Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Jan Ebeling of the U.S. riding Rafalca laughs after competing in the equestrian dressage individual grand prix special at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park August 7.
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Ann Romney, right, wife of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, applauds as her horse, Rafalca, competes in the equestrian dressage at the Olympics in London on August 7. Co-owners Beth Meyer and Amy applaud along side.
Alex Livesey / Getty Images
Jan Ebeling of the United States riding Rafalca competes in the Team Dressage Grand Prix Special on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Greenwich Park on August 7.
The three owners Beth Meyer, Amy Ebeling and Ann Romney watched from the stands as their horse, Rafalca, made her final appearance at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Ridden by Amy’s husband, Jan Ebeling, Rafalca’s score wasn’t enough to make the cut for Thursday’s dressage medal event. Only the top 18 move on to the freestyle portion of the competition. They all seemed to enjoy the ride – with Jan tipping his top hat at the end and the three women cheering from the stands.
"It was wonderful. She was elegant and consistent again. We just love her," said Ann Romney.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has received some criticism for his wife’s participation in a sport that many view as only for the wealthy and well-to-do. Ann Romney began riding as therapy to relieve symptoms from multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998. But the scrutiny has only been positive for the sport of dressage, or “horse ballet” as it is sometimes described. The attention also brought some humor and parody to a sport that may have been too serious in the past. Perhaps the attention on Rafalca will also help those who could benefit from horse riding therapy which is used for people with physical and mental disabilities.
Full coverage on NBCOlympics.com
David Goldman / AP
Jan Ebeling, of the United States, raises his hat after competing in the equestrian dressage competition with his horse Rafalca at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 7.
Click for more from the 2012 summer games in London.
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