The dressage trainer who co-owns a horse with Ann Romney is heading to the Olympics this summer, and says that he credits the Romneys’ support with some of his success.
Jan Ebeling, a trainer based in Moorpark, California, co-owns a 15-year-old dressage mare named Rafalca with Mrs. Romney, who is an avid equestrienne. He competed in an Olympic qualifying trial in Gladstone, N.J. this weekend and last, coming in third.
“Mrs. Romney was able to come to watch, so that was certainly wonderful,” Ebeling said in a telephone interview with BuzzFeed. “She’s one of the three owners and she loved to watch, so did the other two.”
Ebeling said that he didn’t have time to talk much with Mrs. Romney before he competed in the trial.
The owners “were sitting in the tent,” he said. “I don’t see my wife before the class, I don’t see anyone except my coach. You have to really focus and cannot be distracted.”
“They’ve given me their encouragement in their long relationship with us before,” Ebeling said, referring to the Romneys.
Asked if the Romneys would be in attendance when he and Rafalca compete in London, Ebeling said that he expects that Ann will come, and doesn’t know about Mitt.
“I think since the Romneys are an Olympic family they have an invitation to go to the Olymipics anyway,” he said. “I believe they will come. I believe Mrs. Romney will come, I’m not sure about Mitt Romney.”
Ebeling praised the Romneys for showing interest in the obscure sport of dressage.
“Having people of that visibility is just wonderful for our sport,” Ebeling said. “And to me, they’re great friends and they’ve been very supportive of my endeavor.”
“It takes a lot of people to make this whole thing work,” Ebeling said.
Ebeling sounded elated on the phone, saying that years of hard work have finally paid off.
“I felt very confident because I know the horse and we’ve been preparing for this for several years,” he said.