Jan Ebeling and the Oldenburg mare Rafalca ( co-owned by Ann Romney and Beth Meyer) worked hard all year and gained a North American League wild card, the final one of the three World Cup tickets to Dressage World Cup™ at Las Vegas earlier this year..This was the culmination of a year of conditioning and training, a year of patience, of small steps. Rafalca had suffered a slight injury the year before, and Jan knew he had to be satisfied with each sign of progress.
Las Vegas brought them not what they had hoped for. They rode into the Las Vegas arena full of confidence—and then some six minutes later, rode out totally shaken. The mare refused to settle, seeing ‘ghosts’ behind the judge’s booth at C, and their score was too low to allow them to go on to perform the kur.
“I took a day to suffer and feel the pain,” says Jan, “but then, this is horses! This is dressage! I believe in this mare and our training. So I just keep going. I was not disappointed in her at World Cup. I just thought, well, I had a bad ride at the worst place at the worst time...Now, we have to go on.”
So he did. Flintridge Riding Club hosts a wonderful show -- evening freestyles, dinner under the great oaks, white linen-covered tables dotting the huge green lawns.
This year, despite not keeping the show’s CDI status, the judge panel included O judges Linda Zang and Axel Steiner.
The two “O” judges awarded Rafalca 69+ for the Grand Prix, and a 74+ for the kur.
The audience gave Jan and the mare a standing ovation. Many of those applauding had been in Las Vegas as well.
Jan reacted saying: “I think she was always going to be the way she is now! You know, it is easy to be critical and analyze every ride, but the big thing I think is Time. The mare just now is coming into her own, with power and expression on top of the obedience that has already been there. I think she is now really comfortable at this level.”
Ebeling also won the Intermediaire I at Flintridge with his young stallion Louis Ferdinand, score of 70+ and the Intermediaire II with his other mare, Sandrina, score of 71.053.
Current plans include a trip to Europe later this fall with the horses, again staying with trainer Wolfram Wittig. Who is also Isabell Werth’s trainer.
Photo Credit: Diana DeRosa