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Photographs supplied by Chris McLaughlin

The stone cairn commemorates Ben Cooper (1896 - 1976), a cattleman who rode the high plains for 56 years. 

In his hey-day on the high plains Ben Cooper dominated the action at the cut-outs on Rocky Valley a nd Pretty Valley. When the cattle were gathered into a restless mob the assembled cattlemen and stockmen would wait for Ben to give the order to start cutting out. Before that happened, however, the cattlemen would shake hands as a commitment to the task ahead. The cattlemen recognised their stock by their colour and conformation or their ear marks, as in autumn the rib brand would often be nearly hidden by a winter coat. Among younger cattlemen there was some rivalry as to who rode the best stockhorse. He who received the most praise rode home a proud bloke. A few unbranded cattle, cleanskins, may have been left at the end of the cut-out but a short discussion soon established ownership. Absolute honesty is inherent in mountain cattlemen. 
Excerpt from Voice of the Mountains, 1982 Edition 7. 



Address:North of Fainter Fire Track, 2.5 kilometres from Pretty Valley, Pretty Valley, 3699
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -36.900701
Long: 147.211783
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1917
Approx. Event End Date:1973


Front Inscription

Memorial to Ben Cooper

Bogong cattleman

Born 1896 - Died 1973

Rode these high plains for 56 years.

This plaque erected by cattlemen and friends

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au