‘True champion of eventing’: US course-designer dies in accident

  • International eventing course-designer Tremaine Cooper has died in an accident, aged 52.

    Tremaine died while working outdoors near his farm in Bluemont, Virginia, on 13 March. A spokesman for the US Eventing Association (USEA) described him as a “true champion of eventing”.

    “An athlete, course-designer, builder, father, husband, son, friend, and so much more,” said the spokesman.

    “Tremaine’s quiet, thoughtful approach resulted in tremendous advancements for the sport of eventing in all areas but especially in the safety and design of cross-country courses.”

    Tremaine was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1968. He grew up on a farm and started riding when he was five.

    “He was a graduate ‘A’ Pony Clubber and started eventing in 1984, competing to advanced level. At an early age, Tremaine started helping out with the cross-country courses at the Pony Club rallies at his parents’ farm,” said the USEA spokesman.

    “At the end of high school and through college he started building seriously and ended up constructing courses throughout the US as well as New Zealand and the UK. Tremaine then focused more on course design, earning his FEI ‘I’ licence more than 15 years ago.”

    Tremaine was one of the national US Equestrian (USEF) course advisors and was involved in the educational design seminars for USEF and the FEI. He was also co-chairman of the building/design committee and sat on the USEA board of governors.

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    “In 2006 he was awarded the Neil Ayer Course Designers’ Award for his service to the sport as a cross-country course designer,” said the spokesman. “Most recently Tremaine worked with the USEA staff to establish the frangible distribution program through the USEA headquarters.

    “Tremaine is survived by his wife Marion, his daughter Sadie, and his son James. Also by his parents, his brother Elisha, by countless brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and all the animals on his farm.”

    A memorial will be held on 22 March at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. Tremaine’s family is establishing a fund in is honour within the USEA Foundation and donations can be made via www.useadonation.org/donate quoting “In honour of Tremaine Cooper”.

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