Elite Horse Sport Offers Peek Into Romney's World

But Ann's sale of $100K horse led to lawsuit
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 27, 2012 3:21 PM CDT
Romneys at Home in Elite World of Rarefied Riding
Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, right, kisses his wife Ann during a election night rally in Schaumburg, Ill., Tuesday, March 20, 2012.   (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Welcome to the leisure world of Ann Romney, where $100,000 horses make pirouettes and she makes headway into the elite world of an equestrian sport known as dressage, the New York Times reports. Her connection: Jan Ebeling, a German dressage rider who also tutors Ann in horseback riding. "Boy, she was determined," Ebeling said of her ability to overcome the multiple sclerosis pain that initially dogged her riding. The riding made her "joyful and exhilarated," she once said. "I’d sit on a horse and forget I was even sick."

Ebeling benefited handsomely, receiving a loan of $250,000 to $500,000 from the Romneys for his California farm, where Mitt and Ann use a guesthouse for getaways. But their relationship led to trouble when Ebeling helped Ann sell a $125,000 horse that turned out to have a lame foot. The buyer sued, and the lawsuit was settled. But the horse's poor gait was allegedly masked by multiple tranquilizers: "It was a horse sale where the seller wasn’t honest about the product they were selling, and the buyer wasn’t smart about looking into the whole picture," one trainer said. (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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