Caroline on Melody
Caroline and Lothar
A Bellevue “horse show mom” and lifelong equestrian quietly worked on behalf of Pacific Northwest riders for nearly three decades
Kellie and Peter Larsen remember their friend and colleague, Caroline Pinkers
Our local equestrian community lost a very wonderful person on December 7, 2014 when Caroline Pinkers, born Caroline Nichols, passed away. Caroline was born on January 1st, 1931 and began to ride at Hutchinson Farms in Scarsdale, New York. Soon, she was a Riding Counselor at Summer Camp. In 1949, she received her Equitation Certificate from Southern Seminary, Buena Vista, West Virginia. She often rode in regional hunts.
Caroline married Lothar Pinkers in 1954. She first worked at Washington University Library, then as the department secretary for the Bacteriology Department at Washington University Dental School in St. Louis, Missouri. Caroline went on to work as a Record Librarian at St. Luke’s Hospital. Lothar’s medical internship took the young couple to Colorado, where Caroline worked at St. Anthony’s Hospital outside of Denver. When Lothar was made chief of the Denver Federal Center Health Clinic in 1957, they started a family. Lothar’s residency at Virginia Mason Medical Center brought the family to Seattle. Their family grew to include four children – son Arthur and daughters Beth, Christie, and Diane. Caroline enjoyed being a stay-at-home mother during this time. In 1983, the family added a horse -- Get’s Spellbinder was purchased for daughter Diane and a “horse show mother” was born!
Not too long after this, Caroline and Lothar attended a meeting of the Lake Washington Saddle Club where the president announced that the annual Hunter/Jumper show would have to be suspended because of lack of volunteers. She and Lothar looked at each other and said, “We can do that!” Caroline was very active in the local Hunter/Jumper community from 1989 to 1994 as the Show Secretary for Lake Washington Saddle Club’s annual Hunter/Jumper shows.
From 1998 through 2010, Caroline and Lothar worked with Equestrians Institute and the USDF Region 6 Championships. She ran the Awards Desk and was a driving force behind the scenes for many E.I. shows over the years. Caroline was ingenious in the show office – one of her brilliant innovations was a paper system to devise the complicated ride schedule for multiple show rings over multiple day dressage shows. With the best cursive penmanship around, she wrote instructions for everyone to follow when she started handing off some of her duties to other volunteers. Caroline took special care of the award ribbons; she organized them beautifully, wanting each ribbon to hang straight and smooth on the peg-board. She was a perfectionist and a very hard worker, devoting many months each year to putting on these wonderful shows.
Caroline was also very active with the Washington State Horse Council from 1987 until 1999, and was the treasurer for many years as well as the unpaid “office staff “during that time. She actively lobbied for the Limit of Liability Statute for horsemen and also lobbied for the legislation that established the Washington State Horse Park, which is now a success in CleElum, Washington.
Caroline Pinkers was a driving force in the horse community and her passion and volunteerism has benefited equestrians in Region 6 and beyond. She will be greatly missed.
Editor’s note: If you wish to make a small donation in remembrance of Caroline, her favorite charity was the Washington State Horse Park.
At Southern Seminary
Lothar and Caroline in the show office
At the Awards Desk