But none of this is a new "thing". The Romney's have sponsored Jan for 10 years and Rafalca has been around for almost as long. She competed at the FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas in 2009, which is a competition at a similar level to the Olympics.
And I don't think $77,000 for upkeep for one year is reasonable, especially with Jan campaigning for the Olympics I think costs closer to half a million are more realistic. So people should not really be complaining about that IMO!! I think overall the publicity has been good for the sport and in 3 years no one is going to remember "Oh yea Mitt Romney spent $77,000 on that horse" but probably more like "Oh year that's the prancey thing with horses" when they hear dressage.
They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!