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

24 June 2021
SA Trots - Dates confirmed for Sales Futurities
HRSA wishes to advise that the dates for the 2yo Allwood Stud Farm Futurity have been confirmed. The $20,000 Race will be conducted at Globe Derby Park on Saturday September 25 2021. Nominations for this race will close Tuesday September 14 and should there be sufficient nominations, heats of $4,500...
24 June 2021
Burning Questions: Mick + Josh talk Melton with Bon + Skeet
It's a bumper card at Tabcorp Park on Saturday and that requires a blockbuster edition of Burning Questions, with Mick Stanley and Josh Aiken joining Jason Bonnington and Nikkita Ross. The hot topics this week: Should Mick Stanley pull a ‘Santa Casa Beach’ with Soho Broadway? Can Illawong...
24 June 2021
Star pacer Colt Thirty One closing in on historic milestone
To reach the magical $1 million milestone in prize money, leviathan owner Kevin Seymour understands just how significant that is in the history of Queensland harness racing for star pacer Colt Thirty One. The Grant Dixon-trained three-time TAB Queensland Harness Horse of the Year gets his chance to tick...
24 June 2021
SA Trots - Media Release
Harness Racing SA Board Chair Resigns Harness Racing SA (HRSA) today announced that Mr George Fiacchi has resigned as a Director and Chair of the company to focus on his other business interests. HRSA thanks Mr Fiacchi for his contribution during his time on the Board and wishes him well in his future...
24 June 2021
WA Trotting Media Guild Friday's Thoughts 25th June
Friday night’s meeting at Gloucester Park is highlighted by the two Group 1s – the Allwood Stud Farm 2YO Colts & Geldings Westbred Classic (2130m) and the Allwood Stud Farm 2YO Westbred Fillies Classic (2130m) – with the “babies” racing for $100,000 in prize money in...
Click for more