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Biofile: Karin Billings-Schluter Interview

Status: 1972 Olympic silver medalist in equestrian, now an artist living in Sarasota, FL www.karinbillings.com


DOB:  March 12, 1937  In: Hamburg, Germany

First memory of art:  When I was 6-8 years old living in Hamburg, Germany, the war was just over and my family was required to take in a couple to live with us. The man was an artist and he was painting contemporary work.

First memory of equestrian: When I was 10 there was a riding school in our neighborhood where my sister and I could learn how to do acrobatic things on a bare horse.

Last book read: “Close Encounters with Donald Trump” by a famous author.

First job: I married young and my first job was being a house wife which entailed supervising a number of staff.

First famous person you met or encountered: I met Luciano Pavarotti at one of my horse clinics and he retained my services to find a jumping horse and then training two horses for him in exchange for giving me two free tickets for his concerts.

Greatest moments of your career: My first Grand Prix victory as well my first Derby win were very exciting. The subsequent World Championships and the Olympic Silver and many others were obviously important as well.


Most painful moment: Fortunately there have not been many, but the early death of my father was devastating.

Favorite movies: 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Gone With The Wind and Pretty Woman.

Funny memory in your career: Shortly after my silver medal I tried to show off my horse vaulting skills and as I jumped on the horse from the floor my riding split right down the middle. Fortunately that day I had my underwear on [smile].

Favorite artist: The famous pianist Lang Lang, German painters Emil Nolde and Max Liebermann.

Childhood dream: Participate at Olympic Games.

People Qualities most admired: Tolerance, respect and love for animals.

Favorite Ice cream flavor: Vanilla Swiss Almond Haagen Dazs.

Inspiration as an artist: Nature.

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