California Riding Magazine • May, 2008

Saddle Up!
California Grand Prix couple
signs with Amerigo Saddles.

Grand Prix competitors and trainers, Dick Carvin and his wife Francie Steinwedell Carvin, are now sponsored by Amerigo, designer and manufacturer of world-class saddles. The Carvins arrived in tropical Florida for their first winter season just to “try something different.” The Meadow Grove trainers and their students, fixtures at California shows, lost no time in establishing themselves on the Florida circuit this winter. They compete often and have performed well with the string of nearly 40 horses they brought from California and Canada.

Carvin established himself as a young professional, riding hunters for Mike Edrick on the West Coast circuit. There he met Francie Steinwedell, an accomplished horsewoman herself, who trained and showed her own jumpers. When they joined forces with trainer Susie Schroer in Meadow Grove Farm, located at Middle Ranch in Lake View Terrace, the shift to jumpers was inevitable. Dick excelled with the jumpers as well, riding to many Grand Prix victories and FEI World Cup Finals in 2000 and 2001. Meadow Grove still maintains a huge hunter base and graduates their students to jumpers when they are ready.

Robin Moore, Amerigo Saddles brand manager, met the Carvins several years ago and visits them several times a year to update and fit Amerigo saddles to new and developing horses. World Equestrian Brands, distributor for Amerigo saddles, sent Moore to Florida this season for the Winter Equestrian Festival to fit saddles and teach equestrians about the importance of a saddle fitting, both for the horse and the rider. So this season, Moore worked on the Carvins’ saddle fittings in Florida.

“I’m very picky about my saddles and not real open to change,” Dick Carvin told Moore when they met a few years ago in California. “I don’t care about getting a free saddle.” After he observed Robin fitting a saddle to one of his horses, Dick decided to try the Amerigo saddle she suggested. Much to his surprise he liked the way it felt immediately. Francie felt the same way about the Amerigo saddles, and they have been using Amerigo saddles ever since.

Carvin and Steinwedell partnered with Amerigo in a sponsorship program because they saw their horses prosper under the expert fit of Amerigo saddles over a very short period of time. Having come up in the business with trainers like George Morris, Mary Chapot and Rodney Jenkins, they both understood the importance of an expert saddle fitting and the inherent fine quality of the Amerigo product. “I rely on a team of experts,” Dick says. “My vets for my horses’ health, my farriers for my horses’ feet and Amerigo for my horses’ backs.” 

Amerigo is a saddle line created for top-level performance through a correct anatomical design for horse and rider based on equine biomechanics.  The saddles are hand made at the Selleria Equipe in Italy for clients throughout the world. Amerigo characteristically uses only high-end materials; a variety of wooden spring trees and wool flocked independent panels to produce one of the best fitted, quality driven saddles on the market today.

Robin joined World Equestrian Brands, the U.S. distributor for Amerigo saddles, as brand manager for the Swiss based saddle designer, Peter Menet. She currently fits saddles for a number of Olympic and international competitors of all disciplines and provides technical training for saddle fitters throughout the country. Robin continues her own training with her mentor, Peter Menet, and also conducts saddle fitting demonstrations and seminars in the United States.

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