Robert Dover Back in the Show Ring After Nine Year Break from Competition

Mon, 04/22/2024 - 10:57
Robert Dover: after having competed at six consecutive Olympics he served as Technical Advisor for Canada and U.S.A. Now back in the competition ring:: Photo © Astrid Appels

U.S. Olympian Robert Dover returned to the show arena after a nine-year break from competition. The six-time Olympian shone his boots, put his show jacket back on, and rode down the centerline in the Wellington Spring Classic Dressage Show on 20 April 2024 at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center in West Palm Beach, FL.

Aboard the 6-year old KWPN stallion Nick of Diamond he scored 83.50% in the FEI 6-year old preliminary test, finishing second behind Adrienne Lyle and Zaunkonig (91.20%). There were two pairs in the class and it was judged by Cesar Torrente. 

Nick of Diamond

Dover returned on Nick of Diamond (by Toto Jr x Johnson), bred by Barbara Lichtendahl and Bertil Peper. Horse dealer Caroline Roffmann scouted him at Wim Plaizier stables in The Netherlands, recommended him to rider Austin Webster, who presented him to Cathi Jensen of Wilderness Farm in Wellington, FL as a 2-year old. She bought the horse from Plaizier but kept him in Holland initially where he was started. She imported him as 3.5-year old in September 2021.The ride was allocated to Webster and the horse got nicknamed "Karat". They did the IBOP test during the KWPN - NA inspection help at the Florida horse park and scored 83.50 points.

O'Keefe and NIck of Diamond in Wellington 2023
He sold to Roxanne Christenson in December 2022. In February 2023 Lindsey O'Keefe announced she got the ride on the stallion supervised by Christenson and Robert Dover.  In the autumn of 2023 he became the high scorer of the east coast in the 2023 North American Stallion Sport Test. 

Catch Ride

Robert Dover retired from international competition sport in 2005 after the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas, where he finished fourth on FBW Kennedy.

Ten years later he would make one flash appearance on the national show circuit aboard Jane Springer's KWPN gelding Talent (by Houston x Falco) to a 65.8% in the Grand Prix at the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington on 21-25 January 2024.

He has picked up Nick of Diamond as a temporary, catch ride for his student Roxanne, who has three horses in training with Dover.

"Roxanne had a terrible riding accident when a PVC arena rail that was laying on a short fence got lifted by a strong wind and hit her 9 year old," Dover told Eurodressage. "He flew up and she did too and came down on the saddle hard and got an “open book pelvic fracture like Guenter did years ago in Germany. I had to start riding all 3 horses and since Nick of Diamond will get lifetime licensing for the five breed organizations if he gets over 80% in four six-year-old classes, I told her I would do it for her."

With Robert Dover at Jim Brandon on 20 April 2024
After nine years, Robert rode back down the centerline and for the KWPN stallion it was his first ever class at that level. 

"Unfortunately, after skiing the last couple of weeks, I only had a couple of days to prepare and riding all the horses again after being practically pain free while skiing, pretty much wrecked both my shoulders and my back," Robert told Eurodressage. "It was definitely not my best riding and I couldn’t lift my left arm at all this morning, so we scratched and hopefully I’ll be in better shape for next week and if not, Kendall (Cox, his assistant) will do it. Back home now and icing."

Photos © Astrid Appels - Sue Stickle - private

Related Links
Serupgaards Cezanne and Nick of Diamond, High Scorers of the 2023 North American Stallion Sport Test
Kendall Cox Makes International Under 25 Debut on Tina Konyot's Diamantino II
FBW Kennedy Passed Away