Ann Romney’s horse, trainer headed to Olympics

June 16, 2012

A horse partly owned by First Lady candidate Ann Romney will be representing the red, white and blue in London this summer after almost certainly qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in dressage, “the highest expression of horse training.”

Rafalca, a 15-year-old Oldenburg mare, and California-based trainer Jan Ebeling came in third in the U.S. Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, New Jersey, on Saturday. That almost guarantees the pair a spot on the team, which has five dressage spots.

Mrs. Romney, the wife of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, was reportedly at the qualifying event as her husband campaigned on the backroads of Pennsylvania. The couple embraced on the tarmac upon arrival in Scranton, PA, on Friday, before Ann Romney sped away in an SUV and Romney boarded his campaign bus.

Mrs. Romney credits riding with helping her to manage her symptoms from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998, and has said she sometimes slips away from the rigors of the trail to ride and relax. She has competed in amateur and professional dressage competitions.

“Riding exhilarated me; it gave me a joy and a purpose. When I was so fatigued that I couldn’t move, the excitement of going to the barn and getting my foot in the stirrup would make me crawl out of bed,” Romney told the Los Angeles Times this year.

Romney often uses his role in helping the turn around the scandal-plagued 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics as an example of his skills as a leader and turnaround expert who would perform the same magic on the U.S. economy. The Romneys plan to attend part of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Photo credit: Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney hugs his wife, Ann, goodbye as they get into separate vehicles after arriving at Scranton Wilkes-Barre International Airport in Pennsylvania, June 15, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing


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Just your average American making us proud. I’m happy your horse did well and your trainers have a great job. I’d love to dine at your table while you discuss the important events of your day. We’re worrying about little things like keeping the lights on, not how well our horse scored. Proof once again there’s people who work their tails off yet rarely break a sweat – except on a gold course. You’ll find me just mowing.

Posted by forteinjeff | Report as abusive

How come the critics of Romney all say he is out of touch with the average American because he is rich? JFK was rich and privileged with many toys. Jackie had her horses too. Nobody says he was out of touch when he spent his time sailing on his yacht or vacationing at the family compound in Maine. I don’t believe many middle class Americans get to enjoy yachting or private compounds in Maine!

Posted by cleetus | Report as abusive

Because Romney’s policies are different than those of JFK. JFK was, if you will, a traitor to his class. In fact, all Democratic presidents have been traitors to their class. Romney is not. He is a cult member whose radical right policies will make his wealthy buddies richer and the poor, poorer. His policies will destroy the middle class and thus eliminate the REAL job creators and destroy what is left of the economy. George W. Bush did a FANTASTIC job running the entire country into the ground. The only thing that the right has a talent for!

Posted by sigung | Report as abusive