Horse News

Ann Romney’s Horse Comes in Third in Olympic Qualifying Event

Shushannah Walshe By Shushannah Walshe of ABC News

Romney credits horseback riding for almost eliminating her symptoms from multiple sclerosis

“My apologies as I am not waxing political on you here, although our current President has done NOTHING to help our horses, but it is difficult to find good equine news to share with you on Sunday.  There are a lot of things that we need to accomplish over the next 48 hours but for today, this is a story of a woman who sought out horses, late in life, and they healed her in a way that only horses can.  This is success story and we as advocates are fortunate that someone in the political spotlight is pro-horse and understands the spiritual connection that we share with our equine partners.  Politics aside, Ann Romney‘s story is one of success and could even help to elevate our nation’s understanding and appreciation for the American horse, both wild and domestic, that we love and know so well.  Have a great Sunday as tomorrow it is back to work.  Be safe and keep the faith.” ~ R.T.


Ann Romney’s dressage trainer Jan Ebeling and the horse they co-own, Rafalca, came in third this weekend at the United States Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, N.J. This competition, which will continue next weekend, also serves as an Olympics qualifying event for the U.S. Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

Romney is avidly involved in the expensive world of dressage, sometimes known as “horse ballet,” and credits horseback riding for almost eliminating her symptoms from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998.

According to a USEF press release, Ebeling was the first to go, scoring 71.489 percent. The release said the “comfort level” between Rafalca and Ebeling was “evident in the ring.” Ebeling has been riding Rafalca for six years.

The same release says the wife of the presumptive GOP nominee was on hand to watch Rafalca and Ebeling.

“I was really happy that they could all make it,” said Ebeling. “I think it is wonderful for our sport to have that visibility.”

Last week on a three-day campaign swing of Florida, Ann Romney visited a therapeutic horse riding facility and told patients and staff there she was “not able to get out of bed” or even walk at one point her MS symptoms were that severe. But the “excitement of getting on a horse” helped her.

“Horses are amazing teachers,” said Romney, who visited with other patients who like her use riding as therapy. “I love these wonderful, sweet companions that teach us so much.”

In a Los Angeles Times story last month, Robin Abcarian reported that despite Romney’s relatively late start in dressage Romney won silver and gold medals in 2005 and 2006 at the highest level of competition from the U.S. Dressage Federation and she credits Ebeling with her success in the top tier of amateur dressage.

The Romneys are planning on attending the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Mitt Romney’s role overseeing the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics is an important selling point for his campaign on the trail. He consistently stresses on the stump how he was able to save the games from scandal and financial disarray, citing it as an example of his turn around skills and management experience.

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    • If you want facts look at what our current President has done: In a United States Department of Agriculture appropriations bill passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama on November 18, a prohibition on funding USDA inspections of horse slaughter facilities was lifted. The prohibition of funding inspections at horse slaughter facilities had been approved in 2005 for 2006 appropriations.

      WHO do you think runs/directs the BLM? Both dems and repubs need to get the true facts on horse slaughter and stop the abuse! The political parties in our government need to LISTEN to the majority of Americans who do not support horse slaughter. The politicans holding office are employees of American citizens and they need to start listening to the American people instead of pushing there own agendas.


  1. That’s just peachy that Mrs. Romney credits horses with vastly improving her MS symptoms. Now would that be only her European, $100,000 warmbloods that can perform those therapeutic wonders, as opposed to, say, a rescued ex-racing thoroughbred? In fact,as horse lovers and having vast sums of money at their disposal, and given the bad situation American horses face, I daresay the Romneys are all about themselves and actually have done nil for US horses. Heck, they can’t even “Buy American” as evidenced by Ann’s recent trip to Europe, where she purchased a number of warmbloods. if “Wall Street Willie” becomes Prez., unless you’re a horse owner in that 1%,the horse industry may take another hit.


  2. Wait, so you think that a guy who stuck his own dog into a crate on top of his car is going to be concerned over animal welfare just because his wife thinks that horses are a good therapy TOOL and a way to show prestige? You think that means they care about them as sentient beings when they put their DOG that lived with them on the roof of their car? Nope…I’m not buying that. I also think you have a grave misunderstanding of how American politics work…remember it as Republicans who snuck the inspection ban out. But, you know, put this KNOWN animal abuser in office because that sounds like a great plan for animals. Wow…just wow…


  3. The Beauty and necessity of horses always rings true, beautiful story for this Sunday….. They have virtually saved many people in many ways, one can even say that the horses are departmental in winning Wars also…… Thank You RT…………………


  4. That’s wonderful to hear, but does she realize it’s largely her husband’s party enabling the brutality of horse slaughter? I’d be very interested to hear her take on that.


    • That is my question too; how many equines has Mrs Romney utilized over her life and where are they now, how did they leave this world, what does she think about the removal and murder of our National Icons.

      Congratulations on the success of this ONE horse…, let’s talk about the others that have and have not crossed her life path.


      • Dear Denise I found this , the last paragraph is interesting !!!
        Le défenseur de l’aristocratie
        By TomDolores

        Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney and his spouse Ann had already planned to attend the opening of the Olympic Games in London this summer – but now they have a personal interest in going.

        Mrs. Romney’s longtime riding tutor, Jan Ebeling, and his horse Rafalca (co-owned by Mrs. Romney) have almost certainly been awarded a spot on the United States Olympic dressage team. Raffiki came in third at the United States Equestrian Federation National Dressage Championships in Gladstone, N.J., which also serves as an Olympics qualifying event for the U.S. Dressage Team for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

        Romney is an avid sportsman who is keenly involved in the expensive world of dressage, sometimes known as “horse ballet.”

        See? The Romneys are just plain folks, like you and me. We can also deduct tens of thousands of dollars from our taxes for the care and feeding of our own personal stable of dressage horses if we want to.

        And the divertissement of dressage may be exactly the pièce de résistance Romney needs to attract more declasse voters to his banner. An arduous sport like dressage provides him with a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’

        So let’s hear it for the dressage stable of squire Romney, an authentic man of the people.

        Unfortunately, the Romneys were compelled to declare a loss of $77,000 on their 2010 tax returns for their share in the care and feeding of Rafalca. Maybe that explains why Romney desperately wants another tax break.


      • arlene:

        Everyone here knows that equines, especially at this level and discipline are very expensive. I’d be very careful to use the term “loss” when it comes to the IRS (aka I don’t trust the reporter). We do not know what the expenditures were and if there was any income. I do know that the IRS hates horses and is brutal regarding the “hobby” v “biz” category….which also contributes to the current plight of overbreeding and HCHS situations.

        My question was about how she disposes of equines, what she thinks of HCHS and the plight of our wild equines.

        Now go over to “Mike’s” last post and have some fun (“BLM Delays Massacre…”).


    • & her husband remarked that he has no idea what our federal public lands are for and is all for giving states the power to do whatever they want to with them. Not so good for wild horses either.


  5. I submitted a comment before and it mysteriously does not appear. Hopefully this is not a thread restricted to those that wish to bash the Romneys. That wouldn’t be very democratic. I’ll repost and see if it gets posted.

    I knew she had a good soul. Horses KNOW a person’s heart. They know when someone needs them and loves them back. As one who lives in 24/7 pain and found the HORSE CURE 5 years ago…I see this woman as a chance to UNITE OUR NATION BEHIND THE MIRACLE AND PURE GOOD OF THE HORSE and help their cause as well…TO END SLAUGHTER OF HORSES (for any purpose) and to bring a way to reward those who do good for the horse and our country and hold those accountable who HARM, ABUSE OR ENGAGE IN ANY ACTIVITY THAT LEADS TO SLAUGHTER OF HORSES.


    • Dear Victoria, i am sure there is a wonderful story behind what you have just posted , I really would like to hear it, there are many reports of the wonders of all the horses …. Please tell us yours…………….. By the way Welcome Victoria………………..


    • While I would like to think that this woman would be want to be involved with saving ALL horses, I know from the experience of managing a “3-Day Eventing” barn in Scottsdale, AZ forover a year that most of the women who “own” these horses are so far removed from “lowly peons” in the horse world that she probably isn’t even aware of what the BLM is doing! It’s been all over the news for 3-4 years and I notice her husband hasn’t even acknowledged HIS opinion of what theis govt agency is being accused of, or the 80+% of the people who are AGAINST horse slaughter in this country! For that matter, neither are the majority of Senators or Represenatives! Silk purses do not start out as a sow’s ear – and I’m pretty sure that she is not going to champion “mustangs and burros” when she’s involved in a world where a “cheap” 3-Day eventing horse costs close to $100,000 and goes up from there! Besides, her husband is too busy figuring out how to cut costs by trimming back on the number of police officers and firefighters that are already on the job in this country. Nice lady – silver spoon in her mouth – but has never been in the mud and the blood!


    • Viktoria- I agree with you 100%! rather than dragging Mrs. Romney down, let’s be positive! This could be the open window we have been looking for. Maybe she has a wonderful retirement facility for her horses? We will never know unless we ask. What is her position on horse slaughter? What is her position on WH&B’s? Let’s ask her! Everyday I meet people who have know idea there is any such thing as horse slaughter. How many times have we all heard “its illegal in this country… isn’t it?” Does anyone know where we should send Mrs. Romney our letters and inquires?


  6. Mrs. Romney may love her percentage interest in this horse, but where was her voice when Mitt tied their dog on the top of their car? She most certainly did not say anything about poor Shamus, being the good mormon wife she is…..


  7. Mrs. Romney is a dressage queen and could give a rats ass about any horse that costs less than 100,000.

    We never had a horse tax in Ma. until Romney implemented one!


  8. Thanks R.T for providing Ann’s story and the wonderful experience she had with her horse. It is amazing what these magnificent creatures can do for one’s mind, soul and body. They are incredible animals who want nothing more than to serve and they do, when given the chance.


  9. I know it is a comfort to Republican haters to bash Ann Rommey for her love of horses. Because she is a republican , she must be selfish, a lier and a cheat. Obama has fast tracked the roundups, ignored more protests letters then any President since Nixon. Obama signed the bill to open slaughter in U.S. Bush because of protests signed the bill to close slaughter in U.S. I am not a republican, I vote for the horses.


  10. Can’t we stop being so partisan on at least this one subject? Ann Romney is a horse lover and loves to compete in dressage, her husband is wealthy and apparently allows her to spend as much as she wants on her horses (sounds like the perfect husband to me). And lest we forget, there are also rescued horses, and horses bought out of kill buyer’s pens in training and showing dressage.

    As far as I can tell, we will never be able to keep our horses safe and ban slaughter forever unless we can get along with people of all political views, religions, races, and sexual preferences. I used to be a proud liberal, but I’m not so proud of it anymore, not when I hear so much hatred toward our own countrymen who may believe something different than we do.


  11. If anyone thinks a vote for Mittens will result in any positive outcome for saving our wild mustangs or any horses from slaughter, you are seriously confused. The only thing Romney cares about is gripping as much political power that money can buy him and enriching his personal coffers. Please get your head out of the manure pile and realize that the Romney’s could care less about the lives of ANY animal that does not generate fame (media attention for votes), power or financial gain (welfare ranchers contributions and influence,and those important tax write offs) for them. As Saigh clearly explained “remember it as Republicans who snuck the inspection ban out”. Yes, Obama has let us down but the real horror will begin if this animal abuser gets elected.


  12. Wow! What assorted comments! It’s always good to at least “think” good thoughts after reading such a nice story. It’s nice to at least try to think positive. Whether they get into the presidential office or not, is another story. At least we know they actually like horses, & acknowledge that horses are great therapy (there was no mention of only specific breeds being therapeutic, just that she co-owns a war-blood). That’s certainly alot more than we can say about the Obamas. Hope everyone had a nice Suday, & “Happy Belated Father’s Day”.


  13. Apparently my computer seems to be acting up, not actually printing what I’m typing all the time. I meant to say, she co-owns a warm-blood. I don’t think this was suppose to be about politics, or what party someone is or isn’t, it was a nice story about how horses touched someone’s life.


    • You are correct Val, it was about how a connection with the horses helped a woman through troubled times.  Anytime there is a positive story written about or for the horses I am pleased to share, politics be damned.


  14. Amen everyone, Fact is the Horses touch our hearts enrich all of our lives, Bless them all with Freedom , and a NO HORSE Slaughter America………….


    • I heard it did also WOOOOOO HOOOOO Thanks to everyone here who called relentlessly, also huge Thank Yous to the Appropriations Committee Members


  15. House Appropriations Committee votes to defund horse slaughter inspections
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    In Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Virginia Congressman Jim Moran’s bill to prevent the use of taxpayer money by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to inspect United States horse slaughter plants for fiscal year 2013 has passed.

    Early this afternoon,Congressman Moran’s Twitter message read:

    Jim_Moran Great news – my amendment to prohibit funding for #horse slaughter just passed by a voice vote in Appropriations Committee. about 1 hour ago · reply · retweet · favorite

    Since 2005 Congress has blocked federal funding for horse slaughter facilities which ended the operation of horse slaughter plants in the U.S., and each year included defunding in the Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Last year however, when prodded by special interest groups, Senators Blunt and Kohl, and Congressman Kingston secretly voted to drop the defunding language.

    According to John Holland of Equine Welfare Alliance:

    It is not clear whether we will see a separate Senate budget this year or whether they will accept the House version. We will let you know as the situation unfolds. Last Friday I personally called every office, and they indicated that the call volume was high and very much in favor of the amendment. If the forces of slaughter thought you would be discouraged by their trickery, they miscalculated. Horse lovers are united and filled with resolve as never before. John

    It is estimated the cost would be at least five-million dollars to fund horse slaughter plants. Over 80 percent of Americans are against horse slaughter in the U.S. and refer to it as a cruel and inhumane practice.

    American horses continue to be transported to Canada and Mexico for slaughter. The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act of 2011 (H.R. 2966, S.1176) will ban domestic horse slaughter and the export of over 100,000 American horses annually.

    For more information about the Equine Welfare Alliance and how you can help, please click here.

    Rep. Jim Moran’s bill approved which will prevent the use of taxpayer money to inspect horse slaughter facilities.
    Rep. Jim Moran’s bill approved which will prevent the use of taxpayer money to inspect horse slaughter facilities.
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    Click here to find out more!


  16. I can’t help but comment here Romney’s platform is to open public lands to business, don’t be fooled because his wife has a love for a horse. Nice story nonetheless …


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