J.P. Stratton Award – Ross Cooper

31 October 2014

The J. P. Stratton Award is the highest recognition afforded by Harness Racing Australia (HRA).

The Award is named after the distinguished Western Australian administrator,
(Mr John Peter Stratton) owner, breeder and studmaster is awarded to recipients for …significant achievement, leadership, distinction, eminence, repute, renown, foresight, initiative, innovation and creativity on an international or national basis, over a significant period of time.

Therefore it was with great pleasure that HRA Chairman, Mr Geoff Want, presented this esteemed award to Mr Ross Cooper at the RWWA Harness Racing Awards, Royal Freshwater Yacht Club, Perth on Sunday, 19 October 2014.

"I have always believed it is extremely important that we pay tribute to the people who contribute so much to our industry, regardless of whether they are involved as a driver, trainer, owner, breeder, administrator, or in some other capacity", Mr Want said.

"I am therefore grateful for the opportunity this afternoon to do just that - to recognise someone who has been quite outstanding in the work he has done for harness racing".

Ross Cooper grew up with horses - his father, Mick, was a trainer-driver - and harness racing has been a life-long passion, something he has also passed on to his children, Chelsey and Trent.

He forged a highly successful career as a bookmaker - some say he was the biggest trots bookie in Australia for several years - and was well regarded by all he encountered on racetracks in WA and interstate, from battlers to billionaires.

After 25 years as a bookmaker, Ross retired in 2001 and took up a position with the WA TAB. In 2003, he was appointed as the harness racing director on the inaugural Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Board, where he served with distinction until retiring in July this year.

He is held in such high regard that he was never challenged in any election for that position on the RWWA board.

Ross was an active participant at Harness Racing Australia meetings throughout his tenure, but more so when he joined the Executive when it was expanded to include all States in 2009.

He immediately assumed the position of Treasurer and has performed a number of other critical roles during this time, including Chairing both the Constitution and Handicapping Reviews in 2009, as well as the recent Wagering Working Party, and being an Australian representative on the Inter Dominion Event Committee.

He has also been a strong supporter of international industry relations, having attended four World Trotting Conferences and Chairing the Animal Welfare Committee at three of these.

"It is difficult to quantify the value of someone like Ross, but he has made an enormous contribution to our work at HRA in recent years", Mr Want added.

"His experience, his considered assessment of issues and his abundant common sense have been greatly valued by myself and all who have worked with him".

Ross has made a great contribution to harness racing over several decades, always supported by his effervescent wife, Landra.

RWWA nominated him for this award, which was unanimously endorsed by the HRA Executive.


Related News

17 September 2021
Turnbull has a strong Breeders Challenge raid
TOP Bathurst horseman Steve Turnbull has a strong team aimed at tonight’s Breeders Challenge heats in Parkes. The premiership-winning trainer has six horses engaged in the two qualifiers, starting with a two-pronged attack in the fillies heat (race five). Turnbull will drive two-time winner Pas...
17 September 2021
Trial File: Captain among Blackbookers ready to win
Craig Rail's Trial File Blackbook has swelled to 22 with five additions, three of which will step out in the coming days and try and transform that eye-catching trial form into race-day wins. Captain Bellasario "was very impressive" at Cranbourne and Notnegotiable looks a "strong winning...
17 September 2021
Hawkesbury to Hunter Series unfolding well
THE Newcastle Harness Racing Club could not be happier with the way this year’s Wandiyali Hawkesbury to Hunter Series has unfolded. Three qualifying heats were run last week with the most impressive winner being the Mark Callaghan-trained Sky Diamond, which produced a whirlwind finish with Tom...
17 September 2021
Tasmanian Harness Highlights podcast – Friday, 17 September
The feature races are rolling around quickly on the Tasmanian harness racing calendar and Duncan Dornauf doesn’t miss a thing in the Harness Highlights podcast. The Devonport track has recently been resurfaced and it produced some fast times across the nine race card last Sunday. Watchmylips was...
Click for more