Obituary: Dorothy Dawson, journalist, horse breeder and teacher

Gavin Scobie with one of his sculptures at Talbot Rice Gallery in 1984
Gavin Scobie with one of his sculptures at Talbot Rice Gallery in 1984
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A journalist, horse breeder and teacher from Edinburgh who became a much-loved figure in the equestrian world has died.

Dorothy Dawson, who was born in 1936, was raised in Corstorphine and attended The Mary Erskine School.

Affectionately known as Dotty, she taught at several primary schools in the city, including Broomhouse, Longstone, Clermiston, James Gillespie’s Boys School and Colinton, having qualified at Moray House.

Her passion for teaching was equalled by a lifelong love of horses. After learning to ride at the Spylaw Riding School, she acquired her first horse in the 1950s.

She would later become a breeder and set up her own Davdor stud of Welsh Section A and B ponies.

In the 1990s, she began reporting on horse shows and became a prolific writer for publications across Scotland.

Melanie Scott, editor of Scottish Horse, said: “Dorothy wrote for The Scottish Farmer for 20 years and travelled around the country to horse shows each week. Her dedication was unbelievable – she would always be the first to arrive and usually the last to leave.

“She was a real character, and will be very sadly missed throughout the Scottish equestrian show circuit.”

Valerie Russell, another journalist on the equestrian circuit, added: “Dorothy was a diligent and conscientious woman, and was a thoroughly kind person. She will be missed by so many people.”

Dorothy would attend shows with her husband, Stuart, whom she married in 1962. The couple moved to Currie, where Dorothy lived for the rest of her life. The couple were due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary this summer before Dorothy passed away on April 10.

• Tributes have also been paid to another former Edinburgh teacher, James Gavin Scobie, who became a pioneer of sculpture in Scotland.

Born in Edinburgh in 1940, Gavin went to Leith Academy and Edinburgh College of Art to study graphic design, before becoming director of art at Merchiston Castle School.

He held his first one-man show at the Richard Demarco Gallery in 1972 and that year won a competition to design a sculpture for the Invergordon Aluminium Works.

The commission prompted him to leave teaching and become a full-time sculptor.

After moving to Easter Ross with wife Stroma and their two children in 1973, he developed many of his characteristic pieces. In 1986, the family moved to London, where he returned to teaching and continued to maintain a studio.

Gavin died suddenly on March 14, just weeks after he left London to live in Beauly, near Inverness.

He is survived by Stroma, their children, Caroline and Justin, and four grandchildren.