Celebrated breeder, owner and vet Richard Watson passes away
Rutland-based studmaster was responsible for Jwala, Airwave and Kangra Valley
Highly-respected owner, breeder and veterinary surgeon Richard Watson passed away peacefully at his home in Rutland on Tuesday, 12 September.
Only a month from his 92nd birthday, Richard along with his wife Tessa made a major impact with their relatively small broodmare band based at their Manor Farm Stud in Rutland, racing a number high-profile homebreds including Jwala, Orient, Blues Indigo, Tobermory Boy and Snipe Hall.
A renowned vendor of his British-bred yearlings at Doncaster and Tattersalls they also sold the champion two-year-old filly of 2002 Airwave (subsequently the granddam of Churchill) along with smart sprinters and sires, Clantime, Atraf, Orientor and Son Pardo.
Together with Tessa they won the 1996 TBA Leading Breeders of the Year Award having famously bred three winners at Royal Ascot that season (Atraf, Yeast and Emerging Market) and in 2002 they won the TBA Broodmare of the Year with Kangra Valley.Ocelot (three wins), Sitar (two wins) and Hindsight.
Prior to his retirement Richard was a leading veterinary surgeon and a major shareholder at the Gibson's Veterinary Hospital in Oakham and was widely acknowledged as a leader in his field, helping and working together with a number of the country's current top surgeons in their early days notably two subsequent great friends in Geoff Lane and Ian Wright.
Richard was also the racecourse vet at Leicester and Nottingham for many years, retiring from that role once he reached 70 years of age although he continued to work actively in his practice after that, until retiring in 2001.
Richard is survived by his wife Tessa, his children Toby and Anna and grandchildren Kate, Ella, Henrietta, Joe and Ben. There will be a service of thanksgiving at All Saints Church in his home village of Braunston-in-Rutland at 3pm on Thursday, September 21.