This past weekend the USEA was notified of the passing of a true champion of eventing Tremaine Cooper. An athlete, course designer, builder, father, husband, son, friend, and so much more. 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 died in an accident while working outdoors, near his home.
Tremaine was born on May 8, 1968 to Peter and Diana (Starr) Cooper at Yale-New Haven Hospital, in New Haven, Conn. He spent his childhood in the town of Bethany, Conn., and was a graduate of The Foote School, The Hopkins School, and Colby College, graduating with a degree in Geology in 1991.
Tremaine grew up on a farm and started riding when he was 5 years old. He was a graduate 'A' Pony Clubber and started eventing in 1984 competing through the Advanced level. At an early age, Tremaine started helping out with the cross-country courses at the Pony Club rallies at his parents’ farm.
At the end of high school and through college he started building seriously and ended up constructing courses throughout the U.S. as well as in New Zealand and the U.K. Tremaine then focused more on course design, earning his FEI 'I' license more than 15 years ago. He designed at some of the premier equestrian sites around the country, including Morven Park, Millbrook, The Fork, Aspen Farms, Poplar Place, the USEA American Eventing Championships, and many others.
Tremaine was one of the national USEF Course Advisors, was involved in the educational design seminars for both the USEF and the FEI, was co-chairman of the building/design committee, and sat on the USEA Board of Governors. In 2006 he was awarded the Neil Ayer Course Designers’ Award for his service to the sport as a cross-country course designer. 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.
There will be a memorial on Monday, March 22, 2:00 p.m., at Morven Park in Leesburg, Va. (Mansion parking lot).
Tremaine's family is establishing a fund in his honor within the USEA Foundation. Donations may be sent to the USEA Foundation, 525 Old Waterford Road NW, Leesburg, VA 20176 or by visiting www.useafoundation.org/donate and by using the drop-down menu titled “Use my donations to support:” indicate that the donation is "In Honor of Tremaine Cooper."
One of my passions is continuing to be a good student, because I think no matter how old I get, there are multiple reasons learning new things inspires me. First and foremost, it helps me be a better rider and trainer, so my horses benefit. Second, it helps me be a better teacher by exposing me to different ways to have a relationship with a horse or a student.
This month we’re going to begin a three-part series on how to create positive riding experiences by making sure the words you say to yourself and the thoughts you think to yourself are positive. Referred to as self-talk, internal dialogue, or brain babble; the words you say to yourself can have a huge impact on your performance. In fact, your thoughts and voice are actually considered behaviors, and just like how positive physical behaviors (i.e. a balanced transition) can create success, your verbal behaviors can also accomplish the very same thing. So let's spend the next few months talking about how to talk to yourself!
Being spontaneous has paid off for Kevin Keane and Sportsfield Candy. “I bought him on a Wednesday and showed him on a Thursday,” Keane recalls about his first event with his Irish Sport Horse gelding, then 9 years old, at Plantation Field Horse Trials (Unionville, Pennsylvania) in September 2016. “I owned him for part of a day, and the next morning I showed up at a CCI and jogged him up for a two-star, and we went clean and clean and clean.”
THANK YOU to everyone who has already entered the USEF/USEA Recognized CDCTA Spring Horse Trials scheduled for Sunday, April 9 in Berryville, VA. We will continue to take late entries through Friday, March 24 using USEA’s Xentry system. If you still want to come compete, please enter! The late fee has been waived through Friday, March 24.