Mitt and Ann Romney got a dressage-down in this Sunday New York Times piece that detailed their high-priced hobby horses:
As Ann Romney immersed herself in the elite world of riding over the last dozen years, she relied on Jan Ebeling as a trusted tutor and horse scout. In her, he found a deep-pocketed patron.
A German-born trainer and top-ranked equestrian, Mr. Ebeling was at ease with the wealthy women drawn to the sport of dressage, in which horses costing up to seven figures execute pirouettes and other dancelike moves for riders wearing tails and top hats.
A taskmaster, Mr. Ebeling pushed Mrs. Romney to excel in high-level amateur shows. He escorted her on horse-buying expeditions to Europe. She shares ownership of the Oldenburg mare he dreams of riding in the Olympic Games this summer. Mrs. Romney and her husband, Mitt, even floated a loan — $250,000 to $500,000, according to financial records — to Mr. Ebeling and his wife for the horse farm they run in California, where the Romneys use a Mediterranean-style guesthouse as a getaway.
“He came over here with two empty hands,” Anne Gribbons, technical adviser of the United States dressage team, said of Mr. Ebeling. “He had a lucky break to get to know the Romneys.”
And a lucrative one, as millions of dollars changed hands in this horse-training relationship.
Perhaps the most interesting part of it comes in this quote from Mrs. Romney, when she was deposed in a fraud lawsuit over the sale of one of her horses:
Friends and acquaintances described the trainer as patient and low-key but capable of driving students hard. Asked if she was ever unhappy with Mr. Ebeling’s instruction, Mrs. Romney said in a deposition in the lawsuit, “I think that is not a fair question because we all get upset at certain times with anybody that is — you know, especially a German.”
Especially a German? Really?
The hardworking staff happens to be one-quarter German. And – heads up, Boston Herald – we can prove it: The old man used to say we had an Irish sense of work and a German sense of humor.
Back off, Ann – a German scorned is not to be taken lightly.