AQHA Elects Frank "Scoop" Vessels III as President
March 15, 2004 - The American Quarter Horse Association Board of Directors elected first vice president Frank "Scoop" Vessels of Bonsall, California, to serve as the AQHA President for 2004, replacing outgoing president Steve Stevens of Houston.
Scoop and his wife, Bonnie, own and operate Vessels Stallion Farm, a prominent breeding operation in Southern California. Scoop is the third generation of the Vessels family involved in the American Quarter Horse business. Scoop's grandfather was enamored with the breed and acquired Clabber, the legendary "Iron Horse" that was the first world champion racing American Quarter Horse. Scoop was raised on the backstretch of Los Alamitos Race Course, the racetrack his grandfather founded in the 1940s and his father, Frank Jr., and later his mother, Millie, owned and operated until 1984, when it was bought by the then-parent company of Hollywood Park.
Today, Vessels Stallion Farm is one of the horse racing industry's most prominent breeding operations. Throughout its history, Vessels Stallion Farm has been associated with some of the leading racing American Quarter Horse sires, through Clabber, Alamitos Bar, Go Man Go, Duplicate Copy, Tiny Charger, Timeto Thinkrich, Tolltac and others. First Down Dash heads the farm's current battery, whose offspring have earned nearly $46 million.
Scoop's expertise and lifelong experience in the horse industry have earned him and his family a number of honors over the years. In 1999, the farm was voted as AQHA Champion Breeder. A deep interest in youth and advancing their knowledge of the racing industry led Scoop to become the driving force behind the American Quarter Horse Youth Association Racing Program. An AQHA Director since 1994, Scoop served as chairman of the youth racing subcommittee before his election to the AQHA Executive Committee. He also has been an active member of the AQHA Racing Council, having served as its chairman. Scoop serves on the board of directors for the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association and California Thoroughbred Breeders Association. He also is a member of the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Association.
Scoop and Bonnie have three sons, Colt, Kash and Bryan.
AQHA's Board of Directors also elected Frank Howell of Union City, Georgia, as First Vice President; Walt Fletcher of Lakin, Kansas, as Second Vice President; and Frank Merrill of Purcell, Oklahoma, as Executive Committee Member.
In addition, the board elected Ken Mumy of Metamora, Michigan, to fill the fifth seat on the executive committee.