ROA Acting President

The Racehorse Owners Association has announced that Nicholas Cooper will become its Acting President in February. His appointment follows the recent announcement of Rachel Hood’s retirement as the organisation’s President after four and half years in the role.

Cooper joined the ROA in 1995 and the most successful horses to carry his own colours were Eulogy, winner of the 1999 Whitbread Gold Cup, and Champion Hurdle placed I’m Supposin. He currently has horses in training with Harry Fry. His wife, Philippa, owns and runs Normandie Stud.

Since qualifying as an accountant in the early 1970s he has spent more than 40 years in the insurance industry, holding senior positions and establishing Consolidated Insurance Group before setting up Sterling Insurance in 1994. The business grew and was underwriting premiums of approximately £200m before it was sold earlier this year.

He also has a deep interest in the arts, and held directorships at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) and the Old Vic, where he was chairman for five years ending in January 2014. He was awarded a CBE in the New Year honours 2015 for service to philanthropy in higher education and the arts.

Cooper had been co-opted by the ROA in July 2014 and had been nominated as Hood’s successor earlier this year. However, as a result of a technicality relating to the timing of his appointment as a director, the ROA membership supported a special resolution to extend Hood’s term as President.

The organisation, which has 7,400 members, has subsequently undertaken a detailed review of its Articles of Association, resulting in the adoption of a new set of Articles following an Extraordinary General Meeting in November.

The Board has unanimously nominated Cooper as the ROA’s Acting President, to hold office from the ROA’s first board meeting of 2016 on 4th February prior to the ROA’s membership being invited to ratify the nomination at its Annual General Meeting on 28th June, following which his three year term as President would commence.

Cooper said: ‘I am thrilled to become the ROA’s Acting President and am incredibly excited about working with my fellow Board members, together with Charlie Liverton and the staff team, to improve all aspects of racehorse ownership. British racing will only thrive if it retains its existing owners and attracts new ones. This will require a concerted effort from many parties within the sport but, supported by the recent signing of the Members’ Agreement, I am heartened that racing has never been more united.’

Rachel Hood, who will remain on the ROA Board until June, said: ‘I am delighted to be handing over to Nick, who will make an exceptional ROA President. As well as being a major investor in the sport, his financial knowledge and business acumen will be a huge asset to the ROA. He has the vision and ideas to grow racehorse ownership and the ROA, and, together with my fellow Board members, I look forward to assisting him in any way that I can when he takes over in February.’