Donald Watson Sr.

Donald Watson Sr.

The longtime Louisiana-based jockey died on October 4.

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Longtime Louisiana-based jockey Donald Ray Watson Sr. died on Tuesday, October 4. He was 57.

Watson was born on July 7, 1965. From 1989-2021, he rode the winners of 1,138 Quarter Horse races from 11,086 mounts, and his mounts earned $15,780,623. He rode You Drive I Fly, a homebred Jet Black Patriot colt owned by Richard and Janelle Simon, to victory in the state's richest Quarter Horse race, the $1-million Louisiana QHBA Million Futurity (RG1) at Evangeline Downs, in 2017.

Watson's other major wins came aboard Hesa Passem Magic in the 2005 Louisiana Classic Stakes (RG3) at Delta Downs, and Perrys Runaway in the '12 Louisiana Champions Day Juvenile Stakes (RG2) at Fair Grounds.

Watson is survived by his wife, Deidra of Carencro, Louisiana; his mother, Leola Simien Bellard of Lawtell, Louisiana; one son, Donald Watson Jr. (Ashley Simon) of Carencro; one daughter, Deondra Watson (Christopher Brown) of Lake Charles, Louisiana; brothers, Patrick Watson (Monica) and Tony Watson, both of Lake Charles; sisters Pamela Eaglin (Michael) of Sunset, Louisiana, and JoAnne Young of Houston, Texas; grandchildren Tristan Watson, Amaiah Watson and Kennadi Watson; and several nieces, nephews, and other relatives and friends.

Watson was preceded in death by his father, Emery Watson; one sister, Kim Watson Lewis and his father-in-law, Elliott Clark, Sr.

Funeral services are Saturday, October 8, at 11 a.m. (CDT) at the Bellevue Street Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana. Interment will be in Evangeline Memorial Gardens in Carencro. Visiting hours will be observed at the church from 8:00-10:45 a.m. on Saturday, October 8.

Words of comfort can be shared with the family at

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