Dressage is marking its 100th anniversary in the London 2012 Olympics and this year is drawing attention from the mainstream media here in the U.S, as one of the horses is co-owned by Ann Romney wife of Mitt Romney presumed Republican Presidential nominee.
The U.S Dressage Olympic team is lead by Steffen Peters and Ravel. Steffen Peters and Ravel won the Word Dressage Masters Grand Prix with a personal best score of 81.468. Steffen Peters was born in Germany and later relocated to the U.S becoming a citizen and building his training facility Arroyo Del Mar in California. Ravel is a Dutch Warmblood gelding who made history in 2009, winning 10 of the 11 FEI classes entered and scoring unprecedented U.S. title sweeps of the FEI World Cup Final (Nev.) and the Aachen CDI***** (Germany).
A quote from Steffen Peters website sums up his philosophy. "I've spent most of my riding career bringing four and five year-old young horses through the levels to Grand Prix. To me there is no greater reward than spending six or seven years with a horse until they're confirmed at the highest level, and can go out and 'strut their stuff' with the best of them." Steffen Peters
While the U.S team is lead by Steffen Peters and Ravel its Rafalca ridden by Jan Ebeling who is making news this year and bringing attention to the sport of Dressage. Rafalca partly owned by Ann Romney. The 15-year-old Oldenburg mare is owned by a partnership of Ann Romney, Amy Ebeling and Beth Meyer. In the world of Equestrian sports it not uncommon for a horse to have many owners who share in the expenses of training a star athlete for advanced levels of competition. Many riders require sponsorships and co-owners in order to compete at international competitions to reach Olympic level.
As for the Romney's ownership of Rafalca, Ann explained it this way to dressage-news.com: “When I was nearly incapacitated with my MS, Jan was one of the people who helped me the most. “I could barely walk, get out of bed, much less ride a horse. “I feel that the riding therapy and the help I received from him have been instrumental in keeping my MS in remission. Now, I join Jan, who has helped me so much, in pursuit of his life long Olympic dream.”
Also on the U.S Dressage Olympic team are Tina Konyot. Tina's partner for the London games is Calecto V, a Black Danish Warmblood stallion. Tina and Calecto V where named the 2010 USEF National Grand Prix Champions. Tina is based in Florida.
Riding as an individual representing the U.S is Adrienne Lyle. Adrienne is the youngest rider representing the U.S this year. Adrienne Lyle will ride Magical Wizard for the London games and has been in training with Debbie McDonald former U.S. Olympian. Wizard is a 13 yr old dark brown Oldenburg gelding. Wizard is owned by Peggy Thomas.
Watch the U.S Dressage team perform on MSNBC Thursday August 2nd, Friday August 3 (MSNBC) and the finals on August 7 NBC Sports, and Individual finals on August 9 MSNBC. http://sports.yahoo.com/news/olympics-2012-tv-schedule-equestrian-173400...
While Dressage is certainly an art, any rider wishing to learn the sport can. Dressage is not an elitist sport but more learning the art of riding with balance and harmony. It's a fantastic way to learn horseback riding for any age and experience level.
Lydia Bagley, Austin Equine Examiner
Lydia has always loved animals and in particular horses. After years of showing hunter/jumpers, Morgan's, and Dressage, Lydia earned a bachelors degree from TAMU in Animal Science with an emphasis in Equine Production. Currently she teaches riding lessons and middle school science. Lydia resides...