Ann Romney on Donatello Polishing Int. 2 at Wellington’s Global Dressage Festival

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Ann Romney riding Donatello at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Mitt Romney and trainer Jan Ebeling applauding. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Ann Romney riding Donatello at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival with Mitt Romney and trainer Jan Ebeling applauding. © 2016 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 7, 2016–Ann Romney on Donatello is polishing the Intermediate II in their first season at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in preparation for making it to Grand Prix this year.

Ann, an amateur, competed the 17-year-old Hanoverian gelding in two national Intermediate II events at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center’s Stadium grounds scoring 66.579 per cent and 67.105 per cent this Super Bowl weekend.

Mitt Romney, the Republican Presidential candidate four years ago, was on hand with trainer Jan Ebeling to applaud his wife who took up dressage 16 years ago as therapy after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Ann joked after the rides this weekend she is ready for the Grand Prix arena and Jan agrees it will happen some time this year.

Ann first started riding with Jan at the 10-acre (4 Ha.) farm called The Acres owned by he and his wife, Amy, in Moorpark about an hour north of Los Angeles. At that time, Ann could ride the trot on a horse for not even close to a minute and then have to walk for at least anther five minutes because of the crippling effects of MS.

The Californians are spending their first year at Global in its fifth winter circuit and are scheduled to return home after the $250,000 CDI5* this weekend in which Jan is entered to compete FRH Rassolini.

Along with Amy Ebeling and Beth Meyer, Ann was an owner of Jan’s 2012 U.S. team Olympic mount, Rafalca, now retired, as well as other horses.

While in Florida, she has spoken about the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston for research and funding for treatments and cures for multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s (ALS), Parkinson’s and brain tumors.

Ann is a volunteer in a study by the center aimed at researching why some people with MS end up debilitated within a few years and others continue to thrive for decades.