continue to run ADMS) at shows, sitting at the information table and talking to everyone with a smile. She often handed out ribbons at shows, while husband Paul was judge or ring steward. Even though she had retired, she could still be counted on to answer questions that just couldn’t be solved, except through experience.

Betsy at a Donkey Show in the 1960s

She loved to travel the world, and went on cruises over the years, the latest just last month. With a passion for gardening, she found lovely plants and had over 160 cuttings potted at last count. A friend recounts that she heard the news of Betsy’s passing while watering cuttings from tea roses Betsy had

Betsy is survived by husband Paul, children Scott and wife Tammy, Melissa “Missy” and S.O. David, Melinda “Mindy” and husband Steven, Patrick and wife Katie, grandchildren Clayton and Audrey, and friends around the world too numerous to count.

Long time friend Becky perhaps has put it best in her note to ADMS: I know there is an ass or two in heaven braying in happiness that Mom has come over the Rainbow Bridge to be with them. And no, that was not thunder. It was a stampede of critters running to meet their Mom. Godspeed, Betsy.


  1. Hannah07-24-2012

    Im so sorry to here this. I will keep her fmaily in my prayers. <3 ~Hannah

  2. Juanita Snyder08-03-2012

    The World is far poorer without her. RIP.

  3. Amy09-07-2012

    May she enjoy her heavenly donkeys and mules……RIP

  4. Sue Cole09-07-2012

    As a ‘fellow’ editor of a mule/donkey publication, I could always feel comfortable calling on Betsy if I needed help. She was a wealth of information and always willing to share her knowledge.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Betsy at several mule events in my early years in the business.
    Her warm smile will be missed, but I’m sure the donkeys in heaven have welcomed her with brays of joy. —

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