In Chris Watson’s early years he worked on several ranches in Alberta, Canada, breaking and training horses. Before moving to Arizona, Chris managed a ranch for five years where he began to incorporate the use of Arabian horses in the ranch work, along with his quarter and cross-bred horses. In 1964, Chris traveled to Nebraska to compete in the Arabian Ranch Horse Trials, winning the trials, and eventually judging them. The Canadian National Arabian Horse Show awarded Chris a plaque for his contribution to the Arabian Horse Show Association in Canada. This became the catalyst that brought Chris to Arizona in 1966 to train horses.
Chris trained Arabs, Morgans, Paints and Quarter Horses, eventually working with Quarter Horses only. In the 1970’s Chris and his wife Jane bought some quarter horse stallions, Klondike and Donald’s Eclipse and began breeding, and raising as well as training quarter horses. Donald’s Eclipse became a leading sire of working horses, including: Western Otoe, a Supreme Champion, Bonnie Eclipse, who won the World and the following year won Reserve Champion and Amateur Champion in Western Riding; Western Don Otoe who went on to win 3rd in Western Riding at the World Show. Chris also trained several other quarter horses who were successful at the World Show. Klondike, AAA racehorse, sired halter and working horses that were also Sun Circuit Champions.
Chris was an AQHA judge, and also judged many Saddle Club shows in the state, mule shows, POA shows, and was a mentor to 4-H groups. Chris served as Vice President of the Arizona Quarter Horse Breeders Association, as well as AQHA Director. Chris was also President of the Arizona Professional Horseman’s Association; helped in the founding of the Arizona Stallion Breeders’ Futurity, along with Mike Drennan and Jim Dunn; participated in the Old Timers Rodeo, and the Verde Vaqueros. Chris was also a Boys Club Boxing Judge in Arizona.
In the late 1980’s Chris and Jane retired to a small cattle ranch near Benson, Arizona and Chris now lives in Chino Valley, Arizona.
Chris was inducted into the Arizona Quarter Horse Association Hall Of Fame in 2014.