In Memoriam - Terry Waechter, 74, founder of WATCHMAN PRE Horses
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Posted by Shaana Risley
“Doña Terry” Terry Waechter, 74, founder of WATCHMAN PRE Horses, passed away March 25, 2019 from a brief battle with cancer.
“WATCHMAN” is the English translation of Terry’s German name, Waechter. Terry felt this translation was appropriate because it embodies the idea of guardianship when she founded her WATCHMAN PRE Horses Inc. in 2007. The Pure Spanish Horse (aka Spanish Andalusian or PRE) was formerly established as a breed in the sixteenth century and originated in Spain. WATCHMAN PRE Horses, Inc. has taken the guardianship of this special breed seriously as they focused on preserving the breed as it was all those centuries ago.
Terry began her breeding career two decades ago with two warmblood mares. It was during this time that she was using frozen semen and became familiar with the services of Select Breeder Services (SBS). Terry achieved great success with her small enterprise which was marked by a win in the West Coast Hunter Futurities with an offspring by the 1991 Dutch stallion Just The Best. However, as her two mares began to age she decided it was time for a change. It was by luck that she met and fell in love with an Andalusian mare. From that experience, WATCHMAN PRE Horses, Inc. was born.
Photo: Terry Waechter with two homebred offspring sired by her Calificado foundation stallion Fugitivo XII (Ramses WAE, gelding (L), and Cleopatra WAE, Revised mare (R)
At the time, the price of a PRE mare did not fit into her budget so she used her lifelong experience with horses to select young fillies and then prove them in competition and breeding.
The goal of WATCHMAN PRE Horses, Inc. has always been to breed the highest quality PRE Horses which meet the breed requirements and are proven to be functional in performance.
Terry studied the breed by reading, watching videos, listening to interviews, reviewing Studbook guidelines, etc. and she has applied what she’s learned as she bred her horses.
As a result, her mares have been national titleholders, and some have been chosen by the Studbook as elite breeding horses with the “Calificado” (Qualified) designation.
Terry said, “I had the incredible fortune of acquiring Fugitivo XII who elevated my program to the highest level.”
At the age of three, Fugitivo XII (sired by Aguileno II and out of Fugitiva VIII by Deposito by Leviton) was imported to California from Spain. At the age of five he was winning national awards at Training and First Level dressage. In 2007, he was selected by the Asociación Nacional de Criadores de Caballos de Pura Raza Española (ANCCE TRC) as “Calificado”, which is the most prestigious award for a PRE breeding stallion.
After finding his new home at WATCHMAN PRE Horses, Inc. in 2010 he continued his show career as an international competitor. A crowning achievement was qualifying to compete for a place on the 2012 USA Paralympics Team held in London. Though he himself was unable to compete in the Paralympics because his rider was going to have a baby, his dam line (Fugitiva VIII – a descendent of Agente) comes from a line of Olympic competitors such as Evento (Atlanta 1996), Oleaje (Athens 2004) and Invasor II (Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004).
Unfortunately, Fugitivo XII passed away in January 2013 after suffering a tragic accident in his stall while at the vet clinic for collection. Regarding his death Terry said, “Losing him was a mighty blow but a blessing was the frozen semen kept by the SBS Affiliate Laboratory, Pioneer Equine Hospital. I fulfilled my contractual breeding obligations and then closed his book.” (In the future, his remaining semen will be carefully preserved and stewarded by WATCHMAN partner Shaana Risley, WATCHMAN PRE Horses South, to cement his bloodlines in the US.”)
Terry had an incredible imagination and a wicked sense of humor. Her successful breeding programs lasted nearly two decades. She was a fierce advocate of ANCCE main stud book in Spain, and USPRE, their USA affiliate.
Terry's experience and extensive knowledge of PRE horses could fill volumes. She was a voracious reader and researcher. She loved to research the history of the PRE horse and would give you hours of her time answering the smallest most insignificant questions, as she thought there were none of those. She visited many states to watch how her young stock was growing under the stewardship of her WATCHMAN family members. She loved going to the prestigious breed shows, to watch her offspring compete or be presented for Revision or for Qualification.
Terry loved her family, grandchildren, and had a zest for life and all things PRE. She was a giving and talented woman. Those that shared her passion, whom may not have had the money to afford a PRE, were amazed when she’d kick it into gear and managed a way to facilitate their dreams. She was always upbeat, incredibly independent, and a pillar of strength to all who needed her sage advice.
Terry instilled said attributes she possessed in her WATCHMAN PRE Family, both 2 and 4 legged. Her sudden passing due to a short battle with cancer, leaves a line of extraordinary horses in the USA from Anchorage, Alaska to Wellington, Fl and all parts in between. Owners, trainers, and stewards feel a deep sadness, but also, a sincere sense of camaraderie by being a small part of a grand legacy that they will carry on with honor and dignity for Terry, and the PRE horse she loved so much.
In closing, Terry marveled at how such a small breeder, would be called by such a reverent name as “Doña Terry”.What is the meaning of "Doña"? In Spanish circles, it means, "Spanish woman of rank" and Terry Waechter truly ranks up there with the best. She will be deeply missed, and forever remembered for her tag line, “Quality begins with a “W”.
Shaana Risley WATCHMAN PRE Horses South