Jan-Ebeling-Rafalca-IMG_0730-1SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, California, Mar. 30–Jan Ebeling and Rafalca returned to the competition arena seven months after their first Olympic appearance to win both the Grand Prix Freestyle and the Grand Prix at the Festival of the Horse CDI3* for the first back to back victories in two years.

Jan of Moorpark, California described Saturday’s Freestyle win with a score of 73.600 per cent as capping a “great weekend” for the partnership that also won the Grand Prix on 70.979 per cent.

Kathleen Raine of Murietta and Breanna placed second on 72.775 per cent, a personal best for the pair as was their Grand Prix result of 70.340 per cent that was also runnerup. Kathleen has been competing the 13-year-old Hanoverian mare at Grand Prix for two years.

Canada’s Karen Pavicic and Don Daiquiri placed third on 70.050 per cent in only their third show since starting Grand Prix at CDI two months ago.

The San Juan Capistrano competition was the first for Jan and the 16-year-old Oldenburg mare (Argentinius x Ratine x Rubinstein) since the London Games where he rode on his first United States’ Olympic team ,

After a long layoff for Rafalca following the campaign by Jan to make the Olympic squad, this competition was mostly about determining the horse’s attitude to being back in the show ring.

Rafalca, he said, showed “plenty of sparkle, full of life.”

Though Rafalca had lost a little conditioning during the months of an easy schedule following the Olympics, the horse “mentally was really there, willing to go.”

The Olympics for Jan and Rafalca occurred in the midst of the American presidential election that led to the pair attracting worldwide media attention because of the ownership by Ann Romney, wife of the Republican candidate.