With the Presidential race and the Olympics both dominating headlines this summer, one news story continues combining the two worlds: Ann Romney‘s dressage horse, Rafalca. On Tuesday morning (Aug. 7), Rafalca returned to the Olympic stage, performing well but not scoring high enough to advance to the next round.
“I wish the score would have been higher,” the horse’s trainer, Jan Ebeling tells ABC News. “I’m really happy with the horse.”
Dancing to traditional music as well as faster-paced rhythms, the horse performed in chilly weather before a sizeable crowd in the stands, many of them waving American flags. Romney, sitting amongst the crowd, cheered her horse and rider on.
The possible future-first-lady tells the AP that Rafalca’s ride was “fabulous,” adding, “It was wonderful. She was elegant and consistent again. We just love her.”
Although Rafalca and Ebeling earned a respectable score of 69.317, the horse didn’t finish high enough in the standings to compete again in Thursday’s freestyle competition. Rafalca ended up ranked 28th and only the top 18 horses advance.
Those who care more about politics than horse ballet, however, will likely be somewhat pleased that Rafalca has been eliminated – thereby speeding up Ann Romney’s return to the U.S. and presumably the announcement of her husband’s pick for a running mate. Currently engaged in a tight race with President Barack Obama, Governor Mitt Romney is reportedly in the final stages of choosing between such candidates as Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and others. It was considered extremely unlikely that Governor Romney would make the announcement without his wife at his side.
Ann Romney has credited Rafalca and the sport of dressage with helping relieve her multiple sclerosis. First diagnosed in 1998, she began once again participating in the sport she had loved as a child, and says the sport helps relieve ease her symptoms. Romney says that after another year or two, she and the other owners of Rafalca will likely try to breed her.