A chance meeting between a woman who didn’t want another horse and a Thoroughbred who looked a lot like her old favorite has brought a little magic—plus two championships and a reserve championship—to the unlikely pair.
Robin Muksian of Rhode Island stumbled upon retiring racehorse Frank Be Cool on the backside of Suffolk Downs two years ago while on the hunt to spot horses for her friends. Somehow, she got the names on her list of prospects confused, and was soon struck by Cupid’s arrow.
“I had looked at least 15 horses that day. I wasn’t interested in any for myself. I was just at Suffolk Downs to help my friends search for horses from the listings of the Suffolk Showcase” hosted by Canter New England, she says. “I can’t even put into words what I felt when I looked at him.”
Frank Be Cool
Dam: All My Promises, by Hawaii
Foal date: April 9, 2008Drawn to him like the proverbial moth to a flame—only in this case it was a flame that flickered from long ago—Muksian snapped his picture, texted it to a friend, and asked if the woman was interested in him. Her response was swift and certain. “She said to me, ‘Do you realize you’ve found your old horse again?’ I hadn’t seen the similarities up to this point, but she was right. There was something about his way of standing, and his look that was so much like my horse Chip. His Jockey Club name was Kenn O’Kinn. I couldn’t believe I’d missed it.”
Moments later, she found herself making a deal with owner Stephen Hamilton to buy the horse at a quarter of the asking price. “The owner said to me, “I want this horse to have a good home. Name me a price,” she says. “I knew I only had a fraction of the price in cash on me, so I told him, and he shook my hand and said, ‘He’ll have a good home with you.’ ”
Truer words could not have been spoken.
After walking back to Frank Be Cool and introducing herself as his new mom, Muksian and the dark bay set out on a hunter and pleasure riding effort from her home base in Harrisville, R.I.
Though a rough winter hampered their showing and training efforts, she and her playful, young Thoroughbred were so in sync that they handily won two championships in Rhode Island and a reserve championship in the ladies pleasure division.
And at more than one horse show, the similarities between her new horse and old were remarked upon. “We were at one show where I used to compete with Chip and this one woman called me over and said she had goosebumps because she thought it was Chip. Then she did the math and realized he couldn’t still be alive,” she says. “It’s not that the two horses are identical. But there’s this intangible something that even my non-horsey sister recognized when she first saw him. It’s a way that he carries himself.”
And now Frank Be Cool will carry Muksian into a new chapter. A horse she meant to buy for a friend, who worked his charms on her instead.