Ann Romney Horses

It's no secret that Ann Romney is a passionate equestrian.

Ann credited her renewed involvement in it while in Park City, Utah (where she and Mitt had built a vacation home and where they lived when he was in charge of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games) for  much of her recovery after her multiple sclerosis diagnosis and for her continued ability to deal with the disease.

 Ann has admitted that riding "saved my life", explaining that: "I was losing most of the function of my right side. And I decided I needed to go back and do what I loved before I couldn't do it anymore."

The truth is that at first Ann could barely stay on a horse without getting tired, but gradually the muscle control required for riding proved directly beneficial, and psychologically: "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." As a result, Ann claimed: "My desire to ride was, and is, so strong that I kept getting healthier and healthier."

It has to be noted that Ann has even received recognition in dressage as an adult amateur at the national level, including earning her 2006 Gold Medal and 2005 Silver Medal at the Grand Prix level from the United States Dressage Federation. She also sometimes competes in professional dressage events and has broken the 60% level at Grand Prix. Ann Romney works with California trainer Jan Ebeling, who schools her and her horses in dressage and works with her importing new stock from Europe. The pair qualified for the Pan-Am games in 2004.

By 2011, the horses Ann owned and kept at Ebeling's Moorpark, California, stables, which she is a partner in,were estimated more than $250,000. The Romneys helped fund Ebeling's aspirations for equestrian competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics and Ann was present in Gladstone, New Jersey, in June 2012 when Ebeling, riding on the horse Rafalca (co-owned by him and Ann) won a spot on the U.S. dressage team. At the London Olympic Games in August 2012, Rafalca finished 28th out of 32 horses in the event.

Ann Romney's horse, of course, was eliminated from the Olympic dressage competition.

To be more specific, Rafalca earned a score of 69.317, which bumped her out of the top 19.

Ann Romney despite the poor showing by her horse stated she was very proud.

"It was wonderful," Romney told the Associated Press. "She was elegant and consistent again. We just love her."

On the other hand, Ann's trainer, Ebeling told the Associated Press he was disappointed with the results. "I wish the score would have been higher," Ebeling quoted as saying. "I'm really happy with the horse."

What do you think of Ann Romney's enthusiasm about horses?

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