WATTS – Rachel Claire

Born October 6, 1986. Passed away March 20, 2022.

As the result of a tragic accident.

Dearly loved and cherished daughter of Sue and Geoff.

Loved sister and sister in law of Emily, Samantha and Cameron.

Loved Auntie of Tommy.

Rachel was truly loved by all who knew her.

We are so proud of Rachel and how she touched the hearts of so many people,

and so especially proud of her remarkable achievements in the Equestrian world.

Sadly missed and forever loved.

Funeral Notice

Service: Friday April 8, 2022

Family and friends are invited to attend a Funeral Service for Rachel Claire Watts to be held at our Chapel, cnr High St & Murradoc Rd, Drysdale on FRIDAY (April 8, 2022) commencing at 11 am, followed by Burial at the Portarlington Cemetery.

Rachel's service will be Livestreamed through our website.


WATTS Rachel – Order of Service

View Service

Tributes Leave your tribute

  1. Geoff, Sue, Emily & Sam,
    We are so sorry to hear of the sudden loss of Rachel. Such a beautiful person.
    Condolences to you all at this very sad time.
    Deepest sympathy.
    Faye & Bryan Law.

    Faye and Bryan LawMarch 27 2022 2:28 pm
  2. Rach was a great pleasure to have known you. Your lovely smile will always be remembered.
    Gentle sole who loved her horse.

    Doris RidettMarch 27 2022 8:31 pm
  3. I could sing that song with you over and over! And what a ride it’s been. Thanks for always being you happy, helpful, kind and true.

    Kate PrestneyMarch 28 2022 10:50 am
  4. It is with sadness and shock that we at Bates Saddles learned of the tragic passing of one of our most loyal supporters, Rachel Watts. Known as an international ‘super-groom’, Rachel spent many years working as head groom for our Bates Saddles sponsored rider, Shane Rose, and during that time, became a close friend to many at our company.

    Professional to the core, Rachel knew every horse in her care inside and out, including their care plan, their tack and exactly what they needed come saddle-time. Our staff can attest to the fact that every time we turned up to Bimbadeen, Rachel had the horses ready to go and presented to perfection. We liked to say that Rachel’s “paddock brush” was most people’s competition turn out, with the horses looking amazing for every saddle fit.

    Over time, Rachel became so much more to us than “Shane’s groom”. She helped us to pull together insider content, provided updates on Shane, and even learned the basics of fitting our saddles so that she could troubleshoot at international events. Rachel featured on our website and video content regularly, something we were always humbled by.

    Rachel leaves a lasting legacy to us through the assistance she provided in the improvements of many of our products. Rachel coordinated many “test rides”, providing endless feedback and photos on numerous products – most recently our new Sponsored Rider Bates Saddle Pads – now affectionately known as Rachel’s saddle pads. We can now only imagine the many successes Rachel would have had in her new role at Marcus Oldham and we miss her every single day.

    Rachel's friends at Bates SaddlesMarch 28 2022 6:34 pm
  5. Dear Sue, Geoff and family,
    thinking of you all at this very sad time, Rachel will be in your hearts forever.
    Condolences to you all.
    Wendy & Brendan Coxon

    Wendy CoxonMarch 29 2022 2:08 pm
  6. To Sue and Geoff
    We were so saddened to here of Rachel’s accident. We send our love and are thinking of you all at this time.
    Bootes and Trish Plowman

    Trish plowmanMarch 30 2022 7:11 am
  7. Rach, I have so many fond memories of our year together at Marcus Oldham in 2005 and I have enjoyed watching your achievements since leaving college. You sure did get a lot of depth into your life. Sending my condolences to your family.

    Amy BrownMarch 30 2022 7:56 am
  8. Such a tragic loss. My heartfelt love & sympathy goes to you Sue, Geoff & family at this time. I will remember Rachel from MOC as the beautiful, determined, enthusiastic, hard working & fiercely loyal young woman she was who thrived in the industry she chose. Rachel clearly left a lasting impression wherever she was & I feel honoured to have known her.
    Sincere love & condolences xx

    CASSANDRA HOUTSMA-LEAMarch 31 2022 9:18 pm
  9. I have so many treasured memories with Rach, we worked together for 2 years at Burto’s and travelled the world chasing championships ever since. When I thought about which one to pick, I had no idea where to start, so I decided to pick from the very start. The first time I met Rach, I was asked to help at Hartpury 3 day event. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing nor did I know anyone! I walked on the yard absolutely terrified and just heard ‘hey, how you goin!’ turned around and there was Rach, with the biggest, friendliest smile, and I instantly thought, I’m going to be ok! I spent the week with her and during that week and the following 2 years we spent together, she taught me everything I know about competition grooming now. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to learn off, and from it we became great friends for which I am so incredibly grateful.

    Jade RudmanMarch 31 2022 9:49 pm
  10. I remember meeting Rach for the first time at a really rainy spring Aldon when she was working for Burto. I think it was my first proper season at Paul’s and we’d parked next to them in the mud. I don’t think anyone was having a great day but I remember her making us all laugh…. a lot. That’s a real talent in the U.K. weather!
    Like many I would have counted her as one of my groom friends, she was always there at events or at Aussie team training with a warm smile, always seeming happy to see you no matter how much time passed.
    A strong memory is at WEG 2014 when Burto’s show didn’t go to plan she was the best team player, helping everyone else, always on hand for advice or a chat as much an integral part of the team as anyone there.
    It’s strange to think I won’t be bumping into you in any more muddy fields Rach but just hope you know how many of us will miss those moments and how lucky I feel to have met you! Xxx

    Rowan CollinsMarch 31 2022 9:51 pm
  11. I cant actually imagine going to the next International and not seeing Rachel’s beaming smile in the midst of the Aussie camp. Rachel was the epitome of the professional elite groom, totally in charge, never panicking and absolutely adored her horses. She loved working for Shane and Niki so much and was absolutely a huge part of their family life. Rachel shared the inevitable ups and downs of top level sport with them but she never, ever lost her huge capacity of empathy for all around her.
    They say only the good die young. I like to think of her with Nugget, reunited again and smiling down on all of us. What a girl and what an amazing life she made for herself in such a short space of time. You will be missed by all but especially in the Down Under barn at Olympics and World Championships. xx

    Jacky GreenMarch 31 2022 9:59 pm
  12. There is not a major event I’ve been to without Rachel being there and always with a happy smile. Rach was always happy to help, happy to chat and happy to give a hug to both celebrate and commiserate. I will cherish the quiet time we had a few month’s ago sitting outside make shift paddocks at sydney watching the sun set keeping an eye on our Tokyo bound Boys and just talking about all the good and the bad and everything in between. Quiet peaceful and with the very best company. My heart goes out to all of you and most of all to Rach…miss you and wish with all my heart we could turn back time.. rest easy 💔

    Bundy PhilpottApril 2 2022 1:48 am
  13. We are so sorry we won’t be there to say goodbye Rach.
    We send our love and thoughts to Rachel’s Family and the very many who were honoured to call themselves her friend. Rachel was a truly special person who was loved by all who met her. She will be so very missed by us and everyone whose lives she made brighter for having known her.
    With the deepest sympathy,
    Jessica & Jack Hayden

    Jessica & Jack HaydenApril 4 2022 8:53 am
  14. Dear Sue and Geoff, Emily and Samantha,
    and all the family,
    We were devastated to hear of the loss of Rachel.
    We remember her particularly as that dear little smiling girl at Langley Primary School – we remember the whole family with such fondness at that time, and as the children grew up in Kyneton with our children.
    It is heart-warming but so poignant to read of her life, and all she achieved.
    With our deepest sympathy, and our love and thoughts –
    Liz Pearce and Brendan Power
    and Madeleine and Jim

    Liz PearceApril 4 2022 2:43 pm
  15. Rach you were one in a million.
    You were the person everyone wanted to be like – and should be like as the world would be a much better place full of Rachels!
    You were so humble, so hard working, so dedicated, so kind and so damn funny.
    You will leave a hole in so many lives but we are all richer for knowing you.
    Your parents should be so proud of the daughter they helped shape.
    We will never stop talking about you and smiling.
    Emma and Toby Morel xxxx

    Emma MorelApril 5 2022 12:13 pm
  16. Dear sue geoff and family
    Has been a pleasure knowing Rachel and following her with all the achievements she had accomplished since Marcus Oldham.
    Rachel was a warm hearted lovely person.
    She will be sorely missed.
    Deepest condolences
    Mallory phillips

    Mallory phillipsApril 6 2022 2:39 pm
  17. Deepest condolences to Sue, Geoff, Emily, Sam and family,
    Words cannot express our sadness, fond memories of Rachel’s sense of humour, kindness, and helpful nature.
    Sending you, our love.
    Karen and Terry Ferguson

    Karen and Terry FergusonApril 7 2022 11:33 am
  18. From krista Horton

    Robert HortonApril 7 2022 2:42 pm
  19. To Geoff, Sue, Emily, and Sam, we are devastated and can’t possibly imagine how you must be feeling at the utter tragic loss of Rachel. She was the most wonderful person and nothing ever a bother, always so happy and positive. She was the rock of many people’s lives. She can never be replaced but she will always be remembered.
    Johnnie Walker and Leanne Jones

    Johnnie WalkerApril 7 2022 7:31 pm
  20. I was lucky enough to work with Rach for her time
    In England. She was such a kind and hard working person who would do anything for anyone. I learnt so much from Rach and her amazing knowledge and experience. She taught me all about the Eventing world. She loved to bake us Aussie treats and teach us Aussie phrases and would constantly keep us laughing and in good team spirit. I will forever treasure the memories I have. Rach you are a true legend of the sport and will greatly missed by all.

    Glen GainsApril 8 2022 4:07 am
  21. Sue, Geoff, Emily, Sam, Hayden & Tommy
    There is not enough words to express our sadness for you all. She was a gem that sparkled in her work and her friendship. What fabulous memories we have. Rach you will always have a special spot in our hearts.
    Mark, Carmel, Amy, Nadia & Megan.

    Carmel WalshApril 8 2022 6:22 am
  22. Dear rach

    You where an absolute unicorn and someone I looked up to and admired in the world of horses. Iv never meet someone with such a kind soul and heart. I will alway cherish the great memories shared at horse events all over the world together.
    I send all my love to you rach and your family and friends at this time. Xxx

    Tess AndersonApril 8 2022 8:13 am
  23. The world will be a lesser place without your beautiful presence. It was amazing watching what you achieved in life, and I always looked forward to our event catch ups. My thoughts are with your family and all the people that are missing you xx

    Heather FordApril 8 2022 8:22 am
  24. The eventing world stopped in shock at the news of your passing. I only met you a few times but you always had a smile on your face and I felt like we just understood each other. I always admired your quiet calm demeanor around horses and your amazing organising skills. Rachel time was cut too short for you. Life is unfair and you were taken too soon. Condolences to family and friends. The world lost a wonderful person…

    Katja SykesApril 8 2022 8:46 am
  25. Rachel,
    The world has lost an amazing shinning light.
    I hope you realised how well loved, admired & liked you were. The most humble person, with a bright smile & always a hello.
    My condolences to your family & especially Tommy, as he won’t have the pleasure of growing up knowing you ❤️💐

    Karen BrethertonApril 8 2022 8:56 am
  26. A genuine, kind, hardworking and caring person, beautiful on the inside and out with the most infectious smile. You were taken well before your time Rach, and are so deeply missed. Sending my condolences to family at this heartbreaking time.

    Emily KendallApril 8 2022 9:03 am
  27. Dear Sue, Geoff and family

    My sincere condolences to you all.
    Rachel was a beautiful woman who I had the pleasure of knowing over the years. Watching Rachel’s dedication and care as she groomed and cared for her equine partners certainly stood steadfast that she was the ultimate super-groom. She touched the lives of so many and left an indelible impression. Her sense of humour and zest for life embraced all who knew her. Her love for her family and friends was unquestionable. She will be missed by many around the world and I pray the messages of support provide some comfort to you all at this time.
    Rest In Peace Rachel, it was an absolute pleasure to have known you.

    Andrea WebbApril 8 2022 9:05 am
  28. To the Watts family.
    I’m so honoured to have been able to call Rach my friend. She was a gentle warm soul who always brightened up my day. You should all be so proud of the beautiful woman she became; It’s truely a reflection on her gorgeous family, who she loved so very much.
    Much love Genna

    Genna BombardieriApril 8 2022 9:05 am
  29. Rachael will always be in our hearts. We will never forget you Rach. Your kindness to us and our horse .
    No words can express the loss. We send our love to your family .

    Jean FindlayApril 8 2022 10:17 am
  30. Today we remember you my beautiful friend xxx Although I can’t be there in person to say goodbye, thanks to technology I can do it from WA. And I will visit you at Equitana. You will probably never realise how well loved and respected you were, just for being such a decent human being! I know we probably corrupted you but we were just preparing you for the real world. We are working on something special for Marcus to remember you forever and I hope it will be what you would have wanted. All my love is with your parents and family today. Forever in our hearts xxxx

    Jessica BlackwellApril 8 2022 10:25 am
  31. My sincere condolences to Rachel’s family. My daughter at I had the privilege to meet Rachel as part of an expo day at Bimbadeen Park. Rachel was so generous in sharing her expert knowledge of the horse management and welfare. Her professionalism was clear, her passion was infectious and her dedication was awe inspiring. On that day Rachel became my daughters new hero in our beloved sport. At events that followed whenever we ran into Rachel, she would greet my enthusiastic young rider and was always happy to pose for a pic. The world has lost an incredible woman who led an extraordinary life. You will be so missed.

    Giselle LindleyApril 8 2022 10:36 am
  32. Dearest Watts family,
    Rachel was one of a kind, and one of the kindest I’ve ever met. Her laugh and smile was infectious and a day spent with Rach was always a brilliant day. My heart goes out to you all and Rach, I’m going to do a standing shot in the long grass for you. xx

    Amanda WoodApril 8 2022 10:50 am
  33. Such a tragic loss for a well respected and community minded Kyneton Family.
    Deepest sympathies to you all.
    Rachel always fondly remember by me for her incredible ‘can do ‘ attitude and love for her horse as a young rider at Kyneton Pony Club.

    Anne HallApril 8 2022 11:02 am
  34. A beautiful service for one of the most incredible people I know. Will miss bumping into you at events around the world. Rest easy Rach, you will be forever missed, loved and remembered xx

    Katie RussellApril 8 2022 12:07 pm
  35. Dear Rach’s family I’m Sams mum and had the pleasure of know your beautiful daughter she was a one in a million and has left a whole I’m my heart Taken way to soon may she fly high and be forever young
    Always in our hearts and minds Reachel ❤️⭐️

    Milea WoodsApril 8 2022 1:29 pm
  36. Dearest Rachel….
    I can’t believe you have left everyone you loved so deeply and loyally – both 2 legged and 4 legged…. you will never be forgotten and gave so many so much joy. Rest peacefully xo.

    My deepest sympathies to your entire family…. the eventing and equestrian community have lost a soulmate. Your daughter was gold. xo

    JenelleApril 8 2022 2:52 pm
  37. Dear Rach’s family, So few words that will describe the sadness felt by anyone who met Rach, a very well respected young lady, all over the world! Forever in our hearts.

    Fiona HughesApril 8 2022 3:00 pm
  38. I was devastated and in disbelief to hear of Rach’s passing.. Rach was a wonderful friend to me during our high school years and I thought the world of her. I am sad our lives went in different directions after school however I loved watching her wonderful adventures unfold over the years. What an incredible life she led, it is cruel that it was cut so short. RIP Rach, you will be sadly missed by so many. Lots of Love Kate Parker

    Kate ParkerApril 8 2022 9:22 pm
  39. Rach, Thank you for your generous, kind and dedicated spirit. You will forever be in my thoughts. XXxx

    Zoe TaylorApril 8 2022 9:30 pm
  40. Finding the right words to say goodbye to you Rach is challenging. A beautiful, kind hearted, generous and loyal friend. So many fun adventures with you etched in my memory, ever supportive. The world has lost a gem. Sending your family love and strength during this difficult time. Rest Easy xx

    Edwina LidgerwoodApril 8 2022 10:14 pm
  41. Dear Sue and Geoff, and all the family,
    Our hearts are full for you. We have many great memories of Rachel and family times together from Kyneton Pony Club days. May Rachel’s laugh and kindness remain with us.
    Jean Mulder and Cam Ford, Heather and Elspeth

    Jean MulderApril 8 2022 10:32 pm
  42. A beautiful service for a beautiful person . Rach was one lovely lady and a great friend to my daughter Jade.
    Sleep tight Rach you will be so missed ❤❤

    Carole RudmanApril 8 2022 11:28 pm
  43. Rach was probably the kindest and most generous person I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. As a blow in from the west, she made me feel so comfortable in my time in pre-Tokyo camp. I was looking forward to catching up with her again this year, but it’s terribly sad that isn’t to be. Rest easy Rach, you were the best.

    Bek HackettApril 13 2022 9:49 pm
  44. To the Watts Family and Hirth family ,we are truly saddened to hear of the sudden and tragic death of your beloved Rachel. We did not know her personally but Rachel sounds such an amazing, talented and caring person.
    Heaven has gained a bright and shiny star.
    Take comfort in your grief of the beautiful memories and happier times you all shared together. Thinking of you all.
    Sincere sympathy from Gayle and Mike Phillips.

    Gayle PhillipsApril 14 2022 10:37 pm
  45. I have been one of the many people to have had the good fortune to have known Rachel and be able to call her my friend, both Judy and I just loved her, she didn’t ever realise how special she was.

    Steve HorderApril 17 2022 2:53 pm

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