Hometown: Wellington, Florida
Title: U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor
Robert Dover has earned more honors than any other U.S. Dressage rider, competing in six consecutive Olympic Games for the United States, as well as on four FEI World Equestrian Games teams and at seven FEI World Cup Finals.
Dover began riding when he was 13 years old, graduated as an “A” pony-clubber, and specialized in dressage when he was 19. After attending the University of Georgia, he saw his equestrian career take off in the 1980s. After his first Olympic appearance in 1984, Dover helped the U.S. capture the North American championship the following year.
In 1987, Dover defeated six-time Olympic Gold medalist Dr. Reiner Klimke to win the Aachen Grand Prix in Germany in front of a crowd of 65,000. This victory was the first time an American had won in Aachen since 1960, and Dover considers it the high point of his distinguished career.
He made his international team debut at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, finishing in 17th place in the individual competition on Romantico, while the U.S. placed sixth in the team competition. Dover returned to the Olympic Games in 1988 in Seoul, where he finished in 13th place. At the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Dover won his first medal, helping to lead the U.S. to a Team Bronze medal.
In 1994, Dover was named “Male Equestrian of the Year” by the U.S. Olympic Committee after winning the Team Bronze medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games in The Hague and finishing fifth individually. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, he won his second Olympic medal when the U.S. finished in third place to win the Team Bronze medal for the second straight time.
At the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Dover captained the U.S. team and helped lead the Americans to another Bronze medal, finishing behind Germany and The Netherlands.
Dover clinched his sixth Olympic Games berth in 2004. In Athens, the veteran rode FBW Kennedy, winning the Team Bronze medal and finishing sixth individually. To finish out his career in 2005, Dover placed fourth in the 2005 FEI World Cup Final in Las Vegas.
He has also taught clinics all over the world, sat on many USEF committees, and is one of the founders of the Equestrian Aid Foundation, which helps people in the horse world suffering from any life-threatening illness or injury.
Since being named the U.S. Dressage Chef d’Equipe/Technical Advisor in 2013, Dover led the U.S. team to a Team Gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games.