Ann Romney (Photo courtesy of JRPR).
Wellington, FL (February 8, 2016) – Attendees at the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival Week Three National Horse Show would be hard pressed to find a more deserving recipient of the Premier Equestrian Award than Ann Romney. The wife of former presidential candidate Mitt Romney, Ann Romney balances a hectic schedule and her equestrian life with grace and enthusiasm – despite also dealing with multiple sclerosis.
This past week, Romney’s zealous attitude, seemingly boundless energy, and sincere love for her horses and the sport of dressage were recognized by Premier Equestrian, a leading provider of dressage arenas and world-class footing. The company presented Romney with a tri-colored Premier Equestrian Award ribbon, an engraved plaque, and the title of “Premier Equestrian.” Awarded each week of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, the Premier Equestrian Award honors competitors who demonstrate exemplary sportsmanship and admirable qualities.
Despite Romney’s upbeat spirit, she has experienced difficulties that many equestrians cannot imagine. Romney turned to equine therapy after being diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1998. She became involved with dressage after finding that the subtle motions of the sport, such as leg squeezes and weight shifts, helped her to gain lasting muscle strength, balance, and flexibility. Since then, she has owned and worked with a number of horses, and is currently competing in the Prix St. Georges and Intermediate II classes with her horses Donatello and Darling. This past week at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Romney placed first with Donatello in the FEI Intermediate II.
“This was the second time I’ve gone down the centerline with Donatello in an Intermediate II class, and he was really, really good,” Romney explained. “I was really pleased. He had great changes and pirouettes. He was a little tense with the passage and piaffe, so he wasn’t as good as usual, but he was still pretty great!”
She added, “Darling is new to me and I am just learning to ride him. Yet he is terrific, and he is my next up and coming horse that I’ll be riding.”
Getting to know her horses can be a bit of a challenge, Romney explained, because her intense schedule means that she is not able to consistently spend time with them. Her political and medical endeavors, including the Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which she launched in 2014, keep her traveling across the U.S. multiple times a week. After receiving the Premier Equestrian Award Friday, Romney said she would be flying to Washington, D.C. for lunch and dinner appointments the following day, then flying to Boston on Sunday for a meeting about her research center’s new partnership with Google.
“We’re rolling out the fact that Google is going to help us with research, and they are going to attach me with all of these instruments and watches that I will wear for months and they will track,” she explained. “We’ll do this with 2,000 MS patients.” The Ann Romney Center for Neurological Diseases uses a collaborative approach to accelerate treatments, prevention, and cures for five of the world’s most complex neurologic diseases, affecting about 50 million people in the U.S.: multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), Parkinson’s disease, and brain tumors.
“Tuesday, I fly back to D.C., where we are hosting an event for the hospital center, and Wednesday I come back here and I have a show the next day. That’s my schedule,” she laughed. “So the fact that I can even do any of this is amazing. I am always like that, in and out – I’m never consistently with my horses, and when I finally get going with them and get connected, then I have to go again. But I love it!”
As an official sponsor of the 2016 Adequan Global Dressage Festival, Premier Equestrian is excited for the opportunity to show its support for the world of dressage. The company offers high-quality and affordable products to dressage riders – including premier dressage arenas, world-class arena footing, revolutionized horse jumps, and accessories. For more information about the presenter of the Premier Equestrian Award, visit www.PremierEquestrian.com or call 1-800-611-6109.
For more information contact:
Heidi Zorn, Premier Equestrian