Mitt Romney in Olympic spotlight with horse competition

Jan Ebeling of the United States, rides his

Jan Ebeling of the United States, rides his horse Rafalca during a training session for the equestrian dressage competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics. (Aug. 1, 2012) (Credit: AP)

LONDON -- Rarely has an Olympic dressage horse received as much attention as the 15-year-old bay Rafalca. The German-bred mare is part-owned by the wife of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

Rafalca's rider, Jan Ebeling, says he welcomes the attention because it lets him show that dressage isn't about millionaires but hard work.

On the eve of Rafalca's first dressage test, he says: "I think the biggest misconception is always that people think that you just sit on a horse and they just kind of trot around in circles. That really is not the case."

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Romney was in London last week and unleashed a torrent of criticism in the British press by saying that problems facing Olympic organizers were "disconcerting."

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