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Scoop Vessels dead at 58


August 12, 2010     E-mail this page to a friend!

Frank "Scoop" Vessels III has passed away following a tragic plane crash on Wednesday morning, August 11.

Vessels was at the controls of the aircraft, flying with longtime friend Sam Cannell, who also died in the accident. Cannell was part of the ownership group that campaigned 2007 Los Alamitos Super Derby winner Little Bit Of Baja, and loved horses and was a Quarter Horse breeder.

Condolences go out to the Cannell family as well as to the Vessels family. Official obituary releases are forthcoming.

In Vessels, the Quarter Horse racing industry has lost a true icon, a wonderful and innovative leader, a warm and caring human being, a great family man and a lover of life, a legendary breeder of horses, and a true fan of the impeccable beauty of the horse.

Scoop's grandfather, Frank Vessels, Sr., founded Los Alamitos Race Course.

Ed Allred, owner of Los Alamitos Race Course released his statement about Vessels's passing:

“To his wife, Bonnie, and their children, the Los Alamitos Race Course family sends its most heartfelt sentiments of sorrow. We are in shock. The suddenness of this event has disturbed me deeply. When the news of his passing was confirmed it devastated me. Scoop Vessels and I have been business partners and friends for a long time. I will always respect his love for racing and I had a great deal of admiration for the man that he grew up to be. He was a man of ideas and always looking forward to helping improve the sport of Quarter Horse racing.

"The passing of Scoop will be hard for Quarter Horse racing not only in California but also nationally to overcome. There could not be a person in this sport more significant in terms of ability, background and family heritage. Vessels Stallion Farm has been the dominant source of Quarter Horse racing bloodlines for many years and we depend on their racing stock. Above and beyond that, Scoop was devoted to this sport and the horses, not only Quarter Horses but Thoroughbreds as well. As a past president of the American Quarter Horse Association and the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Scoop spent his life working in the production and promotion of fine horses. We will have to dig deep to overcome, survive and thrive as a sport without him. It will be a difficult task. It’s the biggest blow this industry could have suffered. We couldn’t have lost anyone of more importance.”