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Fri Jul 13, 2012, 07:16 PM

Ann Romney Olympic Horse Is Niche Superstar, Political Liability

"In 2006, Ebeling brokered the purchase of Rafalca. While neither he nor the Romneys will say what they paid, Larissa Barilar, who breeds similar horses at High Point Hanoverians in Chestertown, Maryland, says a mare like Rafalca would have gone for at least $100,000."

"Probably the closest Olympic analog to dressage is figure skating. Horse and rider enter a 20-by-60-meter ring and perform a series of prescribed motions, or tests -- such as trotting in place or pirouetting.

At a later stage, there is a six-minute “freestyle” routine set to music. At one competition, according to Dressage- News.com, Mitt Romney himself picked songs from the soundtracks of “Rain Man” and “The Mission.” A panel of judges looking for rhythm, ease, and precise gait scores the performance."

"In 2010 the Romneys claimed a $77,000 loss on their share of the partnership that owns Rafalca. An Olympic medal should help recoup some of that, as buyers would likely be willing to pay more for her offspring."



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