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At the 1912 Olympics
Born 25 July 1886
Näsbyholm Castle, Trelleborg, Sweden
Died 26 September 1917 (aged 31)
Malmslätt, Sweden

Baron Hans Gustaf von Blixen-Finecke (25 July 1886 – 26 September 1917) was a Swedish officer and equestrian who won a bronze medal in dressage at the 1912 Summer Olympics. He died in an aeroplane crash in 1917.[1][2]

Career[]

Von Blixen-Finecke was born at Näsbyholm Castle, Sweden and was the son of Baron Fredrik von Blixen-Finecke, a Hovjägmästare, and his wife Countess Clara Krag-Juel-Wind-Frijs.[3] He was both the twin brother of Bror von Blixen-Finecke, a famed professional hunter in Africa, and a brother-in-law of writer Karen Blixen. Hans had experienced a failed love affair with Karen Blixen, who then accepted an offer of marriage from Hans' brother.[4]

Von Blixen-Finecke passed mogenhetsexamen on 29 May 1906 and became a volunteer at the Scanian Dragoon Regiment (Skånska dragonregementet, K 6) on 31 May 1906. He was commissioned as an officer on 19 December 1908 and served as an underlöjtnant at the Scanian Dragoon Regiment from 31 December the same year. He was promoted to lieutenant there in 1910.[5] He was a rare equestrian talent, especially on the racetrack, where he 1910-15 was the foremost in Scandinavia, with 57 victories in 171 races. One of his achievements was when he in 1914 after a victory in Gothenburg flew to Klampenborg and where had his second victory of the day. von Blixen-Finecke won a bronze medal in dressage at the 1912 Summer Olympics. His best horses were those on his father's estate Näsbyholm, Aimable, Baccarat, Hops and Hilarion.[6]

Personal life[]

The plane of von Blixen-Finecke at the crash site

On 15 July 1915 at Trollenäs Castle he married Hilla-Brita Trolle (born 4 April 1894), the daughter of överhovjägmästaren, baron Nils Axel Arvid Trolle and baroness Anna Eleonora Sofia Leijonhufvud.[5] Their son, Hans von Blixen-Finecke Jr., won two gold medals in eventing at the 1952 Summer Olympics.[1][2]

Hans von Blixen-Finecke Sr. died in an aeroplane crash on 26 September 1917 and was buried at Gärdslöv Cemetery in Trelleborg Municipality.[7]

In popular culture[]

In the film Out of Africa, which is based on Karen Blixen's memoirs of the same name, the role of Hans von Blixen-Finecke is played by Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, who also plays the role of his brother Bror.

References[]

External links[]

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