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Robert Dover (equestrian)

Olympic medal record

Bronze Barcelona 1992 Dressage team
Bronze Atlanta 1996 Dressage team
Bronze Sydney 2000 Dressage team
Bronze Athens 2004 Dressage team

Robert Jeffrey Dover (born June 7, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American equestrian who has had international success in the sport of dressage.[1]


Personal life

Dover was given a horse for his Bar Mitzvah at 13 and was active in Pony Club, graduating at "A" level, the highest level. He decided to specialize in dressage when he was 19. Dover attended the University of Georgia.[2][3] He is openly gay, and his partner is fellow rider Robert Ross.[4]

Competitive career

In 1984, Dover competed in his first Olympic Games at the age of 28. At the Los Angeles Games, he finished 17th individually, and the US team finished 6th. At the 1988 Seoul Olympics, he finished 13th, and the team tied for 6th place. In 1992, at the Barcelona Games, Dover tied for 22nd place, while the American team took the bronze medal. At the 1996 Atlanta Games, the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2004 Athina Games the United States dressage team took the bronze medal each time, while Dover finished 25th, 23rd and 6th respectively.[1] He was elected team captain in all six Olympics in which he competed.[3] In 1987, Dover defeated Reiner Klimke, a six-time Olympic gold medalist, at the German Aachen Grand Prix freestyle competition. In 1994 he was named the US Olympic Male Equestrian Athlete of the Year, and in 1995 awarded the Whitney Stone Cup, given by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) for excellence in international competition. Dover has been named the USEF Dressage Championi five times, and ridden seven times in the FEI World Cup Final.[2] He was also amassed more than 100 Grand Prix victories.[3] Overall, Dover has won more honors in dressage than any other rider from the United States.[2]

Other accomplishments

Dover founded the Equestrian Aid Foundation in 1996. The Foundation's mission is to financially assist members of the equestrian community who have suffered a catastrophic accident, injury or illness.[2] In 2002, Dover was listed as one of the 50 most influential horsemen by Chronicle of the Horse magazine.[5] In 2007, "The Search for America's Next Equestrian Star: Dressage", a reality TV show created and promoted by Dover, aired on the Fox Reality Channel with five one-hour episodes. In 2008, Dover was inducted into the United States Dressage Federation Hall of Fame. Dover served on the USEF Dressage Committee for many years, and spent eight years on the US Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council.[2] In late 2009, Dover was selected as a Technical/Coach Advisor for the Canadian dressage team, with a contract that probably extends through the 2010 World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky. Dover is also known for his coaching abilities, with some of the best dressage riders with top international titles to their credit coming from his stables. With the new appointment as a trainer for Canada, he will no longer be eligible to train top riders with the USEF.[3]

See also

  • List of athletes with the most appearances at Olympic Games


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Robert Dover". Sports Reference LLC. http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/do/robert-dover-1.html. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Robert Dover (2008)". United States Dressage Federation. http://www.usdf.org/halloffame/inductees/profiles/dover.asp. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Braddick, Kenneth J. (October 7, 2009). "Robert Dover Canada's New National Coach". Dressage News. http://www.dressage-news.com/?p=3601. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  4. "Many gay Olympians remain cautious". NBC Sports. http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/5724361/. Retrieved 2010-03-27. 
  5. Church, Stephanie L. (October 11, 2002). "Most Influential Horsemen Announced" (Registration required). The Horse. http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=1510. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 


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