Diane Skvarla (FL)
Horses have been part of my life since my childhood in England, ever since Corky, the best Christmas present my sisters and I ever received. He was a 12.2-hand skewbald Welsh pony with bright blue eyes and the most magnificent mane and tail. He was flashy, fast, and fun―everything little girls dream of. He taught us how to ride and to jump, and he instilled in me my lifelong passion for horses.
Many years later I returned to England as an adult to become a working student for British FEI-level dressage rider and judge Judy Harvey. Charlotte Dujardin was also a working student for Judy, some 20 years after me. I was no Charlotte, but I competed as an adult amateur with my horse, Prism, while pursuing a museum career.
I served as Senate Curator at the United States Capitol in Washington, DC, from 1995 until 2014, when I retired after 31 years in the office. As Curator, I directed the Senate's museum program under the authority of the U.S. Senate Commission on Art. The office is responsible for collecting, preserving, and interpreting the Senate's decorative and fine art, as well as historic objects. I organized major exhibitions, educational programs, and publications for the Senate. I also supervised preservation, conservation, and restoration projects. Upon my retirement, the Senate honored me with the title of Senate Curator Emeritus.
I first began working with TDF in 2014 to establish the Karen Skvarla Fund to honor my sister, who was a budding equestrian when she passed away at the age of nine. I am excited to continue working with TDF, which provides such important support for our dressage community.