Obituary: Arabian horse breeder Shirley Watts

  • Shirley Watts, the prolific breeder and founding father of famend stud Halsdon Arabians died peacefully on 16 December following a brief sickness, aged 84.

    Born in London, Mrs Watts met her husband Charlie in 1961 once they had been each learning on the Royal Faculty of Artwork. The couple married in 1964, the 12 months after Mr Watts joined the Rolling Stones, as drummer.

    The couple had a ardour for horses and based Halsdon Arabians in Halsdon, north Devon. By the early 2000s, the 600-acre stud was residence to round 200 horses, and the couple additionally had some racing Arabs in coaching in Poland.

    Mrs Watts’ curiosity in Arabs started greater than 50 years in the past when her husband confirmed her {a photograph} of an Arab stallion and he or she “fell in love”. Mr Watts later purchased his spouse her first Arab, a part-bred, and it “spiralled from there”.

    The stud had a deal with Polish Arabians and had quite a few prolific Polish-bred mares, with bloodlines going again to the three-quarter Egyptian stallion Palas. Mrs Watts was an everyday customer to the Polish Arab horse gross sales and the Satisfaction of Poland Arab horse public sale, and he or she loved a lot success within the present ring. The stud’s HS prefix turned famend within the Arabian horse world, with many horses carrying it, notably in endurance.

    Mrs Watts was additionally recognized for her love of greyhounds and was a long-term supporter and patron of the Endlessly Hounds Belief. She adopted many canines from the charity, together with a greyhound named Suzie in 2020.

    Mr and Mrs Watts had one daughter, Seraphina, born in 1968, and had been married for 57 years. Mr Watts died in August 2021, aged 80.

    The European Convention of Arab Horse Organisations stated: “We misplaced a passionate couple of Arabian horse lovers and breeders who turned part of the Arabian horse world historical past”.

    Mrs Watts is survived by Seraphina, her son-in-law Barry, granddaughter Charlotte, sisters Jackie and Jill, and brother Stephen.

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