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Frank ‘Scoop’ Vessels killed in plane crash

From the Newstrader - August 19th, 2010 - General News

Courtesy photo

Frank “Scoop” Vessels

BONSALL – Memorial services for Frank “Scoop” Vessels were set for Aug. 16 after the third generation horseman was killed in a private plane crash near Burns, Ore., Aug. 11.

Vessels, 58, of Bonsall, was flying his light plane when it crashed at 8:55 a.m. about 80 miles south of Burns, a Harney County Sheriff’s official said. Vessels’s passenger and his friend, Sam Bartley Cannell, 73, of Anderson, also was killed. The two were on their way to Montana from Redding for an annual fishing trip with friends when the 1962 Aero Commander 500-B broke apart and fell from the sky, Sheriff David R. Glerup said. The two men were killed on impact and the aircraft was completely destroyed, Glerup said.

Vessels, whose family founded Los Alamitos Race Course in the 1940s, was elected to the Jockey Club in 2004, the year he served as president of the American Quarter Horse Association. He subsequently served as president of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association and was a successful breeder of Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds. At the family’s 2,800-acre Vessels Stallion Farm in Bonsall, Vessels stood the all-time leading Quarter Horse sire by progeny earnings, First Down Dash, as well as a former leading Thoroughbred sire in California, In Excess.

Three Thoroughbred stallions and five Quarter Horse Stallions stand at the farm this year.

In a partnership that included Cannell, Vessels campaigned Little Bit of Baja, who won the $818,850 Los Alamitos Super Derby for Quarter Horses in 2008.

Vessels took over the family’s equine operation in the early 1990s after the death of his mother, Mildred. The family’s original farm was in Cypress, adjacent to Los Alamitos racetrack, which Scoop Vessels’s grandfather, Frank Vessels, founded. The family owned the track until the early 1980s, when the farm was moved to northern San Diego County.

Vessels is survived by his wife, Bonnie, and three sons – Bryan, Colt and Kash.

The Vessels family has requested that a memorial fund be established at the American Quarter Horse Foundation for a youth scholarship in memory of Scoop. Our hope is to raise funding for an endowed scholarship to be given annually in his name. Gifts can be forwarded to the American Quarter Horse Foundation, P.O. Box 32111, Amarillo, TX 79120 or can be made online at https://services2.aqha.com/oldonations/signon.aspx.

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2 comments have been made on “Frank ‘Scoop’ Vessels killed in plane crash”

  1. john cully Says:

    Shocked and saddened to hear this news. John Cully

  2. Brian Parkhurst Says:

    Scoop and my Dad were very close for a long time.My Dad, Bernie Parkhurst, raced Quarter Horses at Los Alamitos.My prayers go out to the family I have fond memories of Scoop. May he rest in peace. Brian Parkhurst

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