Frank Arnason Sire Stakes named after someone very special
The Frank Arnason Sire Stakes goes this Saturday, June 22 and marks the 26th running of the $25,000 race for Manitoba-bred 3-year-olds going 6 furlongs.
The race pays tribute to Franklin Marino Arnason, a man known to his friends as the “Silver Fox”, and the unique trophy (see photo below) for the race prominently features four silver foxes on one of its tiers.
Frank Arnason was an exceptional family man, horseman, businessman and sportsman, just ask anyone who knew him. He was the kind of man who commanded your respect without asking for it, and once under his “spell” you gave it to him willingly!
Frank could walk into a room, “work his magic” and leave behind a sea of admirers. He had charisma plus. If you never had the pleasure of meeting him, all you have to do is look at his son Barry, or for that matter any member of the Arnason family, to get an idea of what he was like.
Frank bought his first horse, Honey Pan, in May 1972, and never looked back. In addition to owning horses he was President of the CTHS at the time of his passing in 1987. He was also a long time CTHS Board member.
A few of the other horses that called Arnason Farms on Rosser Road home were Restless Star, Crupper’s Dream, Dance Again, Pipe Smoker and a favourite of Frank’s, Roman Conquest.
Over the years, the Manitoba horse racing community has had many friends, but Frank Arnason was one of the special ones, one that truly left his mark on the industry.
Last year, Danger Rules, a horse that son Barry co-owns, won the 25th running of the Frank Arnason Sire Stakes. I don’t think a son could have been any prouder!
Barry speaks highly of his father and the many life lessons he learned from him. When I asked Barry to pick the one that he remembers and treasures most, he paused only briefly before explaining that there was one thing that his father repeatedly impressed upon him. On one hand the life lesson wasn’t complicated, but it wasn’t an easy one to master!
You see, Frank was great negotiator and he taught his sons that before you could negotiate you had to learn to listen! These words still echo for Barry, and with Father’s Day just behind us it seems fitting to honour Frank Arnason for the race that bears his name, both from the perspective of his commitment and dedication to racing and as a father.
Frank Arnason was the “Silver Fox” to his many friends, but wonderfully “Dad” to his family.