Jan Ebeling Debuts Ann Romney’s Bellena at CDI to Win Global Dressage Festival Int. 1 Freestyle

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Bellena being ridden by Jan Ebeling to celebrate victory in the nine-year-old horse’s debut Intermediate I Freestyle. © 2019 SusanJStickle.com

WELLINGTON, Florida, Feb. 24, 2019–U.S. Olympic rider Jan Ebeling debuted Ann Romney’s nine-year-old Bellena at international level to win the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDI3* Intermediate 1 Freestyle Sunday to become a prospect for the American squad for the European summer circuit.

Jan, based in Moorpark, California but in his fourth winter competing in Wellington, scored 76.500 per cent on the Hanoverian mare that he has been riding for just over a year after Bellena (Belissimo x Welser) was bought by Ann.

Leif Aho of Wellington on Classy Sinclair placed second on 74.458 per cent with Canada’s Ariana Chia on Fiderflame third on 73.417 per cent.

Jan also competes Indeed V at Grand Prix and Sergio Leone at Small Tour, also owned by Ann Romney who was in the syndicate that owned his 2012 Olympic mount Rafalca, that became an international celebrity the same year as Mitt Romney, Ann’s husband, was the Republican candidate for the presidency of the United States. Ben Ebeling, Jan’s son, attends Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and competes in dressage at Global and jumping at the companion Winter Equestrian Festival.

While the 60-year-old Jan did not rule out riding for the U.S. at the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru in July the main focus is on Europe to prepare horses for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

“We’ve been working piaffe and passage,” he said of Bellena that before this show had not competed Int.I at national or international level. “Right now we’re not focusing so much on one tempis, we’re focusing that she needs to get stronger in the canter. She’s got a big engine but she needs to buid up the muscle, and that’s really the focus, getting her stronger. She can do ones, and she’s done piaffe-passage, but it’s not for a test.”


CDI3* Int. I Freestyle
Judges: Natacha Waddell Christof Umbach Linda Zang
Place Score Nation Athlete Horse H C B
1. 76.500 USA Jan Ebeling Bellena – 551 78.750 76.625 74.125
2. 74.458 USA Leif Aho Classy Sinclair – 544 74.625 73.500 75.250
3. 73.417 CAN Ariana Chia Fiderflame – 567 71.125 71.750 77.375
4. 73.208 CAN Jaimey Irwin Laurencio – 574 70.750 74.000 74.875
5. 68.917 CAN Alison Famiglietti Let’s Dance – 511 69.250 70.625 66.875
6. 68.000 CHI Virginia Yarur E Rava – 517 67.000 69.000 68.000
7. 67.625 CAN Lori Bell Flirt – 562 68.375 66.375 68.125
8. 66.375 SUI Franziska Seidl Con Brio SDF – 513 68.625 67.250 63.250
9. 65.458 COL Marco Bernal Germany – 534 67.000 63.375 66.000
EL. USA Shelley Van Den Neste Lorenzo Van de SRF – 507