Rafalca Ends Bid for USA Team at World Equestrian Games

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Jan Ebeing and Rafalca at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Jan Ebeing and Rafalca at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

AACHEN, Germany, July 13, 2014–Rafalca, the mare that was ridden by Jan Ebeling of the United States and became a celebrity at the 2012 Olympics, has been withdrawn from a bid to make the American team for the World Equestrian Games next month.

Amy Ebeling, Jan’s wife and one of the “three amigos”–the other two being Beth Meyer and Ann Romney, wife of the 2012 Republican candidate for the U.S. presidency–made the announcement Sunday.

It came after Rafalca was one of eight horses and riders who qualified at the U.S. championships for a short list to compete in Europe for the four places plus reserve on the American team the WEG. The top two spots were assigned to Steffen Peters and Legolas and Laura Graves and Verdades as the top two finishing combinations at the championships.

Rafalca was withdrawn from the first of two selection trials as not being fit to compete and was entered for the World Equestrian Festival CDI4* at Aachen, Germany, this week.

“With mixed emotions, we regretfully announce that Rafalca will relinquish her bid for the WEG team in Normandy,” Amy said. “Rafalca’s health and welfare have always been our highest priority, and at this moment, at 17 years old, she is not prepared to compete.

“We have had an exceptional run with Rafalca throughout the years, with the support of so many. She has represented the United States in several World Cups, was a member of the 2013 bronze medal team at Nations Cup in Aachen and, of course, a member of the 2012 Olympic team.”

Jan, of Moorpark, California, who rode Rafalca to third place at the U.S. championships a month ago, said: “The connection I felt with Rafalca will inspire me as I move forward in this sport. She was a horse that worked more with her heart than her legs. She was ‘the little engine that could’ and captured the hearts of so many.”

The three owners agreed with Jan on withdrawing the Rafalca.

Rafalca was sound, but because she had a heart that never wanted to give up Jan made the decision to end the campaign for the team before running the risk of injury.

Rafalca (Argentinius x Rubinstein) “has left her mark by expanding the sport of dressage to a broader audience that will be felt for years to come, and her legacy will live on through her offspring,” Amy said.

Jan Ebeling and Rafalca joining in fans reaction to a television comedy spoof of dressage. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Jan Ebeling and Rafalca joining in fans reaction to a television comedy spoof of dressage. © 2012 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

In addition to Steffen of San Diego, California and Legolas and Laura of Geneva, Florida and Verdades, the U.S. Nations Cup team for Aachen has been announced as Adrienne Lyle of Ketchum, Idaho and Wizard and Tina Konyot of Palm City, Florida and Calecto V. Both Adrienne and Wizard and Tina and Calecto were on the U.S. squad at the London Games.

Caroline Roffman of Wellington, Florida, and Her Highness O, Shelly Francis of Loxahatchee, Florida and Doktor and Lisa Wilcox also of Loxahatchee and Denzello will compete in the CDI4* at Aachen.