15-year-old Washington-bred gelding (born, 1999)
by Devil On Ice-Hard to Fathom
Career (2002-03): 7-1-0-1, $3,628
Frank J was a family affair as racehorse and that family still gains thrills from his progress as one of the top three-day event horses in North America!
He was bred by Washingtonians Bob Newport and Jeff Ranger and owned by Newport, brother Dan and his wife Cindy.
"We named him after both our uncle Frank Paganelli and my boss, Frank Tonkin, the founder of Taco Time," said Bob Newport.
Frank J had a relatively short career on the track but did have a big moment in his three-year-old season of 2002, winning his second career start at Emerald Downs. Tom Wenzel trained him and is not surprised by his second-career success.
"In early training of Frank J, both Gallyn Mitchell and Brad Balcom said he was close to jumping the inside rail in the stretch," said Wenzel. "It doesn't surprise me that he turned out to be a jumper."
He was retired from the track after two races at Sun Downs in 2003. Cindy Newport used him as a riding horse for a time before he was sold. His wanting to jump wasn't just noted at the racetrack.
"He would jump things around the farm and clear hurdles by three feet," said Bob Newport. "We passed on to the new owners that he had talent in that area."
His ability quickly rose him through the ranks and soon none other than Washingtonian and U.S. Olympic team equestrian star Amy Tryon rode him under his new event name, "Coal Creek." Tryon passed away unexpectedly in 2012 and Oregon native Lizzie Snow now rides him in competitions, based out of North Carolina.
"He has a spirited personality, to say the least," chuckled Snow. "He had the reputation of a runaway, and he did that with me in a Kentucky competition. We had to build a trust together and after some time, we've done that."
Coal Creek is internationally ranked in three-day eventing competitions, a member of the "High Performance" list. He recently competed in Quebec and he's on a list to represent the U.S. in the World Equestrian games and possibly the 2016 Olympics. Snow is seeking a grant to take him to England this fall.
"He has great talent," said Snow. "He's a religious cribber but has a perfect barn manner now. He's definitely come out of his shell, he has opinions!"
"I'm always watching his videos on youtube," said Bob Newport. "We've had a super time following his progress."