Ann Romney’s dressage jockey say dressage is affordable on a ‘normal budget’
AS soon as a horse appears in the title sequence to a TV show your writer turns the channel over or the telly off. The show will either be a costume drama or feature people who want to live in one. So, then, to the Olympics, where Jan Ebeling is riding Rafalca, a dressage horse owned by Mitt Romney’s wife Ann Romney.
Ebeling wants to assure us that dressage is not as expensive as you might suppose. If you budget right, you might have some cash left over for a holiday home in Sardinia. So. Can dressage be a go-to sport for inner city schools? Says Ebeling:
If you look at our team, there’s nobody who’s a millionaire. When I grew up we had no money. I worked my butt off. I cleaned stalls. People saw the talent and would let me ride their horses. Money is not something that defines dressage. It’s something you can do with a normal budget.
Riding lessons don’t have to cost much money and if you buy a young horse you don’t have to pay the seven digits that I have heard about. You can buy a foal for very cheap.
True enough. But, then, it wants feeding. And then there are the ribbons. After years of training and mucking out you then get to ride your mirror-buffed horse around what appears to be a ornamental garden centre, with pot plants and hanging baskets. The horse expresses itself by stamping its feet and moving about daintily, as is navigating the fine china in a fancy shop.
If dressage is to go ‘street’, one imagines the music will need to be updated from the usual fare of what sounds like Austrian national anthems B-sides to something by One Direction or Jay-Z.