He specifically points to Great Britain's Valegro and rider Charlotte Dujardin, and America's Ravel and rider Steffen Peters as well as some of the young riders on Austria's team.
Germany has won every team dressage Olympics from 1984 on and Britain has never won any medal of any kind in 100 years. But this year is different. Braddick puts his chances on Great Britain's winning gold, Germany's snagging silver. Then the United States, Denmark , Spain and Sweden will all battle for bronze. That's for the team victories. Braddick stresses the individual medal is wide open.
"The most exciting thing is this is totally wide open, completely wide open," Braddick said. "It's not like you have Michael Phelps and the rest of the world. You have the rest of the world go battle it out."
In 2009, Ebeling and Rafalca had a poor performance at the 2009 Dressage World Cup in Las Vegas. Rafalca got spooked, but Braddick says Ebeling got "sports psychology help" for Rafalca, which has helped. Ebeling, along with his wife Amy, rides and trains at his facility, The Acres in Moorpark, California. It's also where he often trains Ann Romney, an amateur dressage rider.
Dressage's Most Famous Fan
The presumptive GOP nominee's wife has been vocal throughout the campaign about her love of riding and how it's helped relieve her of some of the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which she was diagnosed with in 1998.
In June at a therapeutic horse riding facility in Ocala, Romney explained why it helps, saying the "four step gait" of the horse mimics the crawling of a baby and is why it helps build core strength in patients weakened from MS.
Her husband jokes that her love of horses sometimes competes with the attention she pays to him. One Christmas their five sons gave him a box with the words, "Wear this and Mom will pay more attention to you" written on it. It was a horse mask.
They Get There How? And Veepstakes Watchers Turn to Dressage Ebeling has taken to Twitter to share details of his life with Rafalca while they prepare for the competition, everything from making vegetarian risotto for Team USA to the interesting way his now-famous horse got to London (Rafalca ate watermelons on the way).
"@JanEbeling @USEquestrian team packed up and horses are shipping out tonight on 0300 Fedex flight to London! Safe travels @RafalcaRomney#TeamUSA"
They have been flying horses since 1956, but the carriers, whether it be FedEx or another airline, does change.
Ann Romney will be on hand for all of Ebeling and Rafalca's performances for as long as they are competing. And as long as Mrs. Romney is in England, there is little chance the campaign will reveal their vice presidential pick. The image of Ann and Mitt Romney alongside his new number two, their spouse, and their family is a must-have photograph. And right now Ann only has eyes for Rafalca.
High Pricetag, Big Laughs
There's been some mild ridicule and teasing around Rafalca, most notably the great expense the sport costs. Both care and cost comes with a high price tag. Dressage horses cost in the six and seven figures, and that's before care and housing. In 2010, the Romneys reported a $77,000 loss on their tax returns. Ebeling has said he welcomes the media scrutiny of the sport because it shows it's not just for the extremely wealthy. There's also been humor. The entire team got a kick out of Colbert's naming dressage the "sport of the summer," and Ebeling enjoys it as well and says he thinks the man running for president finds it just as funny.
"These are tough times and we have to laugh," Ebeling told NBC News. "Knowing Mitt, he's probably the one who laughs the most."