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Francie Steinwedell-Carvin's Story

This story reflects the participant’s personal experience as told by them and may be triggering for individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or misconduct.
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It took decades for grand prix rider and former Flint Ridge Riding Club protegee Francie Steinwedell-Carvin to realize what had happened to her at the hands of now-disgraced Show Jumping Hall of Fame trainer, Jimmy A. Williams.

“A part of our training just seemed to be when we would run into [the tack room] where our stuff was, and he would be with girls [in there], French kissing them, or being really close,” she explains. “It was [just] this relief of, Well, thank God it’s not me this time.”

Though Steinwedell-Carvin now recognizes Williams as “a master manipulator,” it wasn’t until she became an adult that she realized ‘sexual abuse’ doesn’t just mean being raped. Though Steinwedell-Carvin is open about her past struggles with substance abuse, the show jumper believes that her own healing first began when she was able to tell her story.

“The shame and guilt [are] so big—I know they are,” she says. “The parts of our soul that have been ripped away from us, we can’t help but grow back. [We can] put some really great stuff into that empty place in our hearts.

“It’s a hard road, but it’s a road so worth it.”

“The shame and guilt [are] so big—I know they are. The parts of our soul that have been ripped away from us, we can’t help but grow back. [We can] put some really great stuff into that empty place in our hearts.