Richard A. Watts, of Delray Beach, Fla., died March 16 at Bethesda East Heart Hospital. He was 83.
Mr. Watts was born June 29, 1930, in Providence, Rhode Island. He began his career as a horse caretaker with Thoroughbreds through his dad. Later, he devoted himself to harness racing along with his wife Queen. They were affectionately known as "The King and Queen of the Shedrow,” as quoted in a profile in The Canadian Sportsman magazine in 2006.
Over the years Mr. Watts worked with numerous trainers, such as Louis Rapone, Gene Van Landingham, Wally McIllmurray, Tom Harmer, Neil Shapiro, Archie McNeil, Jerry Silverman, Monte Gelrod, Gary Baker, Noel Daley, Fred Grant and Ross Croghan.
He won every major race except the Hambletonian and Little Brown Jug with such top performers as Breeders Crown winner Pick Me Up, multi-millionaire Die Laughing, Summer Child, Mambo Hall, Sadies Dreamboat, Storm Island and Merrie Kiwi.
Besides his wife, to whom he was married to for 57 years, Mr. Watts is survived by three sons; four daughters; 16 grandchildren; and 22 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Hope.
Contributions to help meet any unexpected financial obligations may be sent to: Queen Watts, 16668 Winners Circle Drive, Delray Beach, Fla. 33446. Memorial contributions may also be made to Bethesda East Heart Hospital in Boynton Beach, Fla.