As the 2004 show season is rapidly approaching, the equestrian community is anxiously gearing up for a new Olympic year. "Olympicitis" has started to spread wildly amongst dressage riders world wide, and, undoubtedly the sale of Denmark's number one Grand Prix dressage FBW Kennedy to Jane Clark has been the first, major symptom of Olympic Fever rising.
Equestrian maecenas Jane Clark purchased the 14-year old FBW Kennedy (by Tiro) from the Danish Lone Jorgenssen for Robert Dover to compete in the 2004 USET Dressage Team Selection Trials.
"I have liked Kennedy since I first saw him five years ago at the Grand Prix in Munich," Dover explained. With not only FBW Kennedy, a horse at his prime, in one hand, Dover also has the delightful experienced Oldenburg Rainier (by Ronaldo) in the other. "I will try out for the Olympics on Kennedy as well as on Rainier," Dover confessed.
What would the Olympics, or at least the American Olympic dressage team do without Robert Dover? Dover is a true paragon of the Olympic veteran: In consecutive order, Dover participated in the 1984 Games in Los Angeles with Romantico, 1988 Games in Seoul with Federleicht, 1992 Games in Barcelona with Lectron, 1996 Games in Atlanta with Metallic and the 2000 Games in Sydney with Rainier. Nothing, not even a publicly announced retirement from competition, is going to stop Dover from attempting to quality for an entry in the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
It is not just Dover's pursuit of excellence that drives him back into saddle, it is a nobler and more universal motif that is stimulating him. "My parents both have been very ill during this last year and this has been a big boost for them as well, which makes me very happy," Dover said and he jokingly added, "so much for the retirement!"
FBW Kennedy, a multiple medal winning horse on the European continent -- team bronze at the 1999 and 2001 European Championships -- has been in the U.S. since begin October and Dover has cherished him from the start. "Kennedy is wonderful to ride and I am enjoying him very much."
Although the upcoming Dressage at the Nationals would loved to have featured Dover and FBW Kennedy on their entry list, Dover has not planned on showing Kennedy right away. "I have no immediate plans to show him until I feel we are ready," Dover clarified.
Eurodressage: FBW Kennedy Sold to the United States
Eurodressage: Dover Makes Show Come-back at National Horse Show
Horsesdaily: Cutest Horse At The Games? - FBW Kennedy
Dressagedaily: Robert Dover and Rainier
Dressagedaily: USET To Host Two Dressage Developing Rider Training Sessions With Olympic Veteran Robert Dover