Listen to Elise’s conversation with Robert Dover on the Because of Horses podcast, Friday, April 19
Robert Dover’s professional and competitive accolades have left a legacy unmatched by any other American dressage rider. A dressage specialist since the age of 19, Robert’s dedication, creativity, and commitment to excellence have proven influential in raising the standard within the sport in the U.S.
Robert made his first Olympic appearance at the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games at the age of 28. He went on to represent the United States at the next five consecutive Olympic Games, earning four bronze medals along the way. In addition, Robert rode on four World Equestrian Games teams. In 1987, he made history by becoming the first American to win the Aachen Grand Prix since 1960, defeating six-time German Olympic gold medalist Reiner Klimke in the process.
After retiring from the competitive arena, Robert served as the technical advisor/chef d’Équipe for The Dutta Corp/U.S. Dressage Team from 2013 through the 2018 World Equestrian Games. Under his leadership, the team earned a gold medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games, a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, and a silver at the 2018 World Equestrian Games. He has served on the U.S. Olympic committee Athlete Advisory Council and the U.S. Equestrian Team Dressage committee.
Robert is well-regarded as a coach to both established and up-and-coming international pairs. He played a critical role in fundraising for the high-performance competition and training program and has taught in several growth and development programs, seeking to increase the depth and skill of riders aiming for the international ring.
In 2007, Robert partnered with the Fox Reality Channel to create and promote a TV show called “The Search for America’s Next Equestrian Star: Dressage.” A field of 400 applicants was whittled down to just six who competed for the chance to become Robert’s second assistant trainer at his Romance Farm in Wellington, Florida, along with other prizes. He also is the creator, producer, and master of ceremonies for “American Equestrians Got Talent” that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for high-performance equestrian sport.
But Robert’s impact on the equestrian community extends beyond just the dressage arena. In 1996, he founded the Equestrian Aid Foundation, an organization which financially assists equestrians suffering from life-threatening illness, catastrophic accident, or injury. He remains involved as the chairman emeritus.
Through his new Robert Squared, a line of luxury vegan leather tack and equipment, he gives a portion of all the proceeds to Equestrian Aid Foundation, Brooke USA, and Danny & Ron’s Rescue.
For his overall horsemanship and dedication to the sport, in 1994 Robert was named the U.S. Olympic Male Equestrian Athlete of the Year. He was inducted into the Roemer Foundation/U.S. Dressage Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.
For more information, go to BecauseofHorses.com.