Rafalca a horse co-owned by Ann Romney has won a spot to compete in the Olympics in London this summer with the United States dressage team. Ann Romney is one of three co-owners of Rafalca. The trainer and rider is Jan Ebeling. Amy Ebeling who is Jan’s wife, Beth Meyer and Ann Romney all are co-owners of Rafalca.
From the L.A. Times:
Kenneth Braddick of Dressage News said Ebeling had “the best performance of his life” Saturday at the second of two Olympic trials at the U.S. Equestrian Federation national dressage championships in Gladstone, N.J.
In dressage, riders wordlessly guide their horses through a precise series of movements. To the untrained eye, the movements look like effortless prancing or hopping or zigzagging across a ring. But the training that goes into such performances is intense.
Ebeling, a German immigrant, came to the United States in 1984.
“The U.S. certainly has given me a fantastic opportunity which I might not have had if I’d stayed in Europe,” he told Braddick. “I think I have had access to horses that I may not have had I stayed in Europe. This is an amazing country. I just love this country. It has always been and still is a land of opportunity if – and a lot of people forget – you work hard.”
“It’s great to be part of the Olympics again,” Ann Romney tweeted this morning. “We are so proud of Jan and Team USA. Now let’s bring home the gold!” Mitt Romney has said he plans to attend the first day or two of the Olympics, which begin July 27. The dressage competition, however, begins Aug. 2 and ends on Aug. 9. Ann Romney is not expected to miss it.
Here is a video of Jan riding on Rafalca during a competition in 2010 where they placed third in the National Grand Prix Dressage Championship.
During the latter part of elementary school as well as through all of middle school and high school one of my extracurricular activities was riding horses. I would take horse lessons and sometimes competed in horse shows. I had a blast riding horses. Each year at the end of October the barn where I rode horses held a show where they would have one class, Halloween costume class, where the rider and horse would dress up in various costumes and they would be judged on who had the best costume. I entered that contest once and got first place. One of my favorite horse riding activities was jumping. I loved jumping with the horse over 2-foot jumps. Plus, I had the chance to learn a bit of vaulting, which is gymnastics on horseback. I was able to do some basic beginner positions such as “The Flag” up on the horse. The last couple years that I rode I did learn some dressage. I enjoyed that too but my favorite was still jumping. I enjoyed helping out at the horse farm where I rode. Usually if I helped out with cleaning during one weekend day then the owner would give me a horse lesson for free. Riding horses is a great activity for boys and girls to participate in. I know I thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from my horseback riding experience. God Bless.