Name: Carol Austin
City/State: Spokane, Washington
Occupation: Frozen semen broker. “This really cracks up the people I meet; my friends use it as an introduction at parties — ‘Hey, guess what she does for a living?’”
How long have you been part of the horse world?
Since the age of 6, when I lived in the desert in southern Utah and first saw wild horses. I began by riding a neighbor’s wicked Shetland at that age. I’ve been involved with horses on a personal or professional level my entire adult life. I trained Thoroughbred racehorses for 15 years. When I got out of racing, I had several nice mares I decided to breed to warmblood stallions. It was pretty obvious to me in 2000 that the best stallions were in Europe, specifically Germany. That inspired my first importation.
What part do you play in the horse world?
My company is Superior Equine Sires, an equine frozen semen import and export service. I think providing top-class frozen semen from abroad has made a positive contribution to modern warmblood sport horse breeding in North America. I’m very proud of that.
What’s your favorite thing about what you do?
Being a vicarious horse breeder and talking about horses every day is my favorite part of what I do. When I see photos or hear from my clients about horses they’ve bred and of which they are justly proud, I get a real thrill. I especially enjoy helping the newbies make good choices and avoid some of the major pitfalls of artificial insemination. I like to tell them there are no dumb questions in this business!
What’s your biggest achievement?
Making my living entirely in the horse business for over 40 years seems like an achievement to me. But, of course, my two wonderful children are my life’s supreme achievement. My daughter, Annie, has been working in the business with me for three years now.
What are your goals for the future?
To keep on keeping on and to do my part to make the world a better place.
What’s the best thing about your life?
That I’ve always been able to make my living doing something I really love and, of course, my family and friends.
Best kept secret about what you do?
The frozen semen business got me started traveling abroad to attend stallion licensings and auctions. That has enabled me to visit many countries and make many new friends whom I visit, and sometimes have had the pleasure of hosting here in America.