Friday, November 11, 2011

Remembrance day

November 11 is always a poignant day but this year it had extra resonance for those involved with this stable as today was the inquest into the death of Chris Watson, who tragically suffered a fatal fall when riding out from here last year.

A two-minute silence was observed during the inquest, which returned a verdict of accidental death after several hours of evidence from various parties, including those riding with him that day. It’s not an easy thing for any of the team here to have gone through.

Chris was a really likeable man who so easily slotted into the routine here on his weekly visits. He simply loved riding and loved horses – Kadouchski above all others in the stable. Knowing that he died doing something that he loved doesn’t make it any easier to accept that he is gone and I don’t set foot on the Heath without thinking about what happened to him.

Next Thursday is the first anniversary of his death. I think he would have been proud of the stable’s record in the last year, and of Kadouchski’s four wins more than anything else. He would have been thrilled to see Hannah ride her first winner on him back in July, and as an old Corinthian himself, I’m sure John’s Town Plate win, again on Kadouchski, would have given Chris a huge amount of pleasure. All of us wish he’d been here for those days.

Chris lost his life on Newmarket Heath on the morning of November 17, 2010. He was a racing man, and the memory of him lives on through all of us who enjoyed his company and continue to do what he enjoyed doing most, every day.

Chris Watson, Amateur Jockey, 29.10.1949 – 17.11.2010

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