Trainer John M. Cooper and Son Killed in Plane Crash

The crash took place at 7:20 p.m. in Midland, Texas.

Press release

Trainer John M. Cooper and his son Gavin lost their lives in a plane crash in west Texas on Thursday.

Ruidoso Downs trainer John M. Cooper and his son Gavyn were killed when their Cirrus SR22 single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from Midland International Airport on Thursday evening.

They were the only people on board.

Reports state that the plane crashed at 7:20 p.m. (CDT). The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash, though unofficial reports indicate the plane hit a fence.

The crash victims are survived by Chassity Cooper, John’s wife and Gavyn’s mother, and Callie Cooper, John’s daughter and Gavyn’s sister.

John M. Cooper was having the best year of his young training career after a successful career in the energy business. Last Saturday, the Cooper-trained Pj Splash Of Joy qualified for the Grade 1, $1 million Ruidoso Futurity. The following day, the Cooper trained Flight Force gained top preference to race in the $100,000 Mr Jess Perry Stakes at Ruidoso Downs.

Cooper had entered Mojo Perry in Saturday's Grade 2, $100,000 Junos Request Stakes at Remington Park. Mojo Perry is coming off of a third-place run in the Decketta Stakes (G3) at Remington.

Gavyn Cooper, 16, was a promising quarterback on the Midland High School football team.

The Cirrus SR22 plane has been the world’s best-selling general aviation airplane every year since 2003.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA Racing on Twitter, "like" Q-Racing on Facebook, and visit www.aqha.com/racing.