(WASHINGTON) — Rafalca, the horse co-owned by Ann Romney and her dressage trainer Jan Ebeling, was eliminated from the Olympic dressage competition on Tuesday.
Rafalca earned a score of 69.317, which bumped her out of the top 19. Only the top 18 riders continue on to the freestyle portion of the competition on Thursday.
In the previous Olympic test on Aug. 2, Rafalca and Ebeling earned a score of 70.2.
Ebeling and Rafalca danced to a mix of traditional and fast-paced music, and Ebeling took off his top hat and beamed at the conclusion of Tuesday’s ride in Greenwich Park. The weather looked chilly as audience members bundled up. But there were still plenty of American flag wavers in the stands to cheer them on.
They faced stiff competition from many of the riders, especially some of the “stars of dressage,” including Britain’s Charlotte DuJardin and her horse Valegro, who earned a stunning 83.66 last week and hope to bring home Britain’s first gold in dressage ever.
Of course, it’s not just dressage fans who are closely monitoring how Rafalca performs — it’s veepstakes watchers, too. It was believed that Mitt Romney would not pick a running mate until Rafalca and Ebeling were out of the competition so that Ann Romney could return to the United States. The photograph of the two families — the Romneys and the running mate — side by side is something a campaign would likely not pass up.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN
Eric Bradner, Dana Bash and MJ Lee, CNN
Robert Patten, EastIdahoNews.com
Eric Bradner, CNN